I just don't think you can give up on a guy like that.
1. I think he was thrown in there too early and with players just as inexperienced as he was. Then when things weren't going well, he was taken back out. The revolving door at quarterback this year was less than helpful.
2. You said "I don't want to hear about how the team was bad," well, you can't really answer that question without taking that into consideration. If it's 8 games into the season before we have a 100 yard rusher, there's a sign that the offense isn't working. Maybe not for another team, but for a team that's built on its ability to run the football, that is an obvious sign that the offense isn't working the way it should. Factor that in with a young quarterback, young receivers, a standoffish Steve Smith and an offensive line that can't pass protect to save its life and you have the makings for a disasterous season with a 2nd round quarterback.
3. I really don't know that a season is enough to determine the guy's ability, namely because I think he was put in too early. How many seasons did Rodgers sit behind Favre before he got his shot? And now he's playing excellent football. That's not to say that Clausen is a mold of Aaron Rodgers, that's just a strong case for sitting rookie quarterbacks.
4. I really think that fans of the NFL have been spoiled by the quarterback play of recently drafted rookies. Flacco, Ryan, Bradford to a lesser extent and Roethlisberger are all guys who came in and played well, or really well, right out of the gate. I think those guys would tend to be the outliers in that particular data set, and not the trend-line.
5. I will give you this: If Andrew Luck is there, he's someone the Panthers can not pass up. He's a can't miss guy. If he's not there, I don't know that QB is the Panthers' biggest need. And yeah, that's probably a bold statement but it's one I'm willing to stand behind.
6. All things considered, I think Jimmy has done a great job of handling himself this season. He was put in a tough spot, and I think maintained poise and class throughout the season. I don't think I heard him once blame anyone. That was a big knock on him coming out and I think he responded to that criticism proactively and we saw that this season.
After just typing all that, I'm not convinced that Clausen is starter material right now, but I think he could be eventually. That being said, I'll stick with my argument that if Luck is there, you have to take him.
Edited by neverlosethefeeling, 03 January 2011 - 06:54 PM.