Today is the second day of my special Carolina Panthers exclusively on Carolina Cat Chronicles. Yesterday we looked at our superstar number one Cam Newton, today isn't as pretty. Only two men have worn our jersey with the number two emblazoned on it, both quarterbacks, and neither are great. Given Dameyune Craig only played in two games for Carolina way back in 2001 with a 50% completion rate on just eight passes, I've had to go for the other guy.
Selected with our first pick in the 2010 NFL draft in the second round as we didn't have a first round pick, Clausen came with all the hype. Good arm, great size, releases the ball quickly, confident and decisive. So why did he drop to the second round? We didn't care, we had just released Jake Delhomme and needed a QB for the future. Clausen played a similar style offense to us at Notre Dame and seemed a perfect fit.
Clausen was to come in, play back-up to Matt Moore and seamlessly transition to starting QB. He ended up starting 10 games that season going 1-9 and leading the Carolina Panthers to their worst ever season in the NFC South, their second worst ever.
Let's break down his stats that year:
1,558 yards and 157 completions from 299 attempts, and an almighty THREE touchdowns and 9 interceptions, whilst fumbling the ball 9 times. Yep, three times as many fumbles as touchdowns from your quarterback. The guy was just terrible.
After deservedly falling down our depth chart to third string in 2011, he spent the next few seasons without playing a regular season snap and fell into the wilderness. He resurfaced in 2014 with the Chicago Bears playing a handful of games. More recently, he replaced an injured Jay Cutler in a week two game versus Arizona earlier this year, throwing an interception which led to an Arizona score. With Cutler remaining on the sideline John Fox, his coach from Carolina, started Clausen in week 3 against Seattle - the result? A shutout and Clausen being cut from the squad.
He has since been signed to the Baltimore Ravens in the wake of Joe Flacco's injury, playing back-up to back-up Matt Schaub.
You may be thinking, 'Why am I being reminded of this atrocity?' Well, firstly I didn't promise each door would provide a good player, but most importantly Clausen was good for us. Imagine if he was average and we won 5 or 6 games that year. What number draft pick would we have had? Clausen's complete inability to throw a football led us to the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft, getting Cam Newton and being exactly where we are now. 11-0. Dominant.
Thank you Jimmy Clausen for being terrible. Happy Christmas.
By Dan Rawlinson