Tag:Jimmy Clausen
Posted on: July 11, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:30 pm
 

Clausen could get another chance to prove himself

Posted by Ryan Wilson

A year ago, Jimmy Clausen was supposed to be the Panthers' quarterback of the future. He ended up starting 10 games, winning once, and by the end of the season he had completed just 52 percent of his throws, including three touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Carolina's 2-14 record wasn't entirely Clausen's fault, but with the first-overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and Cam Newton coming off a dominating college season, it wasn't a shock when the Panthers ended up taking him.

NFL quarterbacks, in general, struggle as rookies, with Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco being the notable exceptions. Two big differences between those players and Newton: they played for teams with good defenses, and perhaps more importantly, they were able to participate in minicamp and OTAs in the weeks and months leading up to their rookie seasons.

Newton has neither luxury, and it's why he probably won't be under center when the 2011 season begins.

The Charlotte Observer's Tom Sorensen goes so far as to write that Clausen will "become a legitimate NFL starting quarterback" before adding "But while Newton adjusts to the NFL, Clausen will get every opportunity to prove he can play. The Carolina Panthers almost certainly will entrust Clausen with their offense when they go to the road to play Arizona on opening weekend."

Sorensen admits that he's one of the few folks in town who believes in Clausen, which apparently include the Panthers front office since they used the No. 1 pick on a franchise quarterback a year after supposedly taking one 48th overall.

Whatever the long-term thinking, for now, starting Clausen makes the most sense. Not only because he has more experience, but also because the Panthers are in the early stages of rebuilding, and there's no need to subject Newton to what Clausen had to go through last year.

It may sound ruthless and unfair, and maybe it is. But it's also an opportunity for Clausen to show he's a legit NFL quarterback. As Sorensen notes, that job description includes more than just the physical abilities: "The quality Clausen lacked most [last season] was poise. Unwilling to risk an interception, he'd hang onto the ball. … He might fail again, but it won't be because he's meek. There will be coaches to impress and teammates to convince, and I think he will."

As for Newton, he's working out in Florida at the IMG campus and saying all the right things.

"I look up to the guys like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger," he said. "They're great at what they do. I really love how Peyton Manning controls the whole game. He is the dictator out there on the field. He doesn't let the defense dictate him. Aaron Rodgers is a machine as far as his mechanics. ...Tom Brady is the ultimate leader. Drew Brees is a savvy guy in the pocket. Why not take a little something from everybody and apply it to your own?"

Nothing wrong with that. In fact, we're guessing Clausen made similar comments last summer. The true test, however, will come when Newton's thrown into the fire. It's perfectly reasonable to want to emulate Brady or Manning or Brees. It's something else entirely to be able to do that with 350-pound slabs of meat trying to drive you through the turf. For the immediate now, though, it sounds like that will remain Clausen's problem.

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Posted on: July 7, 2011 3:40 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 4:24 pm
 

Hot Routes 7.7.11: Redskins don't want Clausen



Posted by Ryan Wilson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL)
  • CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman thinks "a handshake agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement will happen next week, not on Thursday or Friday." Either way, that's welcome news.  

  • ESPN.com's Matt Williamson thinks Shawne Merriman "is done." In that sense, he should complement former Bills first-rounder Aaron Maybin nicely.
  • Redskins QB update via CSNWashington.com blogger Rich Tandler: "I would say there is zero chance that the Redskins are interested in [Jimmy] Clausen. Think they would rather go with who they have." Washington should subscribe to the addition-by-subtraction personnel philosophy more often.
  • We thought this went without saying since the Broncos spent a first-round pick on Tim Tebow a year ago, but the team has no interest in a poor man's Tebow, aka Terrelle Pryor.
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Posted on: July 7, 2011 9:12 am
Edited on: July 7, 2011 9:38 am
 

Who we want to see on Hard Knocks '11

Hard Knocks (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Throughout the lockout that seems neverending -- now at 114 days and counting!!! -- we’ve seen players get arrested, we’ve seen the NFL and the NFLPA come together and then bicker and then come together and then bicker, and we’ve seen players sue their girlfriends for their engagement rings.

Most disturbing, we’ve seen the signs that Brett Favre might want to return for another season.

We’ve also heard plenty about how a lost preseason would cost the NFL $800 million if the lockout continues through August and into September.

But when it comes to the preseason and how much is on the line, you know what we haven’t heard about? We haven’t heard which squad will be the subject of the annual highlight of August –- HBO’s "Hard Knocks."  

Oh, we know which teams have already declined the invitation (or supposedly, declined the invitation). Among them are the Buccaneers, the Broncos, the Lions and the Falcons (who might be open to doing it in the future), and at this point, it seems as if nobody wants to be on the show. Making matters tougher are those who say cooperating with Hard Knocks is a mistake.

Assuming we’ll see a preseason this year that would provide a platform for the Hard Knocks crew to start filming -- and CBSSports.coms’ Mike Freeman writes that it’s getting close --here are five teams we’d like to see featured on Hard Knocks. Many of them might not be interested for one reason or another, but if we have a fantasy roster, this is it.

Panthers


NewtonThe big storyline: Simply put: the entertainer and the icon, Cam Newton. We want to see how he learns the offense; we want to see if his teammates rally around him; we want to get an early idea of whether Carolina made a bad decision last April. Or maybe he’s the next superstar in the game. Either way, he’s one of the biggest storylines of the preseason, and we want to be inside the locker room to see what happens.

The foil: Jimmy Clausen. How is he going to react to Newton? What happens when Newton badly fakes out some defender destined for the practice squad and gains 30 yards on a broken play? Will the director then cut to Clausen as he raises a fist to the sky in anger? And what happens if Clausen, um, actually outplays Newton?

Two other compelling reasons: 1) NFL.com’s Gil Brandt has mentioned in the past couple of days that Favre has offered to help mentor Newton. Can you imagine the video that could come from this, especially if the camera caught Favre alone in the locker room sending a text message? 2) WR Steve Smith: is he going to play for the Panthers or not?

Patriots


The big storyline: The same guy who makes sure this show would never feature his team on his watch. That would be coach Bill Belichick. How fascinating would it be to see how Belichick builds a team and how he relates to his players? Would we get to see Belichick’s team meeting in which he implicitly tells his team how to answer questions from the media (in the most uninteresting way possible)? Kidding aside, we want to see a future Hall of Fame coach behind the scenes and uncensored.

The foil: Rex Ryan. Is there any way to get a split screen of the Jets coach talking trash about Belichick -- hey, he’s not here to kiss anybody’s ring! – while Belichick coldly goes about finding a way to make Ryan pay for his words?

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Danny Woodhead: he was on Hard Knocks with the Jets last season, and though he’s not in danger of being cut with New England, I still want to know why Woodhead, all of a sudden, is so freaking good. 2) G Logan Mankins (and his agent) has said some not very complimentary things about the Patriots management, all in the name of landing a large contract. Will he be kinder and gentler this preseason?

Packers


The big storyline: Obviously, the Lombardi Trophy. Hard Knocks has never followed a team the preseason after it won the Super Bowl, so it’d be cool to see the ring ceremony the public wasn’t allowed to witness a few weeks back (I’m assuming Hard Knocks wasn’t actually there, but it’d be cool nonetheless) while watching the Packers attempt a repeat.

The foil: Charles Woodson vs. Tramon Williams. Woodson is the bigger name, but he’s older than Williams and there’s a pretty good chance Williams is the better CB these days. Maybe we’d really get to see if Woodson is close to the end, and if Williams can replace Woodson’s outrageous production.

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Would Aaron Rodgers sign autographs for the fans at training camp? Because, as we all know, he doesn’t like signing for cancer patients (I kid, I kid). 2) Last year, little-used cornerback Brandon Underwood had a sexual assault charge hanging over his head all season (he pleaded no contest to a lesser charge). Now, he’s been charged with disorderly conduct after an alleged physical altercation with his soon-to-be ex-wife. Underwood isn’t a great quote, but his story might make for an interesting change of pace on the show.

PhillipsTexans


The big storyline: The will-they-or-won’t-they-fire-him as it relates to coach Gary Kubiak. I’m kind of surprised he’s still coaching in Houston actually, and the last time Hard Knocks featured this kind of storyline, it was Wade Phillips with the Cowboys. Now, Phillips is Kubiak’s defensive coordinator. How hot can that boiler room get anyway?

The foil: The secondary. This is what I wrote in the Texans offseason checkup: “The secondary (Kareem Jackson, Glover Quin, Bernard Pollard and Eugene Wilson) were just tremendously bad. If the Texans can’t get this fixed, it doesn’t matter who’s coordinating the defense, because Houston simply won’t win.” I don’t disagree with that.

Two other compelling reasons: 1) Though he came off a bit bumbling in Season 4 with the Cowboys, Phillips is a sympathetic figure. And the man has proved he can coordinate a defense. I want to see how he transforms a 4-3 sieve-like defense into a 3-4 defense that potentially could save Kubiak’s job. 2) Will QB Matt Schaub ever get into the playoffs? He’s the best quarterback in the league who hasn’t gotten there.

Raiders


The big storyline: Obviously, Al Davis, and the one question I want to know. How hands-on is he these days?

The foil: Nnamdi Asomugha: Just like Darrelle Revis last season with the Jets, we’re not going to see too much of the talented free agent cornerback on the TV. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see any of Antonio Cromartie either (psst, see video below).

Two other compelling reasons: 1) New coach Hue Jackson finally gets his chance at running a team. Forget that Tom Cable went 6-0 in the AFC West last year without making the playoffs -- still a pretty damn impressive feat. Davis got rid of him, just like he gets rid of everybody after a couple years. Will Jackson be an exception? 2) Al Davis: Seriously, I want as much Al Davis as possible.



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Posted on: June 11, 2011 5:37 pm
 

Jake Delhomme in demand as QB mentor?

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For having settled comfortably into the twilight of his career, quarterback Jake Delhomme sure is popular. Pretty much everybody was shocked when the Browns paid Delhomme $7 million to be their starter in 2010. Injuries and lack of ability eventually landed him on the bench, where he was much more valuable as rookie Colt McCoy's mentor.

And it's his relationship with young quarterbacks that makes Delhomme marketable, even after his quarterbackin' skills have long since deserted him. The Denver Post's Mike Klis suggested last week that Delhomme would be a great fit with the Broncos and Tim Tebow.

Upon hearing that Delhomme's days in Cleveland could be numbered, former Panthers teammate Ryan Kalil took to Twitter to make the case that Carolina should re-sign him.

“Dear Marty Hurney, (slow chant) bring him back..bring him back..bring him back…BRING HIM BACK!” Kalil continued. “‘We’ve got to talk about where we want to head as far as the veteran back up is concerned.’ – Ron Rivera #BringJakeBack”

The Charlotte Observer's Darin Grantt notes that "Kalil jokes around a lot," before adding: "But if Delhomme was available, there would be a groundswell in the locker room to bring him back to Charlotte."

The lesson: don't burn bridges on your way out the door.

Delhomme makes sense in Carolina. The Panther drafted Cam Newton and he's going to need help transitioning to the NFL (while we're on the subject, Jimmy Clausen could use a confidant, too). Delhomme shows a knack for working with inexperienced, wide-eyes QBs, and he doesn't seem preoccupied with ever being a starter again. Basically, he's a coach who gets to wear a uniform on Sundays.

Rotoworld warns that Delhomme makes sense as a mentor, "but there's no way they could put him on the field." Well, they could. Not because Delhomme should be out there, but it's not like we're talking about the New England Patriots. The Panthers had the first overall pick for a reason: they were 2-14 in 2010. If, god forbid, Clausen and Newton get hurt and Delhomme has to play for a few weeks, what's the worst that can happen? Carolina loses two or three games? Big whoop -- they had two separate five-game losing streaks last year.

On the other hand, if Delhomme's presence accelerates Newton's growth as an NFL quarterback, then the growing pains will be worth it.

Then again, if Delhomme is the missing piece to a successful offense, the Browns not only should keep him, they should give him a raise.

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Posted on: June 7, 2011 7:45 am
Edited on: June 7, 2011 10:28 am
 

Steve Smith calls Newton, Rivera 'outstanding'

Posted by Will Brinson

Lost in all the hubbub surrounding the likely departure of Steve Smith from Carolina is the fact that nothing bad has been said between the two parties.

In fact, it's quite the opposite -- Smith and the Panthers have been very pleasant about their relationship. Smith continued that offseason tradition on Monday, when he referred to Carolina's rookie quarterback Cam Newton as "outstanding."

"The drafting of Cam is outstanding," Smith said. "Met with him a few times and very much impressed by Cam."

This is in stark contrast to how Smith seemed to view Jimmy Clausen, last year's rookie quarterback, with whom Smith seemed to often grow frustrated. (He wasn't alone; ask any Panthers fan.)

But it's also the word Smith used to describe head coach Ron Rivera, who heretofore hasn't been doing Smith any favors by seeming less than optimistic about Smith returning to Charlotte.

"When I met Ron I would say they maybe sold him short. He's great, a great guy," Smith said. "My first meeting with him was pretty good, it was outstanding. I walked away very impressed."
Smith's Saga in Charlotte

Now, again, all parties have been very amicable during the offseason, although Smith's house is up for sale -- later with a reduced price -- and Smith all but shipped out of Charlotte.

It's probably too much to expect that the sides will be on the same page when/if the season starts, and it's more than likely that Smith ends up going somewhere else.

But it's still worth noting that nothing mean has been said quite yet.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 10:08 pm
 

Goodell optimistic about direction of labor talks

Roger Goodell said he's optimistic about the labor talks (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Charlotte Observer’s Joe Person caught up with commissioner Roger Goodell today at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C., and perhaps predictably Goodell said he’s optimistic about the latest (not-so-secret!) labor talks.

Goodell was coming off three days of meetings with the NFLPA in Chicago, and the first question he took during a fan forum was from a soldier who couldn’t understand why the league had such a tough time splitting $9 billion.

He gave his typical answer about protecting the game and blah, blah, blah (he probably threw something in there about how this can’t be solved through litigation), but Goodell later said he was confident the two sides were on the right track to finding a lockout solution (in case you need a timeline to what's been happening, we've got you covered).

"I think both sides want to continue the dialogue, and I think that's a positive thing," Goodell said, via Person. "The importance is to have the principles talk. That's what we were interested in doing is having the owners and the players talk to one another. That was accomplished this week."

And since Person covers the Panthers, he couldn’t resist giving a little Carolina quarterback news, via coach Ron Rivera.

With the Panthers needing to add a veteran QB to help the progress of No. 1 pick Cam Newton (and Jimmy Clausen, I suppose), Rivera said that person could be former Panthers starter Matt Moore.

"Here's a guy that was slated to have a good opportunity to be the starter," Rivera said. "And unfortunately, things didn't work out for him. So we've got to look at that as well when we get to that point."

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Posted on: May 7, 2011 4:24 pm
 

For the gambler in you

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Because it’s never too early to talk about next year’s Super Bowl odds (and a few other prop bets, courtesy bodog.com), we’ll give you an offseason taste “For the gambler in you.”

Will the 2011 NFL regular season start on time (September 8th)?


Yes -500

No +300

Boy, somebody is confident the regular season will start on Sept. 8. I wish I had that much confidence.

Odds to win the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI (as of 5/4/2011)


Green Bay Packers 7/1

New England Patriots 7/1

Pittsburgh Steelers 11/1

San Diego Chargers 12/1

Baltimore Ravens 14/1

New York Jets 14/1

New Orleans Saints 16/1

Indianapolis Colts 16/1

Atlanta Falcons 16/1

Philadelphia Eagles 16/1

Dallas Cowboys 16/1

New York Giants 18/1

Chicago Bears 25/1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30/1

Minnesota Vikings 35/1

Detroit Lions 35/1

Houston Texans 35/1

Kansas City Chiefs 35/1

Oakland Raiders 40/1

San Francisco 49ers 40/1

St. Louis Rams 40/1

Miami Dolphins 50/1

Tennessee Titans 50/1

Washington Redskins 50/1

Cincinnati Bengals 60/1

Denver Broncos 60/1

Cleveland Browns 65/1

Jacksonville Jaguars 65/1

Arizona Cardinals 75/1

Seattle Seahawks 80/1

Buffalo Bills 100/1

Carolina Panthers 100/1

Man, I like the Falcons at 16/1. I would not take the Chargers at 12/1. Maybe at 25/1, but not at 12.

Who will be the starting QB for Carolina Game 1 of the 2011 regular season?
       
Cam Newton 2/5       

Jimmy Clausen 5/2 
     
Other QB 11/2   

I don’t know why the Panthers would start Clausen unless Newton was really terrible in practice. So, I wouldn’t take Clausen. If you wanted a chance to make some money, I might go with “Other QB.” 

Who will be the starting QB for Cincinnati Game 1 of the 2011 regular season?
     
Andy Dalton 3/2       

Carson Palmer 11/2 
   
Other QB 2/3   
   
I was going to write “Other QB,” but I could definitely see the Bengals going into the season with Dalton. That’s who I would bet on.

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Posted on: May 5, 2011 5:41 pm
 

Steve Smith wants to be a Raider or Charger?

Posted by Will Brinson

It's pretty common knowledge that Steve Smith wants out of Carolina. Or, at least, since he refuses to talk about his situation, so it's common knowledge that Smith is doing everything -- including cleaning out his locker and attempting to sell his Charlotte-area home -- to indicate that he wants out.

But where could he go? Well, Chuck Carroll of FootballNewsNow.com reports that Smith is interested in going to either the Raiders or the Chargers next season.

Smith is a native of Lynwood, California, so if the report is true, it makes sense from the perspective of Smith, 31, wanting to get closer to home as he wraps up his career.

The actual part of trading him is tricky, of course. First, there has to be a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and/or league rules in place. Right now, that seems kind of far off.

Secondly, um, Oakland? Because, they have, um, a quarterback? I kid ... kind of. Hue Jackson's an offensive guy, he'd know how to utilize Smith, and Jason Campbell's at least going to have more success than Jimmy Clausen in 2011. (Or, at the very least, you can definitely make that argument and not get anyone fighting you on it.)

And finally, could a deal between the two teams work? Oakland would probably make a play -- Smith is FAST and we know how much Al Davis likes SPEED. But would San Diego give up a talented youngster or an early-round pick for Smith when it's already clear that they can operate successfully with low-end wide receivers on the field? I'm not so sure about that.

That being said, Smith doesn't exactly control his destiny in terms of where he'll end up playing in 2011, and you can expect the Panthers to use his value in an effort to try and rebuild on the fly.

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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