Tag:Jimmy Clausen
Posted on: August 23, 2010 10:49 am

What to do about Carolina's QBs?

M. Moore and the rest of Carolina's quarterbacks have struggled in the preseason (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

So far this preseason, the Carolina quartet of quarterbacks has been unimpressive.

Matt Moore was the expected starter coming into the season – we thought he would have to be absolutely terrible to get passed on the depth chart – followed by some combination of Hunter Cantwell and rookie Jimmy Clausen. Then, the fourth-stringer was Tony Pike, and it wasn’t out of the question that the Panthers would try to keep all four quarterbacks.

Now, the Panthers would settle for just one quarterback who can play productively.

As Steve Reed of PanthersGrowl.com asks, is it time to panic yet?

It may be, because this preseason is beginning to look remarkably similar to last year’s preseason.

And that’s not good.

The Panthers managed just one touchdown pass during a winless 2009 preseason and the problems in the passing game carried over into the regular season resulting in three straight losses to open the season. The Panthers never recovered and finished the season 8-8 and out of the playoffs one year after winning the NFC South.

So far, the quarterback ratings of Moore and Clausen are pathetically tiny, stuck in the mid-30s. Coach John Fox doesn’t seem concerned, but Moore understands that there’s still plenty of aspects of their game that need to be fixed.

“We need to keep working,” Moore said. “There are plays there that need to be made and we’re capable of making them. We’re just going to keep grinding it out and keep working on it and take these next two preseason games and keep learning and be ready to go in Week One.”

Moore, who went 4-1 last year after replacing Jake Delhomme, was expected to hold down the starting job until Clausen was sufficiently ready – maybe not this year, but probably next season. It’s still the preseason, but if Moore doesn’t improve, it might not be a terrible idea to start Cantwell.

Actually, that wouldn’t be a very good idea at all, but at this point, that’s probably a better option than throwing Clausen into the mix so early in his career.

In reality, Moore, even if he continues to struggle, will start, and the Panther will just have to see how it goes.

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Posted on: August 13, 2010 10:17 am

Hot Routes 8.13.10: Of Preseason & Port-a-Potties

Got links for the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter or send an email to will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • Dan Connolly, who filled in -- and will fill in if necessary -- for the still-holding-out Logan Mankins last night, "held his own" according to Ian Rappaport of the Boston Herald . We haven't watched the game yet, because we're too busy swooning over Jimmy Clausen, but this is right in line with what we told Lauren Shehadi about the possibility of the Pats' doing a little "plug-n-play" on the offensive line.
  • Speaking of Clausen, Pat Yasinskas (former Panthers beat writer; now with the NFC South blog at ESPN) thinks that the rook QB "landed some jabs, but nothing close to a knockout punch" in his attempt to go after Matt Moore's job. I've got to agree -- the kid looked really sharp at times, but anyone freaking out over the first preseason game needs to settle down. It's going to take a nightmarish, Jake Delhomme-like start from Moore to force Clausen into a starting role.
  • Optimism reigns supreme at the Baltimore Sun 's Ravens Insider, where everyone seems thrilled at the offense's potent potability (or something). Ken Murray seems the most realistic of the group, though, making sure to point out that against the Panthers, the Ravens ridiculously depleted secondary didn't exactly have a big challenge. Not saying the 2010 AFC North Champions (they lose to the Jets in the AFC Championship, duh) are overrated, but just saying.
  • Jermichael Finley, who Andy is quite high on (more on that with an NFC North podcast coming this afternoon), uses boxing to become a better football player because it helps improve his hand and eye coordination. Until coach Mike McCarthy pointed out that hurting his hands and wrists isn't the best way to get paid as a tight end in the NFL. Smart call.
  • Lovie Smith says the Bears' starters could end up playing a full half against the Chargers. For those of you who (like me) are Dan LeFevour fans, won't you join me: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" /shakes fist angrily to sky
  • Jerry McDonald of Inside Bay Area writes that the D-line "stole the show" for the Raiders last night. And here I was thinking Kyle Boller would get all the attention this morning. McDonald actually makes a good point about Boller too -- the 'Boys dropped an easy red zone interception, and we're not singing his praises this morning if they make the pick happen.

Posted on: August 13, 2010 12:22 am

Tyler Brayton's ankle just sprained, not broken

Posted by Will Brinson

There wasn't a ton of good news for the Carolina Panthers in their first preseason game -- a 17-12 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Matt Moore didn't look great, Jimmy Clausen looked promising but not ready, Armanti Edwards can't catch the ball and so forth and so on. (Note: not all of this is devastating, but it's not great).

One thing that did stand out though, was a surprising pass rush that generated six sacks against the Ravens. Considering that defensive line is at the top of weaknesses for the Panthers, that's good news.

Things almost got really worse though, when Tyler Brayton, with two sacks in the first quarter, went to the ground clutching his ankle following that second sack.

Fortunately, though, Brayton, according to Steve Reed of the Gaston Gazette , only sprained the ankle -- as opposed to a break that would have been devastating to the Panthers' pass rush.

Oddly, Brayton's injury was the only one worth noting from a really sloppy (weather-wise) preseason game.

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 4:15 pm

What to watch for in Clausen tonight

Posted by Andy Benoit
J. Clausen (US Presswire)
The most intriguing storyline in tonight’s ESPN preseason special between the Ravens and Panthers is the debut of Jimmy Clausen. The second-round rookie from Notre Dame has been splitting second team reps with Hunter Cantwell. Clausen has shown marked improvement over the past two weeks and seems to be finding a comfort zone in a Carolina offense that he was already somewhat familiar with.

Onlookers have praised Clausen’s mobility and athleticism. But such praise is sadly shortsighted. Clausen wasn’t drafted to be a scrambling quarterback. At this point, it’d be a better sign for him to take three sacks in the pocket than pick up three first downs with his feet. Because if Clausen is taking sacks in the pocket, at least he’s showing a willingness to hang in there and stare down the gun barrel.

Even though it’s the preseason, the Ravens defense will show Clausen a few things he’s never seen before. The key is not how Clausen performs, but how he responds. Will he stay in the pocket and trust his protection, or will he run and let things break down? Will he continue through his progressions when he’s about to get hit, or will he start peeking at the pass-rush?

Fortunately, the game is on ESPN, which means we’ll have Ron Jaworski to track all this for us. No analyst understands the mechanics of pocket passing better than Jaws. You can bet he will let viewers know where the young passer stands in terms of pocket toughness.

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Posted on: August 3, 2010 7:39 pm

Jimmy Clausen strictly a backup in 2010?

There are murmurs that Panthers rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen is merely battling for the second string job behind starter Matt Moore. When Clausen was drafted in the second round, many expected that the Golden Domer would compete for the No. 1 job right away. After all, Clausen is an accurate passer who ran a pro style offense under Charlie Weis at Notre Dame. And, let’s be honest: the Panthers wouldn’t have drafted him if they were 100 percent confident in Matt Moore.

But ESPN’s Pat Yasinkas writes that Moore is looking sharp in training camp thus far, while Clausen is running with the third team. Moore posted impressive numbers in his five starts last season, going 4-1 and finishing the season with a passer rating of 98.5. But on film, it was apparent that the soon-to-be 26-year-old lacks ideal arm strength and first-class pocket presence. Once opponents become more familiar with Moore, they’ll exploit his shortcomings. (We’ve seen guys like this before…Derek Anderson and Tommy Maddox are the first two who come to mind.)

Clausen might be a distant backup right now, but make no mistake: he’ll be relevant at some point in 2010. Don’t expect him to stay behind fellow rookie Tony Pike (a sixth-rounder) on the depth chart.

--Andy Benoit 

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Posted on: July 28, 2010 12:21 pm

Clausen signs rookie contract

There will be a real quarterback competition in Carolina after all. Now that Jimmy Clausen has signed a four-year deal that includes $2.53 million in guarantees, via the Associated Press , the Panthers second-round pick officially can begin trying to take down Matt Moore, Hunter Caldwell and Tony Pike to win the starting job.

For now, Moore – who played well at the end of last season – is the man to beat. It would be a bit of a surprise if Clausen could rise from third-string to first-string during training camp.

According to reports, Clausen’s deal could be worth as much as $6.3 million.

In other Notre Dame news, second round pick WR Golden Tate tweets today that he also has reached a deal with the Seahawks. From his Twitter page : "Praise God!!! Terms and conditions have been reached for the seattle seahawks! Let's play ball! "

--Josh Katzowitz

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com