The Moore Experiment Ends With Jimmy Clausen Named Starter
The Carolina Panthers have had a pretty good defense since John Fox took over as head coach in ’02. It has been the offensive side of the ball that has sputterered, in particular, the erratic play from their quarterback that has cost them to win more games. Towards the end of last season, Matt Moore was handed the reins to Carolina’s offense while Jake Delhomme sat on the bench and watched. Moore led them to a 4-1 record in the final five games of the season, which led the Panthers’ front office to believe he was ready to become their quarterback thus releasing Delhomme to free agency. The ‘Moore Experiment’ blew up right in their face and lasted less than two games this season before rookie Jimmy Clausen took over in the fourth quarter of last Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.Clausen’s NFL debut was anti-climactic as he connected on seven of thirteen of his passes, with one interception and zero touchdowns.
In fact, Clausen has yet to throw a TD in a Panthers uniform despite playing in three preseason games and the game on Sunday, but that was good enough for Fox to name him the starter this week against Cincinnati. Fox is rumored to be on the hot seat this season so he is trying to do everything in his will to keep his job. Clausen comes to Carolina from Notre Dame as a polished player where he played under Charlie Weis’ pro-style offensive scheme. As to how effective Clausen will be remains a mystery, but having that experience in Weis’ offense should at least help him some. Like most early draft picks at the quarterback position are, Clausen has been tagged “the future of the franchise”. The future starts Sunday for the Panthers.Jimmy Clausen joined the Herd on ESPN Radio to talk about how he feels about being named the starting quarterback this week, whether it helped him to have been coached by Charlie Weis and be in his pro-style of offense, and whether he has been told that the QB position is his.
How he feels about being named the starting quarterback this week:
“I feel good and it is something that I have worked for my whole entire life. Coach Fox and the organization is giving me an opportunity to go out Sunday and perform. I am just real happy, but it is time to get to work now.”
Whether it helped him to have been coached by Charlie Weis and be in his pro-style of offense:
“Definitely. It has definitely helped having Coach Weis and we still talk. We actually talked last night for about 15-20 minutes and he really helps me mentally whether it is at Notre Dame or still today with just everything going on. He has been to Super Bowls so he knows how to do it. I definitely help him for all of the help he gives me.” (Tim read this last line, as I don’t know if it makes sense)
Whether it is intimidating for him to hear about a young quarterback having a bad day and the backlash that comes with it:
“It is not too intimidating. You can’t really focus your attention to everything else that is going on outside of your practice facility, and your team, your coaching staff and your organization. You just got to stay focused and keep grinding. It is a tough league especially for young quarterbacks coming into this league and trying to win games, but at the same time you just try to keep getting better and better every week and improving.”
How close he is to feeling like he owns the playbook:
“I feel like I do own the playbook but at the same time it’s not just owning the playbook, it’s knowing everything in going against a defense in a game situation, under pressure and executing. It is going to be a fun time on Sunday going against the Cincinnati Bengals. They’ve got a great defense. I just got done watching tape. Just going into preparation this week and start getting to work on Wednesday.”
Whether there is a play that comes to mind early when he got to Carolina when he realized the NFL game is faster:
“Yeah definitely. I think it was the 2nd day of OTA’s, I was throwing a comeback to Brandon LaFell and Chris Gamble was covering him and he slipped while he was covering Brandon, and Brandon came out of his break clean, I threw it outside, low and away, Chris recovered coming up off of the ground and he picked the ball. I was like, ‘Wow, this is a
Whether he has been told that the QB position is his:
“Hopefully I am the guy for the rest of the season and the rest of my career. I am just going to take it one day at a time and just start preparing for Sunday. They are giving me an opportunity and I am just going to keep my head down and my blinders up and stay focused and get ready to go for Sunday.”