ST. LOUIS — For second-year quarterback Austin Davis, it'll be his final opportunity to show the St. Louis Rams' coaching staff that he's capable of being Sam Bradford's backup.
"I think you go into it like all the other games," Davis said of the team's final preseason game against the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night at the Edward Jones Dome. "You prepare and try to be ready."
Davis has been battling for veteran Kellen Clemens for the job of backup quarterback. He was the team's third-string quarterback last year after being signed as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Mississippi.
"I would just say that there is more expected of me going into your second year compared to last year where everything is kind of new and anything advanced is a positive," Davis said. I think this year the expectation is for me to know and run the system just as Sam would. The expectations are higher, but my expectations have always been high so that is not a problem."
Davis said he feels confident in his knowledge of offensive coordinator Brian Scottenheimer's system.
"I am very comfortable," Davis said. "I spent a lot of time last year just listening. That's the thing as a backup quarterback in this league, being able to listen, visualizing and being able to go in and run the offense. Get the team out of a game. Lead them to a win. Play for two weeks. You never know the scenario."
Davis said he tried to approach each game mentally like he was the starter last season.
"I tried to do that even though I was the No. 3 and knew I probably wasn't going to dress," Davis said. I still tried to prepare like I was going to play and study the call sheet and do some those things just to prepare me for this year."
Davis has completed 21 of 40 passes for 250 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions in the preseason. His quarterback rating is 80.2.
Clemens has completed 10 of 29 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns with four interceptions in the preseason. His quarterback rating is 37.4.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher said no decision has been made on the backup quarterback.
"No, not necessarily," Fisher said. "They can both play."
Davis and Clemens have alternated working with the second- and third-team offenses in the preseason. If that continues, Davis will be working with the third stringers, while Clemens works with the second-stringers on Thursday night.
"Coaches have done a rotation each week so Kellen and I can get into a rhythm playing with the 2's or playing with the 3's," Davis said. "I think that has helped both of us being in that same huddle that entire week and going out and playing."
Davis has experience in a wide-open passing offense. He threw for 10,898 yards with 83 touchdowns and 27 interceptions at Southern Miss, breaking many of Brett Favre's records.
Davis also ran for 25 touchdowns and caught a touchdown pass, bringing his college touchdown total for four seasons to 109.
Davis said even if doesn't win the job of backup quarterback, he feels like he's given it his best shot.
"There are a lot of things that you can't control," Davis said. "Work hard. Make the Rams better when you are on the field. Be positive in the locker room. Business decisions and roster decisions and all of that, you can't control that anyway. I'll just see what happens and go from there."
The Rams cut linebacker Jabara Williams and placed offensive guard Ryan Lee on injured reserve in the final two moves needed to get their roster down to 75 players. The Rams have only eight linebackers on their roster, including Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who is suspended for the first four games. All NFL teams must trim their rosters to 53 players by 5 p.m. Saturday.
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.