Keenan Clayton was everywhere on the field Friday night against the Jaguars. He finished with four tackles, a sack and two hits on the quarterback.
The rookie outside linebacker didn't want to get any pats on the back, however. All he thought about were the plays he left on the field.
"I don't feel like I played fast enough. I don't feel like I was physical enough at the point of attack. I don't feel like my blitzes were on point where they need to be," Clayton said. "I had a few pressures, but if I was on a step better or had been lined up right I probably would have had a few more sacks, a few more pressures. I'm my own worst critic. I can come out of a game with 10 tackles, a few picks and a sack and I'll always think there was something else that I could have had."
A fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma, the former safety's instincts and coverage abilities make him a good fit in Sean McDermott's scheme. As tough as Clayton was on himself after the game, McDermott offered praise but insisted that the key now is consistency.
"The lights came on and Keenan showed up a little bit," McDermott said. "Now, like a lot of us, he has a lot of work to do at the same time. It has to be an everyday thing. You've got to come out and you've got to play consistent, aggressive, dependable football. So it can't just be in the games, he has to do it every day here."
Clayton started camp on the strong side, but is now the second-team weakside linebacker. It's a small triumph for what's been a difficult camp for Clayton. He missed time to be with his family after the death of his uncle.
"It was one of those things you have to deal with. It helped to get away to get all of that out. Now, I can focus on what I need to focus on," Clayton said. "At the end of the day it's my family, I'm at the point now where I don't need them to make decisions for me. They understood how much they mean to me and why I wanted to come."
With a better feel for what to expect in game action, Clayton simply wants to remember Friday night as a stepping stone towards his goal of making the team.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 12:25 p.m., August 16