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Clausen - Personal Beef with Smitty Affecting His Play?/Overall Improvement?


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#1 Proudiddy

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:08 PM

I'll be honest, he did better today and I was happy that he did take at least ONE chance when he threw up the lob to Smitty between the corner and safety, although it wasn't completed.

Even though Skelton made mistakes, his ability to find the open man, especially downfield, is WAY ahead of Clausen's.

I may talk smack about Clausen, like many have around here for good reason, but I was really hoping he would show something in the last few games - in part because I want him to be useable in Madden online play, and the other part so I feel like he has some value going forward (whether that be to trade him for something or compete with whoever here is next year).

He looked much better overall, but I honestly wonder if sometimes he either just isn't seeing Smitty or if he is purposely not throwing it to him because of the rift between them. I counted at least 3 different plays where he could've thrown it to him or up for him and he either ran it or took a sack.

Fox highlighted one of the plays, the route looked kind of like that "X-Clown" route, and Smitty got up the field one-on-one with the defender with no help over the top. Clausen appeared to look at him and then looked it off, tucked it and ran. This is my biggest beef with him. Throw it up. We have nothing to lose but the game itself, and we've already done it 12 times - no biggie, lol. But, he won't do it.

Then on the play where two Arizona defenders were on the backfield almost immediately after it was snapped and sacked him (I believe Goodson barely nicked a guy coming in, and the other ran through free)... If you watched the play, or replay, you'll notice Smitty running across on a crossing or drag route with a good body length between he and his defender. He was right in front of Clausen, and if Clausen knew the play, you'd think he could tell where the blitz was coming from and to lead Smitty with the pass. Odds are there was little to no help on the right side because they blitzed...

Instead, again, it looked like he knew Smitty was coming across, felt the pressure and took the sack.

And IIRC, there was another crossing route he ignored.

Additionally, aside from Smitty, Eugene Robinson pointed out on the radio broadcast on the first drive (3rd down) that Goodson was lined up as a receiver and apparently the defender was backed off of him by about 10 yards. Robinson said this was his biggest problem with Clausen, that when you see something like that, you alert the WR, or whoever, go "sandlot" and snap the ball and sling it to the guy ASAP. Instead, he waited to snap it, got it, then waited for the defender to pick up Goodson, then tried to get it to him anyway and it was bad pass/incomplete.

Despite the TD pass, which I was happy to see but still thought Clausen was lucky to get that because he seemed panicked when he threw it, I still didn't see much improvement.

Sad to say, I think the TD pass was actually a result of a good playcall, perhaps the first and only time this year, as it was well designed. It was dangerously close to being incomplete as well. He still won't take chances down the field, he doesn't let plays develop and doesn't seem to trust either his arm, the receivers, or both.

The OL also played like crap and Gross has continued to look BAD, period. But the stuff that Clausen is still missing seems hard to ignore at this point. I don't understand how he is missing these things STILL after starting this many games. I can't even count how many crossing routes I've seen Smitty get wide open on and he ended up throwing it away, taking a sack, or whatever... I don't think his value is getting any higher if scouts are seeing the same things I am as a fan.

He played better, but I still don't see that much of a difference from his performances before. (I will admit he ran more than he threw away today, which I was happy to see, but still bailing on too many plays)

What do you think?

#2 Gazi

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:11 PM

NFL is too fast for him IMO. He's not seeing him

#3 OneBadassCat

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:14 PM

Smitty was running like a wild man on the field today. He should have had at least a 100 yds.

Edited by OneBadassCat, 19 December 2010 - 08:20 PM.


#4 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:15 PM

Aren't many of the mistakes you mention rookie mistakes? Picking up the Goodson thing is something a Veteran would do, not a guy who has started 10 games or so. Fwiw, many of them could even be the result of the coaches telling him "don't take to many chances".

What bothers me more about Clausen is his mechanics. The slow windup and release, along with his relatively low throws will be more difficult to fix.

#5 AggieLean.

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:20 PM

Whatever lil beef or vendetta with Smitty he has, he needs to get over it and get Smith the ball. He's been ignoring Smith most this season, and today he was open all game.

#6 Vagrant

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:20 PM

I think the chances of that being true are minimal. Clausen is in no position to be overlooking open targets because of any personal feelings regarding a player. On the play that FOX showed where he could have hit Smith, Clausen didn't even have time to get the ball out. Smith still had two cuts left on his route when two guys had hands up in his face. Throwing that ball would have been irresponsible.

Clausen, like it or not, has taken the organizational line of protecting the football at any cost to heart. He's not taking any chances because he doesn't want to throw any picks. For a rookie quarterback that has thrown 243 attempts, only 7 interceptions is a pretty remarkable number. That means that when he's facing pressure, he'll take a sack 9 out of 10 times to avoid throwing an interception. With that safety, you also eliminate the big play at the same time because rarely do you get to throw the ball without some kind of pressure into some kind of coverage.

He is doing exactly as instructed. Protecting the football is not the only trait that a QB needs to learn in this league and taking your lumps by throwing picks is a really good way to learn. Peyton Manning threw over 25 picks his rookie season. He also threw over 25 touchdowns. Teaching a young quarterback to only manage the game and not screw up is ignoring the very purpose of the quarterback position.

Fox, knowing he is on the way out, would rather see Clausen dink and dunk his way down field for field goals than to throw 3 TD and 3 INT in 40 attempts and losing..... even if the latter would be better for his development. Fox couldn't care less about Jimmy Clausen after these final two games, so he's trying to squeeze the kid for all the juice he can.

#7 Proudiddy

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:21 PM

NFL is too fast for him IMO. He's not seeing him


Not to pile on him, but I just think if you study the game film, you know what you're doing poorly on and you work your butt off to improve it. I'm willing to bet that if he studies that he'd see how many of these plays he's leaving on the field. If he'd take another step back, or a couple to the side to buy time, all he's got to do is lay it out there for Smitty, but he doesn't. It's the same stuff since day one.

I can't remember where I heard this during the week, may have been NFLN but not sure... I think they were discussing the #1 pick, but they were talking about where we were going if we got it, and whoever it was said that people in our organization have been disappointed in Clausen and he doesn't seem to be developing. That's obvious, but they went on to mention that we were specifically disappointed in his work ethic. I think this points to that, if that is true.

Smitty was running like a wild man on the field today. He should have had at least a 100 yds today.


I really hope all this trade talk has just been speculation and he sticks around for JR... Hopefully, we'll have a REAL QB and OC in here next year that will make up for this lost season. I also think if MM would've stayed healthy, Smitty would've still had a respectable year, like 70+ rec, 900 + yards, 7 TDs+... It's really sad what Clausen is doing to him.

#8 Vagrant

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:22 PM

Aren't many of the mistakes you mention rookie mistakes? Picking up the Goodson thing is something a Veteran would do, not a guy who has started 10 games or so. Fwiw, many of them could even be the result of the coaches telling him "don't take to many chances".

What bothers me more about Clausen is his mechanics. The slow windup and release, along with his relatively low throws will be more difficult to fix.


The balls batted down at the line could be fixed with a simple addition of a pump fake. The truth is that Clausen is scared he doesn't have enough time.... and sadly that assumption is true most of the time. He needs it out hot as soon as he sees something open or he's half a click away from becoming one with the grass.

#9 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:24 PM

The balls batted down at the line could be fixed with a simple addition of a pump fake. The truth is that Clausen is scared he doesn't have enough time.... and sadly that assumption is true most of the time. He needs it out hot as soon as he sees something open or he's half a click away from becoming one with the grass.


I don't think its quite that simple. His throws seem to come out sidearmed at times.

#10 Mr ocho nueve

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:25 PM

If you played behind that offensive line you would be scared and shaky too.

#11 Vagrant

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:27 PM

I don't think its quite that simple. His throws seem to come out sidearmed at times.


The ball does come out at a low angle for him, which wouldn't be a problem if he were a few inches taller, but I still contend that if you can get these defensive linemen to commit to a batted pass with a pump fake and then throw it over them on the way down the batted passes problem would be of minimal concern. The truth is that he doesn't have a lot of time back there and it's exposing his greatest weakness of pocket awareness and escapeability.

#12 Proudiddy

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:29 PM

Aren't many of the mistakes you mention rookie mistakes? Picking up the Goodson thing is something a Veteran would do, not a guy who has started 10 games or so. Fwiw, many of them could even be the result of the coaches telling him "don't take to many chances".

What bothers me more about Clausen is his mechanics. The slow windup and release, along with his relatively low throws will be more difficult to fix.


Agreed about his mechanics, which I have been really surprised and disappointed in. I had no idea they were this bad when he was at ND, as most of us heard how he was raised to be a QB, and coached up from an early age, etc. I had no idea they were this poor.

As far as the mistakes, I can't give him the rookie pass... Unless the coaching staff is telling him that, IDK... It's hard for anyone to not see that and make that play, rookie or not.

Whatever lil beef or vendetta with Smitty he has, he needs to get over it and get Smith the ball. He's been ignoring Smith most this season, and today he was open all game.


Agreed.


I think the chances of that being true are minimal. Clausen is in no position to be overlooking open targets because of any personal feelings regarding a player. On the play that FOX showed where he could have hit Smith, Clausen didn't even have time to get the ball out. Smith still had two cuts left on his route when two guys had hands up in his face. Throwing that ball would have been irresponsible.

Clausen, like it or not, has taken the organizational line of protecting the football at any cost to heart. He's not taking any chances because he doesn't want to throw any picks. For a rookie quarterback that has thrown 243 attempts, only 7 interceptions is a pretty remarkable number. That means that when he's facing pressure, he'll take a sack 9 out of 10 times to avoid throwing an interception. With that safety, you also eliminate the big play at the same time because rarely do you get to throw the ball without some kind of pressure into some kind of coverage.

He is doing exactly as instructed. Protecting the football is not the only trait that a QB needs to learn in this league and taking your lumps by throwing picks is a really good way to learn. Peyton Manning threw over 25 picks his rookie season. He also threw over 25 touchdowns. Teaching a young quarterback to only manage the game and not screw up is ignoring the very purpose of the quarterback position.

Fox, knowing he is on the way out, would rather see Clausen dink and dunk his way down field for field goals than to throw 3 TD and 3 INT in 40 attempts and losing..... even if the latter would be better for his development. Fox couldn't care less about Jimmy Clausen after these final two games, so he's trying to squeeze the kid for all the juice he can.


I think if anything, his flaws could have more to do with what was drilled into him since he was young. I think he was told the best way to succeed was to minimize mistakes, and any points scored are a bonus. I don't think what he's doing came from one season of coaching. I think in order to get him scouted heavily and such that he was coached up to not take unnecessary chances, and we're seeing the manifestation of that in the throwaways, sacks, and runs for 3 yards.

I also think the habit of checking down is a result of his coaching from a young age as well. I know it's just speculating, but otherwise, it just makes no sense. I think he was programmed to limit mistakes and hitting the easy passes and then letting the receiver do the work will pump up your stats if it works. He takes the least amount of shots downfield I've ever seen in a QB, rookie or not.

Oh, and about the route Fox highlighted where he didn't throw it to Smitty... Smitty was looking back most of the route after the first cut... All he had to do was lob it up and let him go get it. After he broke the pocket he didn't have much time to get it out, but he could have. I think he's scared to take the hit and didn't want to take the chance. He had enough time to throw it out though IMO, even if it was behind him, he should've gave him a chance.

Edited by Proudiddy, 19 December 2010 - 08:31 PM.


#13 Davidson Deac II

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:39 PM

Fwiw, Bradford made many of the same mistakes in his game today as Clausen did. And threw a couple of picks. In fact, in his last two games, Bradford has looked as bad as Clausen.

Edited by Davidson Deac II, 19 December 2010 - 08:47 PM.


#14 Chimera

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:43 PM

NFL is too fast for him IMO. He's not seeing him


This.
Jimmy was probably the best high school quarterback, ever. It took a little over a season for him to adjust to college. I expect him to finally start showing improvement sometime in 2012.

#15 Awesomeness!!

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:47 PM

I think Jimmy may have peaked today. Expect a sharp decline starting Thursday.


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