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Pros of Clausen at Starter

Coach Rivera made an announcement Monday that he will make the #1 QB spot decision before the third week preseason game against Cincinnati. I think many folks would hope that Cam gets his spotlight at starter before he does, but it looks like Clausen will most likely be the guy. At this point nobody knows if the decision will stick and it’s impossible to know exactly what Rivera is seeing.

Right now, all we can do is watch and guess. After Saturday’s game there are high hopes that Clausen has made a turnaround and his production will more than double last season’s to lead a confident offense with ambitions of competing in what could be one of the tougher seasons for many NFL teams. Here’s what we have seen and hopefully there are more improvements to come.

Clausen’s stats were average at best against the Giants. He played only one quarter racking up an embarrassing pick-six to lead the first offensive drive, but later making up for it with an 18 yard TD to Greg Olsen for a total of 69 yards with 4/7 in completions. Not an impressive start for his second season, but it’s a start in the right direction.

He displayed more confidence in the pocket and seemed to make smarter plays when there were no passing options. The early interception was reminiscent of 2010 Clausen as well as some of the sacks he took when maybe he could have gotten rid of the ball. To be fair, the pick was obviously a miscommunication between Clausen and DWill. He manned up and took responsibility for it by stating that he threw behind the the receiver and that says a lot about his attitude.

Also, Jordan Gross was having a difficult time keeping up with DE Jason Pierre-Paul from the Giants, enough to let the two sacks on Clausen sneak through. The O-line definitely played a big part in allowing Jimmy to catch the heat like he was getting. Although, no QB is without fault for messed up plays.

Clausen, as a potential season-long starter, still yields a positive outlook for the future of the Panthers. First off, Clausen has had plenty of experience taking hits in the pocket. He can recognize when there is still time to make a play and when there’s too much pressure to make a smart play. Even though there weren’t many good decisions in the 2010 season, Chudzinski is hard at work to correct that.

Second, with a new offense and more options to help out, even the short plays make a difference when it comes to making a first down. As long as he protects the ball and makes the high-percentage plays, it will put us in a position to let some of our veterans make big plays for big yards. Lastly, why can’t we have somewhat of a tandem at the QB position? If Clausen takes the field as a starter, it gives Cam a chance to analyze the game and see what is working and what isn’t.

Derek Anderson has accepted the role as mentor. As mentor, it is part of his job to give rookies insight on what is really going on. If Clausen is struggling and we need a big play, it’s better to have a fresh Newton with unpredictable skills to change up the flow of the game. I believe that this will be a huge asset later on in the season when teams feel like they have us figured out. Sun Tzu said ” All warfare is based on deception.” What is more deceiving than a team coming off a 2-14 season with all new coaches, a rookie QB and a first year flop with dangerous offensive players?

We have to be smart with what we have. Not to mention Newton will be a lot more prepared to take on a starting role after we’ve played teams like Green Bay, New Orleans and Atlanta.

If Clausen is to be the starting QB for the Panthers, his actions will weigh heavy on the crowd with every incompletion and missed opportunity, even if there are other players that carry the blame. The #1 QB has a burden to bear that fans have no sympathy for when it comes to winning games. It will be a tough position to fill no matter who is starting and we only need what is necessary to move the ball effectively. The big plays are just a bonus. Let Clausen play and give Cam time to marinate. The Panthers as a dominant force in the NFC will come soon enough.

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One Response to “Pros of Clausen at Starter”

  1. Owais says:

    I completely agree. I like Cam Newton a lot. That might be because it FINALLY gets the Panthers some national coverage. But Clausen is deserving of the job and probably the smarter choice (at least to start the season). It’s his job to keep or lose.

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