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The pass in the dirt


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#1 Mr. Scot

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:11 AM

Let me say up front that this post is pure conjecture on my part. I have absolutely no support for this theory except my own eyes. Truthfully, I'm hesitant to even post it. There's no real proof to this. It's all just speculation based on observation. And it may well earn me a spot in the tinfoil hat club.

Still, I've decided to go ahead and put it out there, just to see if anyone else saw what I thought I saw this past Sunday.

Very early in the game, Steve Smith called the team's second timeout within less than 90 seconds and then walked over to Clausen with some rather emphatic gestures telling him he had to speed things up.

In response, Clausen barely looked at Smith, walking past him with his eyes aimed at the sideline.

Clausen did look at Smith on the next snap though. Looked at him, and threw a laser of a pass straight at his feet. Smith was open at the time.

The body language of both men was interesting.

When he threw the pass, Clausen's entire body motion looked angry, like a man spiking a ball rather than actually throwing it.

For his part, Smith looked like a man in disbelief, almost a "what the (bleep) was that" stance about him.

Post play, Clausen turned away and walked back to the sidelines, acknowledging nothing and no one.

The rest was history.
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During the remainder of the game, Clausen only threw to Smith twice. Once in the mid 2nd and again in the late 3rd on the play where Smith wound up injured.

Looking at all that, much as I hate to say it, part of me thinks Clausen may have deliberately put that pass in the dirt as a message to Smith.

The message? "Don't embarrass me like that again."

If you believe that's true, it could be argued that Clausen asserting himself would be a good thing. A leader needs to act like a leader, and sometimes that can mean putting other guys in their place.

With that said though, discord on any team is bad. It''s especially bad on a team that's winless and looking terrible.

On the flipside, while you could argue that Smith was a little over-emphatic in his gestures, he was basically right. Clausen needed to speed it up. To be fair, a problem with Clausen's helmet radio connection was partially responsible. Still, this was far from the only time the play clock was an issue. Thus, you'd have to side with Smith in the big picture.
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Regardless of which side you'd take in this argument (all of which is hypothetical until proven otherwise) the last thing the Panthers need at this point is any sort of schism, especially one that has anything to do with the guy that the team needs to be able to rally around.

Again, let me state that there's not a single thing I've read, heard, or seen anywhere else that makes reference to any issue between Clausen and Smith. And even if there was one at the time, it may have been resolved over on the sidelines shortly thereafter. In the absence of any corroborating evidence, no definitive statements can be made.

Worth noting that Clausen was pressured on the play, so it could have just been an overly quick throwaway.

Still, what I saw makes me wonder.

And, in this case, hope that I'm wrong.

Edited by Mr Scot, 05 October 2010 - 04:22 AM.


#2 rico6

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:13 AM

Jimmy's got BALLS.

I like the kid.

#3 Mr. Scot

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:28 AM

I don't think anybody doubts that Clausen has balls.

But there was a lot in the offseason to indicate that the two cocky California boys would hit it off famously.

I'd hate to think that the honeymoon might be over.

But again, this is all just conjecture.

#4 PantherFan52

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:29 AM

Interesting post. If this really happened I really don't know what to think. Like you said it's good to see a QB assert himself, but to do it in that way? One thing is for sure though, Jimmy has got some swagger

#5 Jangler

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:37 AM

Well if any of it is true...looks like Jimmy will have a few weeks to connect with another receiver and then it won't matter. But I guess we can start calling Jimmy..Lex for now anyways.

#6 Mr. Scot

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 03:49 AM

Luthor or Luger?

#7 Ruff

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 05:10 AM

I was thinking something along the same lines. The term that came to mind during the entire thing was "cold-shoulder". It seemed like Jimmy was constantly turning his shoulder on Steve Smith, and honestly, I couldn't be any more happy for him.

I don't think that Steve Smith is the guy for this team to rally behind. And in fact, I think Steve Smith is part of the reason Jake Delhomme imploded. Constantly raging in someone's ear is something that should be frowned upon. Embarrassing your quarterback on national television is also something that shouldn't be tolerated. This is your quarterback. Not your kicker, your tight end, your fullback, your QUARTERBACK. The most important position on the field.

We've seen diva wide receivers explode teams from the inside out doing things like this. T.O. in San Fran, T.O. in Philly, T.O. in Dallas (there's a trend here), Keyshawn in TB, it shouldn't be allowed.

And, what makes me even more upset, is that it happens to a team that is this young. Steve Smith should be a role-model for this individuals, not be the arrogant ass-hole that he has been to them. He's not above the team, by no means, and I think that it's time for him to realize it. (Maybe getting that ankle sprain was karma)

If it comes down to it, I would rather us trade Steve then let go Jimmy. We're a team gearing for the future. We're a young team, that's trying to balance on a razor's edge. We fall one way, we do great, we fall the other way, and we're doomed. And Steve Smith, right now, is a breeze blowing us the wrong way.

#8 Anybodyhome

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 05:39 AM

Lot of hypotheticals, but okay, for the sake of discussion, let's carry on...

"If you believe that's true, it could be argued that Clausen asserting himself would be a good thing. A leader needs to act like a leader, and sometimes that can mean putting other guys in their place."

Wow, I'm not sure I'm ready to assume Jimmy Clausen is a leader on this team. There's no "rule" that says a QB is the leader on a team, no positional hierarchy that lays claim to the leadership role just because you're a QB. I think it's far easier to make the assumption that Steve Smith is the leader of this team and with a known personality and a proven veteran like Smith, I'd be hesitant to even remotely think that Smith is going to pass the reins of leadership to an unproven rookie until the rookie proves himself worthy.

"Regardless of which side you'd take in this argument (all of which is hypothetical until proven otherwise) the last thing the Panthers need at this point is any sort of schism, especially one that has anything to do with the guy that the team needs to be able to rally around."

This reminds me of the "Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen for starter" argument that basically calls for fans to take sides, and that's where the argument starts- you're either a Matt Moore fan or a Jimmy Clausen fan, and you can't be both. It has created a huge divide on this message board and among fans in the stadium. Again, the assumption is being made that the team needs to rally around Clausen for some reason which I think goes back to the "leader" issue. The team will rally around who they feel can step up and lead, they are not going to bear false allegiance to some rookie kid who possibly hasn't earned any modicum of respect or displayed any willingness to become one of the guys (one of the issues that surfaced about him in high school and at Notre Dame).

#9 PantherFanForLife

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 05:54 AM

This reminds me of the "Matt Moore or Jimmy Clausen for starter" argument that basically calls for fans to take sides, and that's where the argument starts- you're either a Matt Moore fan or a Jimmy Clausen fan, and you can't be both. It has created a huge divide on this message board and among fans in the stadium. Again, the assumption is being made that the team needs to rally around Clausen for some reason which I think goes back to the "leader" issue. The team will rally around who they feel can step up and lead, they are not going to bear false allegiance to some rookie kid who possibly hasn't earned any modicum of respect or displayed any willingness to become one of the guys (one of the issues that surfaced about him in high school and at Notre Dame).


I can't say that I have seen too many of your posts, but I couldn't agree more with that statement. Unfortunatelly this message board has a major problem with that concept.

You're either for or against, no in-between, no middle ground. I can't possibly agree that starting Clausen was a good idea AT THE TIME when he was started. I also can't possibly agree that we would still be 0-4 with Matt under center. I can't possibly agree that this team will have a better year with Clausen under center than if we would have kept Moore. I can't possibly agree that Moore wouldn't have also shown improvement over the first two games.

However I couldn't possibly agree with going back to Moore now that these events have transpired. I can't possibly agree with a benching of Clausen or not giving him time to prove himself. I can't possibly deny the improvement he showed from last week's game to this week's game.

And I certainly can't agree that Matt would have turned out to be a better QB than Jimmy in the long run. But on the same token, there is no guarantee that Jimmy will be that guy either and there's no reason to come to a definite conclusion about him based on a couple of games.

I can only judge the now, and the circumstances that are taking place leading up to the now.

And right now, I feel EITHER one of those QB's along with this team would have been a better QB and this would have been a better team with some wins under their belts, if the SAME guy would have played in ALL 4 games.





For the original post, yeah that is not the way to make yourself leader. Asserting oneself is great if you are a good player on a new team. In Jimmy's case, he's a rookie. Despite the fact he is a QB, a leader of this team he is not yet. As unfair as it may seem, his AGE also plays a factor. He's not just a rookie, but a young rookie who makes a lot of rookie mistakes. Until he proves himself consistently he is also a hyped, and possibly overrated rookie who makes rookie mistakes. Until you win your 4-5 games in a row...and play some excellent to near perfect games....as a rookie, as a young rookie, still making so many mistakes.....THE LAST thing you want to do in order to be seen as and to EARN your leadership status is to try and ASSERT yourself on veteran superstars.

That's just plain fuging stupid.

#10 coralreefer_1

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 05:55 AM

I don't think Smith was being arrogant as much as he is obviously frustrated that the team is not performing the way we all would like. Wasn't it in the interview in which he shed a few tears expressing his burning desire to be listed with some of the greatest players of all time. The guy does not want to be just a "good" receiver, he wants to be one of the greatest, and looking at how our team is rebuilding for a future rather than a "now" , most of us would probably be looking at how many years we have left and whether or not our current team or system is going to get us there, and feel very similar.

Each game he plays is one less game he will ever play, and when he looks at his career, his years remaining (age), our current team as it stands, his contract, and the decreasing possibilities that this team will ever help him to accomplish his goal..its no wonder he himself is in a hurry up mode.

I agree with the above statements concerning 89, but I think as any man who is seeing his dream and goal slipping away each week it is understandable.

#11 PantherFanForLife

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:01 AM

I don't think Smith was being arrogant as much as he is obviously frustrated that the team is not performing the way we all would like. Wasn't it in the interview in which he shed a few tears expressing his burning desire to be listed with some of the greatest players of all time. The guy does not want to be just a "good" receiver, he wants to be one of the greatest, and looking at how our team is rebuilding for a future rather than a "now" , most of us would probably be looking at how many years we have left and whether or not our current team or system is going to get us there, and feel very similar.

Each game he plays is one less game he will ever play, and when he looks at his career, his years remaining (age), our current team as it stands, his contract, and the decreasing possibilities that this team will ever help him to accomplish his goal..its no wonder he himself is in a hurry up mode.

I agree with the above statements concerning 89, but I think as any man who is seeing his dream and goal slipping away each week it is understandable.




Sure that may be one of the underlying reasons. But I think the primary reason is this...he's the best receiver we have. He's the team's biggest superstar. He's been hung out to dry, thrown to in double and triple coverage has been down and back up from personal embaressment on this team, has had broken arms and recovered, dealth with multiple shitty seasons, but most of all: despite some of the most attrocious QB playing he has had to deal with, HE HAS MADE PLAYS WHEN THE BALL WAS THROWN HIS WAY. He simply wants to know why he's no longer getting that opportunity, when this guy can take any lobbed poo pass and turn it into something great.

It's really that simple. And he's asking the guy in charge of that.

#12 cookinbrak

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:03 AM

Calling a time out when the play clock is running down is about as embarrassing as being pushed out of the way of a speeding car. Claussen has trouble with short passes, he throws a few into the ground because he's throwing too hard. He needs to develop his touch a bit.

#13 ladypanther

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:11 AM

Showing up the QB was not a smart thing for Smitty to do.

#14 Punisher

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:22 AM

I don't think Smith was being arrogant as much as he is obviously frustrated that the team is not performing the way we all would like. Wasn't it in the interview in which he shed a few tears expressing his burning desire to be listed with some of the greatest players of all time. The guy does not want to be just a "good" receiver, he wants to be one of the greatest, and looking at how our team is rebuilding for a future rather than a "now" , most of us would probably be looking at how many years we have left and whether or not our current team or system is going to get us there, and feel very similar.

Each game he plays is one less game he will ever play, and when he looks at his career, his years remaining (age), our current team as it stands, his contract, and the decreasing possibilities that this team will ever help him to accomplish his goal..its no wonder he himself is in a hurry up mode.

I agree with the above statements concerning 89, but I think as any man who is seeing his dream and goal slipping away each week it is understandable.


That is kinda selfish tough. Individual should be put ahead of team goals. So if he has to throw a fit every time he isn't meeting a goal..well then.

#15 Zod

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 06:27 AM

Its looking like Clausen, like Smith, has a chip on his shoulder.

I like it.


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