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Posts Tagged ‘Jimmy Clausen’

This is Moore’s team

17 August 2010 4 comments

Apparently, there’s really not a QB controversy in Carolina, as much as the media wants us to believe there is one (imagine that). They’re just going to have to deal with the fact that low-key Matt Moore is the starter instead of media-darling Jimmy Clausen at the present time.

An article by Jim Corbett in USA today focused on the Panthers and starting quarterback Matt Moore. Here are just a few of the quotes from the column.

Emphasis mine on all quotes.

Corbett:

One thing is clear: There’s no quarterback controversy in Carolina despite a lingering national perception that the job is open since the Panthers drafted Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen 48th overall.

Moore:

When Jimmy was drafted, I got some calls from a bunch of people … Then, Coach Fox called and said,”Don’t read into this. You’re the guy. You’ve proved to us you could play last year.”

Fox:

Matt’s our starting quarterback, and you can’t control all the stuff on the outside … Our team knows he’s our quarterback. He’s got the temperament and all the physical skills. What hurt us last year was the inability in the passing game.

Smitty:

Matt’s earned everything he’s got … He took a tough road. It’s finally worked out for him. This is his team.

Dear Media:

If you happen to be reading this, please take note of the quotes I have listed above, especially the one from Foxy. It’s straight from the horse’s mouth: the Panthers don’t have a QB controversy.

Please, let it go.

Sincerely,

The Panther Playbook

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Categories: Preseason Tags: ,

Do we really have a QB controversy in Carolina?

13 August 2010 Leave a comment

Okay, Matt Moore didn’t light the world on fire last night against the Ravens. We get that. It was his first snaps of live action (just like everyone else), and he was a little rusty.

Normally, that would be okay, but there’s one problem: Jimmy Clausen played very well.

Granted, Clausen played against the Ravens’ 2nd team defense, which by comparison to the 1st team is like fighting a dog instead of a grizzly bear, but he still had a lot of poise and moxie to be a rookie playing in his first NFL game, even if it was the pre-season. He called audibles at the line, pointed out blitzers to his linemen, and took care of the football. His one turnover was due to a receiver falling on the turf after the ball was already thrown. He made a few great throws, a few good throws, but not too many bad throws. He ran with the ball to get a first down (and slid just in the nick of time to avoid needing dental work).

In short: Jimmy Clausen looked like a starting NFL quarterback against the Ravens, while Matt Moore looked like a backup quarterback.

Fellow CSR author James the Aussie had a few thoughts on Clausen in his weekly Monday Morning Optimist column, and among the things he pointed out about the rookie quarterback, the following statement stood out to me the most:

What I saw from Clausen was a player who did not look like a rookie QB walking into his first NFL huddle, he looked like a 5 year pro. For comparison I went back and looked at some footage of Mark Sanchez and Matt Stafford late in the 2009 season and for Clausen’s 9 series he looked more comfortable at the line of scrimmage than either of those QBs did in December.

That’s a huge compliment for a guy playing in his first career NFL game. I don’t care if he ran a pro-style offense at Notre Dame, the NFL is an entirely different animal, and for him to have that kind of poise is nothing short of amazing.

Now, I will cut Moore some slack – he made a few good plays that were called back due to penalties on the offensive line (notably Jordan Gross). He made some nice throws, and his stat line isn’t bad. But, it’s just the way he looked on the field – like he was a nervous kid playing in his first game, not like the guy who won the fanbase over at the end of last season when he led a dejected Panthers squad to a 4-1 finish to salvage an 8-8 season, including two brilliant performances against the Vikings and Giants.

The media is going to take this QB story and run with it, because frankly, they want Jimmy Clausen to be the quarterback of the Carolina Panthers. He is a media darling and former Notre Dame quarterback who was supposed to be a top-10 pick in the draft, but somehow fell into the Panthers’ laps at pick 48 in the 2nd round. So look for the flurry of QB controversy stories to hit the internet and television over the next few weeks, because the fact that Clausen looked so confident in his limited action is only going to feed the fire.

As for me, I don’t think there’s really a controversy yet. I still need to see Clausen perform against a team’s starting defense before I believe that he’s truly ready to take the reigns away from Moore and lead this Panthers team on Sundays. I look for Clausen to get some reps with the 1st team at some point in the pre-season, and when he does the media will certainly be all over it, foaming at the mouth to create the first real quarterback controversy in Charlotte since Jake Delhomme took over for Rodney Peete way back in 2003.

It’s been a long time, and the media is hungry for a story, so don’t expect this to go away any time soon. If Moore continues to struggle in the pre-season and Clausen continues to play well with the 2nd team, this thing is going to get blown way out of proportion, and the cries for Jimmy are going to get louder and louder until Clausen finally gets into the starting lineup.

But don’t expect Fox to listen, as we’ve learned from the past 7 years – it takes a lot for a starter to lose his spot on the depth chart with Foxy at the helm.

Defending Jimmy Clausen

26 April 2010 1 comment

Here is an interesting article that defends Jimmy Clausen from his naysayers.1

The article is quite long, so if you only have a few minutes you might want to either skim it briefly or wait until you have more time.  (If you just don’t want to read the whole thing, there is a conclusion section at the end.) It goes into a good bit of detail about Clausen’s strengths at the QB position and debunks a few myths about his shortcomings while at Notre Dame.

I’m not going to paste the article because it is so long, but I will post part of the introduction to give you an idea of where the writer is coming from.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t expect to convince anyone. At this point, if you still aren’t a Jimmy Clausen fan, you just have some irrational hatred either for him personally or for Notre Dame, because there is no logical reason not to have him as a top-10 player in the 2010 NFL Draft and easily the most sure-fire quarterback in the class. Really, I just want one post to point to that says “You’re stupid” whenever I read the same, tired, dumb arguments for why Clausen doesn’t deserve a first-round grade.

And, for good measure I will paste the last sentence of the article, to give you an idea of what the author is trying to prove.

In essence, there is no reason Jimmy Clausen should not be, at the very least, considered the top quarterback in this draft class.

It’s pretty interesting stuff, so if you have the time to kill I would recommend you read it.

* * * *
1 – Article courtesy of WalterFootball and CSR.

Categories: Offseason Tags: ,

Should Jimmy Clausen Start?

23 April 2010 Leave a comment

Update: Panthers GM Marty Hurney shares his thoughts on Clausen.

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NFL Network analysts discussing if the Panthers should start Clausen next year.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-videos/09000d5d817c081d/Should-Clausen-start

My bold prediction: Clausen will be the starting QB in 2010, and Matt Moore will either be the backup or be traded tomorrow for more picks in the 4th/5th rounds.

Categories: Offseason Tags: ,

Jimmy Clausen’s first interview as a Panther

23 April 2010 Leave a comment

I am really starting to like this kid.

Here is Clausen’s interview with the Panthers’ media.

And for those who don’t want to listen to it, here’s the transcript1:

Clausen’s opening statement: I’m so excited to be a part of the Panthers organization. I just want to tell you you just made the best pick in the draft and I’m going to make you guys proud.

What has it been like going through this process?

It’s been a dream come true. Obviously, I wanted to get picked as high as I could, but at the end of the day, everything happens for a reason. I couldn’t be happier than to be a part of the Panthers’ organization. I can’t wait to get there on Thursday and just get right to it and start getting to work.

Are you surprised you fell to No. 48?

To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to go anywhere, whether it was the top 10, first round, second round, third round. I just wanted to get my name called. My agent had been talking to a lot of people.

Have you talked to John Fox?

Oh, I definitely did. He called me. He was just really excited and he told me they were trying to get up to the 33rd pick, but it didn’t work out. He was just really excited to have me on the team. I told him I can’t wait to get there and start going to work and help the team and the organization, do whatever I can to help the team win.

What do you know about the quarterback situation with the Panthers?

I’ve watched Matt Moore. I know a lot about Matt Moore. He played at Hart High School in California. He played in the same division as my older brother. I know a lot about him. He’s a great quarterback and I just can’t wait to get there and meet him and start going to work with him.

Can you talk about your goals?

My goal is to get the playbook as soon as I can, as soon as the coaches allow me to get it, learn that as fast as I can. My goal, you know how I’m going to take this, is try to be the starter from day one. That’s going to be my mentality, be the starter from Day 1. Whatever the coaches want me to do, I’m going to do it the best of my ability and at the end of the day, if I’m good enough to play, I’m going to play. But if not, I want to do everything I can to help the team win.

How much do you think running a pro-style offense at Notre Dame will help you?

I think it’s going to help me tremendously being in Coach Weis’ system. Coach Fox told me it’s the same exact system I’ve played in the past three years at Notre Dame. So, I’m really excited about that. I’m just going to hit the ground running and try to do everything I can to help the organization and the team win.

Was it hard sleeping last night?

Not really. After the first round was over, me and my family sat around and watched TV, had some food to eat, just went to bed, woke up this morning. At the end of the day, there’s nothing I could do rather than sit back with my family and wait to get your opportunity. I couldn’t have ended up at a better spot and I’m really excited right now.

Do you feel pressure, or are you excited? Marty Hurney was visibly excited …

Oh, I’m so excited. Obviously, I wanted to go earlier, as early as I could. But at the end of the day, I’m in a great situation at Carolina. I keep saying it over and over, but I can’t wait to get there and get starting to work.

You took flack for your interview with Jon Gruden, pointing out the wide receiver’s mistake. What’s our reaction to that?

That’s just the nature of football. I make mistakes, other guys make mistakes, but at the end of the day, you’ve just got to come together and learn from your mistakes and get better each and every day, each and every week, you’ve just got to get better, on the practice field and during games. I had a great time with coach Gruden. He helped me tremendously. I think he texted me just a second ago. I couldn’t thank coach Gruden (enough) for helping me.

There are different opinions about your leadership. What kind of teammate do you think you are?

I think I’m a great leader and teammate. If you ask all the guys on the team, they love hanging out with me. They love being around me and my family. I don’t know everything that was being said, but it’s over now. I’m a Carolina Panther. I couldn’t be happier than I am right now.

Does it motivate you, though, that 47 chances to pick you passed you up, and make you want to prove people wrong and redeem yourself?

It’s frustrating sometimes. It’s definitely going to be in the back of my mind every single time I step on the field, every single time I’m in the facility working out and watching film, to make me that much better. It’s a dream come true and I just can’t wait to get there.

Last night in first round, any spot you thought you were going?

My agent was telling me some of the teams wanted to get up, that the Steelers wanted to get up and make a trade into the top 10, that the Redskins wanted to take me at 4 and swap with St. Louis. There were a bunch of different things my agent was telling me. At the end of the day, I was just sitting back, really wasn’t just paying so much attention. Just wanted to get my name called and that didn’t happen, but I was really excited and thinking my name was going to get called.

When I got the phone call, I was jumping up for joy. I was playing pool with a bunch of my buddies. My brother handed me the phone. It was coach Fox and I was so excited.

Do you have any ties to the Carolinas or Charlotte, or have you been to Charlotte?

I went there, I think when I was going to South Bend, but I think that was about it.

You were playing pool when the call came?

I was playing pool with a bunch of my friends. My brother Rick and Casey (sp?) were sitting right there. They saw the phone ringing. They screamed at me and handed me the phone. It was coach Fox on the phone. That was a pretty big moment for me.

Were you watching the draft at that point?

I wasn’t. I wasn’t at all. I was playing pool with my buddies.

Where were you?

I was out in Palm Springs with my entire family and friends and my grandfather who leaves out in Palm Springs. My grandmother passed away about a month and a half ago, so I decided not to go to New York and just be here with my family and grandfather. (said he was at a hotel out there).

What do you think about the chance to throw passes to Steve Smith?

I can’t wait! I can’t wait! I’m trying to get his phone number right now so I can call him and just tell him how happy I am to be a Panther. I can’t wait to get to work with him.

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1 – Courtesy of Inside the Panthers.

Categories: Offseason Tags: ,

What an interesting day at the draft

23 April 2010 Leave a comment

I’m still trying to get my thoughts together. The Panthers took Jimmy Clausen at 48, Brandon Lafell at 78, and Armanti Edwards at 89 (Edwards cost the Panthers a 2nd round pick in 2011), and I must say that my initial reaction of the Clausen pick violated the 3rd Commandment, but after much thought on the matter I am happy with the picks that the Panthers made.

It’s going to be a hell of a training camp with a battle for the starting QB position between Clausen and Matt Moore, but I’m looking forward to it. Clausen has impressed me with his attitude about being drafted by the Panthers, and I hope that he pans out and becomes a franchise QB for us for the next 10 years.

I think that Lafell was a great pick, as we now have a replacement for Moose – a good receiver with excellent blocking skills who should be an instant upgrade for us on offense.

I’m surprised we traded a future pick to get Edwards at 89, mainly because I think he would have been on the board at 112 when we pick again tomorrow, but obviously the front office knows something I don’t know, or they wouldn’t have made the deal.

I’m going to gather all my thoughts and write a post-draft article on all the moves that were made, because if I try and give an in-depth analysis right now I’m afraid my head will explode.

Stay tuned for day three of the draft, where there is no telling what may happen.