Panthers’ Jimmy Clausen Should Be Only Starting Rookie Quarterback

Jimmy Clausen should open the 2010 season as a starter.

The St. Louis Rams and Denver Broncos are putting a lot of their hopes (and money) into Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow, respectively, but that doesn’t mean either quarterback should see a single snap as a rookie.

If Bradford starts in St. Louis, he will get killed behind a bad offensive line. Instead, they should throw a veteran guy like A.J. Feeley in there for the year and allow Bradford to sit, learn, and wait for the offensive line to get better. Feeley has already taken his lumps and will cost the Rams a whole lot less than Bradford.

Tebow, unlike Bradford, has gone to a fairly decent team, but everyone knows he’s not ready to start. The kid has the intangibles to be a great NFL quarterback, but the mechanics aren’t there yet.

If they throw him in right away it’s going to ruin the remainder of his career — which will be purely as a backup/gadget player if he doesn’t learn how to throw a football properly, first and foremost.

Other big-name quarterbacks like Colt McCoy, John Skelton, and Tony Pike were all taken so late that they’re not expected to come in and start. McCoy could win the job outright in Cleveland, but there’s no rush for the third-round pick to take over immediately.

Jimmy Clausen, however, should be the starting quarterback when the 2010 season kicks off for the Carolina Panthers.

He was a second-round pick, so they’ve got a stake in him. If a team takes a quarterback in the second round, it’s because they envision him as a starter. See: Kevin Kolb.

Clausen, unlike the aforementioned quarterbacks, is in the perfect position to start right away. The Panthers don’t have an established starter, they have a very good offensive line (especially at the tackle spots), a great receiver in Steve Smith and a young talent like Brandon LaFell, and one hell of a running game in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan “The Daily Show” Stewart.

Clausen is in a perfect position to get his playing time and still be able to ease himself into it. Williams and Stewart are more-than-capable of carrying the load for the first month or so while Clausen gets himself acclimated and they can open up the playbook for him. They might ask Clausen for 10-15 passes per game, but that’s going to be all he needs to feel things out and get comfortable.

Then, once he’s got a little bit of confidence, they can open things up and see what he can do.

Matt Moore played well in the latter half of the season last year, but let’s not get carried away. He was the best option they had until Clausen fell into their lap, so they supported him, but now it’s time to push the rookie into that starting spot and see what happens.

They’re going to do it eventually, so it’s best to just do it now for all the reasons we’ve already run through. In addition to all that, playing Moore for the 2010 season could just create a quarterback controversy down the road. The Panthers took Clausen in the second round, so he’s going to start sooner or later, but if Moore comes in and plays well it could make things rather difficult for them.

So start Clausen now, see what he can do, and maybe try to move Moore to a team that feels they can turn him into a starter. Worst case scenario, they keep him and have a great safety valve were something to happen to Clausen.

Topics: 2010 NFL Draft, AFC, AFC West, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Jimmy Clausen, Matt Moore, NFC, NFC South, NFC West, Opinion, Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams, Tim Tebow

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  • realheavyd

    Go right ahead and throw him to the dogs!

    The Saints play the Panthers twice a year and their defense will gladly welcome him to the NFL in a big way!

    Better bring your A game every day now Jimmy boy!!!

  • Anthony Ballard

    Are you serious? Start Jimmy now? I do not agree with this. Matt Moore is a PROVEN winner in the NFL. He knows our playbook well and has done VERY good for us. He has sat behind SHITTY Jake Delhomme and hasnt said a word. Now he was promised the starting job and I think he should start. Let Jimmy learn our playbook before you throw him in there. We have the giants first game and you seen the show carolina put on against them with Matt Moore at the helm.Jimmy is good but not better than Matt Moore at this point. START MATT MOORE

    • http://isportsweb.com/sport/nfl/new-orleans-saints/ realheavyd

      Hey Anthony, this author has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. That much is obvious.

      Clausen might be “pro-ready” in many analyst’s books, but I seriously doubt that he beats out Matt Moore for the starting QB job in Carolina for the start of the season this year.

      He’ll hold the clipboard for at least half the year, if not more, IMO.

      Good luck this season, except when your team plays mine twice, of course! Y’all did pretty well in the draft and should be a really tough match-up for my Saints, as usual.

      • Burt

        The author knows exactly what he is talking about. I don’t know how much clearer it can get – he was on top of thier draft board. He fell to them but not because they weren’t trying to trade up to get him. Remember the Panthers didn’t have a first round pick.

        Clausen is the future for the Panthers. At least everyone should hope so. He has played on a TERRIBLE team the last 3 years and learned how to work behind a bad offensive line and compensate for an awful defense. All the kid needs is decent receivers, as he had at Notre Dame and will have at Carolina. The Panthers’ running game… well he never had that at ND (only one RB eclipsed 700 yards once while he was there, again thanks to the OL)… and while were at it, Clausen was the most sacked QB of any FBS team over his 3 years at ND.

        But the big thing that separates him… and was incorrectly cited by another poster here… is that he ALREADY KNOWS the playbook! He doesn’t have to “Learn” it. It was a system designed by Weis that Caroline is using now, and how could any QB better prepare himself to run it in the pros than to learn from the man himself? Now I agree that Moore may know the specific plays and nomenclature better than Clausen at this moment, but by the end of training camp they should be very close. As far as the rest of the rookies go… Clausen will be worlds ahead of them because he came from a pro-style offense and dealt with the learning curve as a freshman in college rather than a rookie in the NFL. The only thing he has to adjust to is the speed of the game, but I think he will just fine and will be ready to start by week 1.

    • http://www.nflspinzone.com Bob Cunningham

      You’re not going to get much of an argument out of me if you want to start Moore and let Jimmy learn. I think the hype on Moore is overblown and that, eventually, Clausen will take over anyway. If it’s a foregone conclusion the guy will be taking over, then why not let him take his lumps surrounded by a good team that could easily carry a young guy?

  • http://www.yallkiltit.wordpress.com williedebo

    great kid, misunderstood but should be happy he fell to the panthers – great situation, check this out: http://bit.ly/cqzaz3

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