Blog Entry

Newton named starter, Clausen could be no. 3

Posted on: September 2, 2011 9:37 am
Edited on: September 2, 2011 9:38 am

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We've spent much of the preseason focused on the the battle for the backup job in Denver. It became clear early on that Kyle Orton would be the starter, despite offseason speculation that 2010 first-round pick Tim Tebow could ascend to the role. Instead,the storyline was Tebow vs. Brady Quinn with the winner getting the earpiece and clipboard on game days.

Meanwhile a more interesting backup quarterback competition was unfolding in Charlotte, where Cam Newton has been the unofficial starter since the moment he was taken with the first-overall pick in April. (The news became official Thursday night when it was printed on team letterhead and announced publicly by coach Ron Rivera.)

The contestants: Jimmy Clausen, the team's second-round pick a year ago who had about as rough a rookie season as could be dreamed up, and Derek Anderson, a 2007 Pro Bowler who fell on hard times in recent years with the Browns and the Cardinals.

In the Panthers' final preseason game against the Steelers, Anderson got the second-team snaps and took advantage of the opportunity. He finished the night 11 of 19 for 192 yards, including a 41-yard touchdown pass to David Clowney. Clausen, on the other hand, had a forgettable effort. Details via Rapid Reporter and Carolina Growl writer Steve Reed:
Clausen had a disastrous night, throwing an interception on his first pass of the game and then fumbling a snap from center leading to a Steelers touchdown in the fourth quarter. He threw another pass that should have been picked off and was also sacked three times, including once on fourth down while the Panthers were in the red zone. He looked particularly slow moving around in the pocket after injuring his thigh last Thursday night against Cincinnati.

It was the first time this preseason that Anderson was the second quarterback into the game and could signal the Panthers are more comfortable with him being Newton's primary backup since he's more familiar with (offensive coordinator) Rob Chudzinski's offense.
Anderson came to Carolina from Arizona, but he has experience in Chudzinski's offense during their time together in Cleveland.

"The thing about that is Derek is a guy that doesn't need a lot of reps in this offense," Rivera said, via Reed. "At the same time, if something were to happen, he's a guy that because he doesn't need a lot of reps in this offense could probably help us. So we are most certainly going to take a look at that and see where that fits with what we want to do offensively."

As for the news that Newton will be under center when the Panthers take the field on September 11 at Arizona, Rivera sounded optimistic.

"We are looking forward to him being our starter," Rivera said. "He's going to grow as our starter and we're going to grow as a football team. The thing that has to happen is that we as a football team have to grow and it's not just about him. It's about the rest of growing with our system... I want to make this clear again: We didn't draft Cam to be our savior, we drafted him to help lead this football team. He will be our starter on opening day."

Pretty sure the fans don't see it this way, but that's what happens when the team struggles to go 2-14 the year before. For his part, Newton said all the right things about winning the job.

"That's a big opportunity and a big responsibility," he said. "To be a starter in this league there is so much that goes into it behind the scenes and I've got to be ready for that."

It turned out to be a dreadful night for former Notre Dame quarterbacks trying to climb NFL depth charts. In Denver, Quinn got the start and went 4 for 12 for 26 yards and an interception. If there's a silver lining it's this: because of the new game-day roster rules, teams no longer have to name an emergency third quarterback.

So should Rivera replace Newton, he could use either Anderson or Clausen at any point during the game. In theory, both players are co-backups. The reality -- at least after Clausen's performance against the Steelers -- is that he has the No. 3 job sewn up.

But, hey, the regular season hasn't even started. A lot can change in the coming weeks and months.  After all, the Browns drafted Quinn as their franchise quarterback in 2007 and that season Anderson led the team to 10 wins and he made the Pro Bowl. This game is crazy like that.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 16, 2012 4:50 pm

Newton named starter, Clausen could be no. 3

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 26, 2011 6:06 am
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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 12:47 am
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Since: Oct 21, 2011
Posted on: October 23, 2011 8:39 pm
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Since: Oct 17, 2009
Posted on: September 3, 2011 12:47 am

Newton named starter, Clausen could be no. 3

HEY cco22inf

Newton falling flat on his face is about as likely as you getting your head out of your A$$.

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: September 3, 2011 12:26 am


Looking forward to this f'in goober falling flat on his face. 

Since: Jan 3, 2009
Posted on: September 2, 2011 11:01 pm

Newton named starter, Clausen could be no. 3

Personally if I was drafting I wouldn't have drafted Cam Newton. I would have drafted A.J. Green as an added threat with Steve Smith. I think the NFL should have a rule in place that players coming out of college should have at least 3 years playing timebefore being allowed to enter the NFL draft. I don't believe in teams that draft a QB in one of the first 3 rounds of a draft one year then turn around and draft another QB just because they have the worst record in the league and think that a one year wonder is going to be their man to led them into the future. I agree with the posters that said the Panthers should have surrounded Jimmy Clausen with the talent to make him successful. I'm a huge Panthers fan but I hope Cam Newton fizzles out like Jamarcus Russell and becomes the butt end of alot of draft day jokes.

Since: Dec 10, 2007
Posted on: September 2, 2011 10:23 pm

Newton named starter, Clausen could be no. 3

I really liked the way that Derek Anderson played, although it was against backups...but, you can't discount the fact that his passes were right on the money and he looked very good in his brief stint this preseason...I would like to see Anderson start the first few games just so that Cam gets a little more experience with the plays and understanding of the offense, but that doesn't look like it will happen...looks like Cam will get thrown to the wolves in his first season, much the same that Clausen did, but hopefully he will have a healthier offensive line with Otah back and a bonus with D. Williams back at 100%...and for idiot posters like "Whereyaat"...well...grow up you dumb*** obviously are just another Cam hater who knows little to nothing about football.

Since: Jan 10, 2009
Posted on: September 2, 2011 7:33 pm

Newton named starter, Clausen could be no. 3

I would like to see Cam succeed with the Panthers but I always felt that he should play the back up role this season and let him get some learning in. I don't want to see him get tossed into the fire too early and end up being ruined. Let Anderson take the starting job and take the lumps this season. I love my Panthers but this is a rebuilding year and I don't see us winning more than 4 or 5 games. And thats being very optamistic.

Since: Aug 28, 2009
Posted on: September 2, 2011 7:12 pm

Newton named starter, Clausen could be no. 3

Could be another long season in Carolina!  But Panthers fans should take heart.  Give the kid a chance and see what he does with the opportunity.  You never know!

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