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January 21, 2011

Clausen ready to work with Shula

The tweet went out around 5:30 on Friday evening from Jimmy Clausen's Twitter feed, about a half-hour after Mike Shula was announced as the Panthers' newest assistant:

Can't wait to work with Coach Shula!!! Met him a few times and thrilled to have him as our new QB Coach.”

Clausen never speaks in exclamation points around reporters. So he's either really excited about the addition of Shula to Ron Rivera's staff or he wants to make a good first cyber-impression.

Clausen, who's at Notre Dame this semester finishing his sociology degree, is probably just happy to start fresh with a new position coach after a rookie season that he – and everyone associated with the Panthers – would like to forget.

You've seen the ugly numbers listed here and elsewhere: Clausen, the first player taken by the Panthers in last year's draft, was 1-9 as a starter with an NFL-worst 58.4 passer rating. He tossed nine interceptions and three touchdowns, none to a wide receiver.

Clausen, who played under Charlie Weis at Notre Dame, now is the hands of an Alabama man, unless or until the Panthers draft Cam Newton or sign a veteran quarterback.

Shula's most recent QB work produced a mixed bag.

After Shula was run out of Tuscaloosa to make way for Nick Saban, he landed in Jacksonville, where David Garrard had wrested the starting job away from Byron Leftwich.

Garrard, a fourth-round pick from East Carolina, had been in the league since 2002 but had not started more than five games until 2006, the year before Shula arrived.

In Shula's first season, Garrard jumped from 16th in the league in passer rating to third, behind a couple of guys named Brady and Roethlisberger. The Jaguars went 11-5 in 2007, won a wild-card game in Pittsburgh before falling to the Brady-led Pats in New England in the divisional round.

Garrard and the Jags have been rather middling in the three years since. Garrard has finished 20th, 17th and 13th in passer rating, while Jacksonville has gone 5-11, 7-9 and 8-8.

They'll always have '07.

It's not a clean comparison. Garrard has more speed, scrambling skills and a stronger arm than Clausen, who has more of a pedigree.

But Garrard had the benefit of sitting for four years behind Mark Brunell and Leftwich. Clausen was thrown to the wolves in Week 3 when Matt Moore went bad, and took over for good after Moore went down with a season-ending shoulder injury.

Clausen might still get that season or two of seasoning if the Panthers bring in a veteran QB. Either way, his relationship with Shula will be (to borrow a punctuation mark) critical!!!

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on January 21, 2011 at 11:30 PM | Permalink


Clausen he better start working or find work outside the NFL

Posted by: d | Jan 22, 2011 12:28:09 AM

I've seen enough of Clausen. He sucks.

Posted by: curt | Jan 22, 2011 1:32:28 AM

Clausen says some silly stuff on his twitter. he is the guy that says "hehe time for a hair cut, hehe lol"

He might be a homo, but I hope he turns out to be great. GO PANTHERS!

Posted by: dusty | Jan 22, 2011 2:43:20 AM

Letter to Jimmy:

The NFL's scary isn't it? Not quite the same as college. A bit humbling, I am sure. Finish your degree. Then start another one. Not many million-dollar-a-year sociologists out there. Live simply and put that NFL money away somewhere and let it grow. Talk to former NFL guys. They have to work after leaving the NFL and not all of them can be on TV.

As a fan I hope you will turn into Peyton Manning. (Really) He was 3-13 his first year. But if you don't, have a back up plan and Notre Dame is no small university. But work on the next degree, online or whichever way you choose. Stash that NFL money and plan ahead. Good luck in 2011.

Posted by: Ben | Jan 22, 2011 7:24:35 AM

Hey coach shula...two words for ya....check down!

Posted by: Clausen | Jan 22, 2011 7:26:31 AM

Person, glad to hear that you think Clausen still has a chance. Your boy Fowler has acted as judge and jury and passed sentence on Clausen labeling him as nothing more than a 2-bit backup.

Posted by: ILikePike | Jan 22, 2011 7:30:10 AM

Big mistake. Shula is an over-rated bum with an ego to match.

Posted by: BobSaccamano | Jan 22, 2011 7:31:15 AM

You can't blame all of Clausen's problems on the fact that the Panthers receivers sucked. Tebow, McCoy & Bradford played for bad teams but performed at a much higher level than Little Jimmy. The guy has happy feet in the pocket and doesn't see the whole field. His throwing motion is jerky and takes too long. He says his arm strength was hindered by his foot injury but the fact is he doesn't have a rocket arm. As much as I hate to say it Fowler is right on this one. Clausen will not be a NFL starting QB in 2011 or ever.

Posted by: Jimcat | Jan 22, 2011 8:29:16 AM

This is hiring a guy with some credibilty. Good show. He can help Pike,Moore, or even Edwards in a limited role (Riviera will be able to find a way to get him on the field for plays wheras in Denver Tebo is about to become a punt returner). If he makes something out of Clausen (pedigree? please,gag, Brady Quinn) then there will be pigs flying around downtown Charlotte.

Posted by: Joe Friday | Jan 22, 2011 8:59:37 AM

I like how everyone says Jimmy isn't a starting QB, but he started 10 games last year. Seems like it should be stated another way. Maybe franchise quarterback or playoff QB.

Posted by: side note | Jan 22, 2011 9:03:11 AM

I wish they would give Armanti Edwards a chance at backup QB. They have this image on what a QB should be but who cares. Look at Vick. Bring West Coast Offense and let him run it. I think there might be something there for a coach who will take a chance. What is the difference between Edwards and Tebow. Remember when Edwards took down Michigan.

Posted by: Kelso | Jan 22, 2011 9:11:13 AM

"unless or until the Panthers draft Cam Newton..."

I hope that was a joke. If the Panthers WASTE the #1 pick on Cam Newton, I am done with them.

If that happens it just go to show that no one in that fron office has a clue. Another draft pick down the toilet on yet another SPREAD OFFENSE QB?

The Panthers will then be the next version of the Detroit Lions but not with wide receivers...but QB's.

Posted by: DR | Jan 22, 2011 9:12:14 AM

To play in the NFL you need grows a set of BALLS.......................

Posted by: boydsgrigg | Jan 22, 2011 9:39:50 AM

Speaking of QB's, I would like to see more of Tony Pike. I thought he looked fairly good in the one quarter he got some playing time. I also hear he has gained some weight. He may emerge since he hasn't been thrown to the wolves like Clausen.
Also, is there any update on Ricky Prohel for WR coach?

Posted by: SC Ken | Jan 22, 2011 9:47:22 AM

LOL to Ben!! Very humbling down to earth letter bro. But seriously humerous!

Posted by: Chuck | Jan 22, 2011 9:47:27 AM

Wow, Wow, Wooooow. Did you say Armanti Edwards and Michael Vick in back to back sentences Kelso? Lose that thought QUICKLY before you give somebody an anurism.

That was the biggest waist of a second round pick I have ever seen, (which is turned into a damn good 2nd round pick (33rd overall)).

I'm still mad about that. Hell, I damn near touched the field more than he did. And he is not an NFL QB. Stop the damn madness!!!

Posted by: Chuck | Jan 22, 2011 9:52:28 AM

Wow, Wow, Wooooow. Did you say Armanti Edwards and Michael Vick in back to back sentences Kelso? Lose that thought QUICKLY before you give somebody an anurism.

That was the biggest waist of a second round pick I have ever seen, (which is turned into a damn good 2nd round pick (33rd overall)).

I'm still mad about that. Hell, I damn near touched the field more than he did. And he is not an NFL QB. Stop the damn madness!!!

Posted by: Chuck | Jan 22, 2011 9:52:28 AM

The relationship will be irrelevant. The starting point, the basic goods, is the issue. Zig Ziglar truthfully said, "The best way to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear is to start with a silk sow." The core talents or abilities just aren't there. Thanks, Marty, for a wasted draft pick and a wasted season. With him running the draft (and the roster) again, we have a legitimate chance at Luck next year with the 2012 No. 1 pick.

Posted by: PantherFancier | Jan 22, 2011 9:52:33 AM

Kelso, I hope you were joking when you compared Tebow and Edwards. I think Armanti could develop into a good WR but I don't think he'll be an NFL QB. His arm strength is nowhere near Vick's. I've seen Edwards play QB and he was a good COLLEGE quarterback. However, Tebow played in the SEC and won there. Armanti's signature win came against a Michigan team that would have lost to Independence that year.

Posted by: DeezNuuuuuutz | Jan 22, 2011 9:55:52 AM

It's also not a fair comparison BC of the offensive schemes each team ran and the situation each playing was dealing with. Garrard was winning the job in an organization who was satisfied with the QB corp in place. Clausen was thrown in his rookie year because the choice Fox made was to not get a viable veteran QB in the offseason. Also, there is the difference between the coaching situations. Fox knew he wasn't being brought back, Del Rio had job security.

You cant overlook the fact that the Panthers had the most predictable play calling in NFL history.

You make it sound like the QB coach is the only factor in determining if the QB is good. The Panthers new OC runs a very QB friendly offense where Jeff Davidson ran, ran, pass, punt.

It's apples to oranges.

Posted by: patmcrotch | Jan 22, 2011 11:15:14 AM


Posted by: john | Jan 22, 2011 11:36:57 AM

Coach Shula...spend some time developing Tony Pike. He's 6'6, has mobility, quick release, and puts touch on his passes. He will deliver consistently on underneath routes & check downs. Throws a good deep ball.

In my opinion, he's the best QB on the roster and has a lot of potential. He needs some strength conditioning, though.

Posted by: Rick | Jan 22, 2011 12:06:54 PM

I don't think it matters whether Clausen is ready or unready to work with Shula...

Posted by: Quintin Schwab | Jan 22, 2011 12:20:13 PM

Good Lord what a bunch of ridiculous comments.

Posted by: Mlk666 | Jan 22, 2011 12:46:02 PM

Brain-Dead Panthers Fan Mad Libs!

If the Panthers ____________ I am SERIOUSLY done as a fan.

Give ________ a shot at playing ________! I watched every game last year, so I know this roster. The coaches who spend 60 hours a week around the time, have probably never thought of my idea!

Posted by: Chris | Jan 22, 2011 1:04:06 PM

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