Jimmy Clausen didn’t have the kind of season he envisioned when he was drafted last season. For that matter, I don’t think the Carolina Panthers expected to go 2-14 either. He was drafted to come in and sit on the sidelines and learn behind Matt Moore, but that was short-lived when Moore was injured in the fourth quarter of the first game of the season. Clausen came into the game and quickly realized he was overwhelmed at how fast the game is played in the NFL. He played in 13 games, starting 10 of those, throwing three touchdowns to nine interceptions, completing 58% of his passes, which by the way was the worst of any qualified passer. I guess it doesn’t help much when Carolina’s roster is filled with a bunch of young players, but still, that isn’t an excuse for such a bad season. After drafting three quarterbacks last season, it looks as though the Panthers are forced to draft another one because Moore and Clausen haven’t shown any promise.
Jimmy Clausen joined WQAM in Miami on the Michael Irvin Show to talk about what his rookie season in the NFL was like, if Carolina has a solid group of young players that to build upon to make a run at a Super Bowl in the coming years, and whether he was ready to play when he became the starting quarterback last season.
What his rookie season in the NFL was like:
“You know it was definitely a tough season for us going 2-14. We definitely had a lot of ups and downs, mostly downs this season, but the biggest thing I am going to take away from this season is just the experience and just going through the entire season struggling and going through that adversity. I think that is just going to help us down the road and there is a lot of things I learned. I picked up the speed of the game, more knowledge of playing in the National Football League and just trying to make plays out there. Like I said, I dealt with a lot of adversity this year and I just think that it is going to help down the road.”
If Carolina has a solid group of young players that to build upon to make a run at a Super Bowl in the coming years:
“Definitely. There is a great group of guys assembled in Carolina. That is the exciting part, obviously, we were young last year and will still be this upcoming year but growing together and being real young is just going to help us down the road. Like you said, going 1-15 and then 3-12 and just keep building upon that you guys went to four Super Bowls after that, I think. That is our goal right now to keep building and improving from the year before.”
Whether he was ready to play when he became the starting quarterback last season:
“I don’t know. You always have to be ready to be called on. That is what they drafted you for. Some guys have that time to be able to sit back and watch and I got to do that for the first three quarters of the game in the first game of the season and I got thrown in there on the last series cause Matt Moore went down, but you just have to be ready to go from day one. I think it was a tough situation but at the end of the day it is only going to help me get better.”
What kind of experience the NFL Scouting Combine is and how important it is in the draft:
“You know I think it is definitely important. The draft is a long, long process and the combine is a big portion of that process and you have your Pro Day and then you are just waiting, sitting back until draft day. For me, last year going in I couldn’t workout or do anything because I just had surgery on my foot but it is a good time to go into those meetings and meet the coaches, meet the general managers, and just to sit with them one-on-one face-to-face and sometimes it is going to be the first time you are going to meet a head coach or a general manger, so you could get your story out there and just get a feel for that and they could get a feel for you as well.”
What it is like to be around the best NFL prospects at the Scouting Combine after playing and watching them:
“It is awesome. It is an amazing experience. For the guys that are going through it right now, it is going to be a tough time for them because they have a lot of things to deal with but at the end of the day it is a dream come true for them and they get the opportunity to go out there on the field and compete with the best college players in their class coming out. It is a great experience meeting different guys you either watched or played against that those relationships and friendships will last for the rest of your life.”