Posted 14 December 2010 - 02:47 PM
Ok so I thought I would go back and just have a look at what Jimmy was scouted as:
* Very good but not excellent short-to-intermediate accuracy
* Good placements on fades, where only receivers can catch it
* Good arm strength on crossing and out patterns
* Places it tight over the middle
* Good ability to look off the safety
* Good footwork in the pocket
* Keeps eyes downfield when pressured
* Throws well on the run
* Fiery emotional leader
* Football IQ
* Ball Carriage
* Throws high due to throwing action
* Needs to throw outside throws consistently to the outside shoulder
* Tries to throw too hard at times
* Winds up when tying to throw fast
* Needs to sell pump fake better
* Takes too many chances downfield - eschewing his underneath options
* Throws late over the middle or across his body
* Late feeling backside pressure
Now some of those seem completely out of place and some people are criticising him for things he apparently had in abundance. Before anyone starts commenting that not all players translate to the NFL, I am aware of that as much as it's not ideal referencing a draft report once they are in the NFL. However there are some thing that are pretty clear from everywhere I look.
What seems odd
Clausen has apparently been a fiery leader his whole college life. Really determined, gutsy and puts everything on the line whilst willing to play hurt. We simply haven't seen that. Now complain about him all you want, but those things are part of his personality, meaning they won't simply have gone away.
Dumps offs Vs Deep Throws
He was CRITICISED for being too aggressive, yet now is the complete opposite. Huh? How can a rookie completely change the way he approaches the game, in the space of 8 starts and a few months? The only logical thing that cries out to me is coaching, however that is completely subjective. The only other thing I can suggest is linked to his football smarts. He is TRYING to play the sensible ball and take what the defence gives him, unfortunately the ramifications of that is no veritable threat in the passing game. Tied to this...
Belief in team mates
He had complete faith in NDs receivers, none in ours. Either he doesn't trust himself to get them the ball, or he doesn't think they can beat their matchups. Either is pretty bad, but there must be a small part of having two rookie WRs and one in your face veteran as your primary throwing options.
Considered to have decent but not elite footwork around in the pocket, especially considering how much pressure he had faced. That is not there, with him constantly being twitchy and almost never stepping up into the pocket. Odd, but this was never his 'strongest' college area.
What has proven true
Problems detecting pressure
Yeah it's true, he can't pressure from certain places. However the concept of being sacked is not a new things. His OLine set records with sacks in his early years, so as much as people criticise him for running scared, this is nothing new to him. Despite this his pocket presence is a problem for one reason or another.
Linked to his problems with pressure, the kid is continuing to come out, put on a brave face and face the eternal pounding and criticism. Oddly, if there is one rookie who might be able to snap out of this, it might actually be him as he went through similar (albeit not as extreme) difficulties early on.
Forget the snaps, focus on how often he has fumbled it despite how often he has been sacked. He does protect the football when it's finally in his hands.
To be determined
Simple fact is he has not thrown enough types of passes to really get an idea on this. He has had moments where he has thrown the perfect pass, then others where hes been wildly off target. Not only that he appears to refuse to make the tough throw at the moment, preferring to protect the ball. A noble concept, especially considering our running game, however for his development
On more than one occasion he single handily marched ND back into games late in the 4th quarter. There have been a couple of drives where he has done this late, but never found the end zone. they were also when the game was out of reach other than against the Browns. Still this was supposed to be one of his strongest areas, so I am willing to bet there is more in the tank.
Clausen has had about as bad a rookie campaign as you can have. He looks dejected and he looks like he knows his time with the Panthers is up. However go back to the Browns game and he was on the field staring down the field goal getting ready to celebrate. I know there is nothing to get excited about, however I am not willing to write him off yet. I think it would be a huge mistake to just cut ties with him simply because of this year, he has proven year after year to improve, so let's see how he is in pre-season. Who knows we may end up with a Brees-Rivers scenario (with less talent).