Loss of Clemons Presents an Unknown

Loss of Clemons Presents an Unknown

Jay Adams

Published January 9, 2013 at 2:37 PM

When Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons is on the field, opposing offensive lines know what to expect: a solid rusher with double-digit sack numbers to back it up.

With him off the field, it’s a bit of a mystery.

The star Seattle DE is done for the year after suffering a knee injury during the Seahawks’ wildcard win over the Redskins, and with him goes a season-high 11.5 sacks. Also with him goes, for all intents and purposes, a good read on that defensive end position.

The Falcons have faced Clemons in the past and they’ve studied him. Now that he’s out of the picture, preparing for what the Seahawks look like without him is a bit of a wrinkle.

“It’s hard to see because there’s not a lot of snaps of it on tape. We’ve played them the past two years and he’s been there,” left tackle Sam Baker said. “All we’ve got is basically 30 plays to go on off the last game they played, so it’s going to be interesting to see because he’s such a great player and he’s such a force coming off the edge.”

The Seahawks will be subbing in with highly-touted rookie Bruce Irvin, for the most part, who led all rookies this year with eight sacks. He, too, presents a bit of an unknown, and one that the Falcons will do their best to prepare for.

“Imagine taking 11-and-a-half sacks out of any team in the NFL,” offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said. “(Clemons is) a super player. It’s a shame that his season had to come to an end like that. How much it’ll affect our game is impossible for me to project. That guy’s a good football player.”

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