Finding out that the Panthers aren't in love with Jimmy Clausen might not seem like news, but it's fairly important with respect to the draft. After all, if everyone in Carolina think his ship has sailed, it's probably time to start drafting a quarterback.
Well, according to Don Banks of Sports Illustrated, the only person left in Clausen's corner is GM Marty Hurney. Oh, and the Panthers aren't big fans of Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert, either.
Banks cites a source who informed him that Hurney is the "only one in the building in Charlotte" who thinks Clausen can still turn into the Panthers starting quarterback. This isn't entirely illogical: watching Clausen play in 2010 made it clear he wasn't progressing quickly. (Duh.) But Hurney drafted him, and therefore has a little bit of loyalty -- even if it's blind -- to the Notre Dame product.
What's particularly interesting about this, but probably won't be publicly noted for quite some time (if ever), is that if everyone's already off the Clausen bandwagon after one season, there's a pretty good chance that John Fox was never on it to start.
Fortunately, Ron Rivera, as a new head coach, isn't likely to be saddled with a quarterback he's not amenable to; in this case, Blaine Gabbert. (And Clausen.)
And, apparently, Carolina "doesn't really love" Gabbert either. Banks cites a source who tells him the Panthers have concerns about the Mizzou product, because they don't believe he's "accurate enough outside the hash marks and deep downfield."
Those concerns are legitimate given the offense that Gabbert's coming from, and it obviously opens up the door for Cam Newton as the Panthers' No. 1 overall selection. In case the fact that they're holding a private workout with Newton didn't open it enough.
Or a defensive player, if they don't love Cam. But whether or not they turn to the Heisman winner with the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft, it certainly is seeming like there'll be a change at quarterback for the Panthers in 2011.
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