Corey Clement weighs in on Duce Staley’s suggestion

The running back takes his coach’s advice and is better — and lighter — for it

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Corey Clement’s stock is starting to rise at training camp.
(Photo by TJ Engler / contrastphotography.com)

Eagles running backs Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood grew about an hour’s drive from each other. Clement grew up in Glassboro, N.J., and Smallwood hails from Wilmington, Del.

After high school the two ended up playing college football far away from each other, Clement at Wisconsin and Smallwood at West Virginia. Their two teams never met during their respective careers.
Clement said he and Smallwood have made up for lost time.

“We’ve drawn to become closer teammates and have become friends,” said Clement, the 2012 Footballstories Player of the Year. “I knew of him before I came to this team. I’ve been able to take some advise from him too. He’s shown me the ropes, basically we’re just feeding off each other, trying to make the best out of this competition.”

Clement said part of those ropes have have been learning how to read blocks made by NFL linemen. The rookie free agent said the Badgers — who are a major offensive lineman feeder to the NFL — run pro style blocking schemes.

“We kind of have the same format,” Clement said at his locker after a recent training camp practice. “We have a slow-to-fast mentality that (running backs coach) Duce (Staley) preaches every day. We have to be able to take some tough criticism at times and use it to our advantage every day at practice. But there has not been too much of a crossover from college. It’s not that bad. It’s coming from a system that did the same thing.”

Clement said he took more advise from Staley to gain speed. The knock on Clement headed into the draft was his 40-yard times and lock of explosiveness.

Staley told him to lose a few pounds and Clement complied.

“I’m down 9–10 pounds from the time I got to this organization,” Clement said. “I’m happy…have my acceleration, I’m more elusive, carrying speed and at the same time keeping my strength. I feel a lot better than when I got here.”

Clement said Staley told him the benefits of being lighter.

“He said if he can get me at a lighter weight, it will be that much better,” said Clement, who lists his weight at 215 pounds. “We talked about it a little bit, I took it for what it was worth. I came back this offseason, worked my tail off and it’s showing.”

Follow Al Thompson on Twitter @thompsoniii