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Article:A Late, Victorious Fall for Clausen and Panthers

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“This is the story of a girl who cried a river and drowned the whole [Panthers’ organization] and while she looks so sad in photographs I absolutely love her when she smiles…”

For the past two NFL seasons, the Carolina Panthers has given its fans nothing to smile about.

In 2009, the Panthers scrapped their way to an 8-8 season.  They were an above-average professional team playing at a division I-AA level.  They were a team trying to find a way to sustain its QB, Jake Delhomme.  They were also fighting for a defensive end, Julius Peppers, who wanted nothing to do with the organization.

However, the Carolina couldn’t lose hope in a gritty Delhomme,  nor could it give up on their DE.  Instead of doing what is right, in a business manner, Carolina gave up a season of playing real football and gave up 16.2 million.

Keeping Delhomme and shelving out over one million per game for Peppers seemed reasonable to the ole faithful Panthers nation when turning back the hour glass.

In 2008, the Panthers became the premier team of the NFC.  With a 12-4 record, Carolina was supposedly Super Bowl bound.

“she woke up with hope but she only found tears and [the Panthers] can be so insincere making her promises never for real”

The Panthers with their potential loss after a bye-week to the Arizona Cardinals.  Interception-galore, Carolina went down without a cat-fight. 

Where was the “he’s our guy” quarterback?  Where was the soon-to-be 16.2 million dollar gloried defensive end? Presumably, Delhomme and Peppers vacated the Panthers before the end of the 2009 season.

As Peppers went to the Chicago Bears and as Delhomme found a new home on the Cleveland Browns roster, Matt Moore became the starting QB for the Panthers (at least for the next few months).

“This is the story of a girl who cried a river and drowned the whole [Panthers’ organization] and while she looks so sad in photographs I absolutely love her when she smiles…”

Amidst the QB situation in Carolina and the tears, she smiled on draft day.

The Carolina Panthers drafted in the 2nd round with the 48th pick Jimmy Clausen, a 3-year starter from Notre Dame.

Clausen is a tough player that has progressed into NFL talent every year as a Fighting Irish QB.

As a freshmen, he threw for 1,254 yards and seven TDs while having a 56.3% completion rate.  As a sophomore, his completion rate increased to 60.9% and he threw for 3,172 yards and 25 TDs.  As a junior, he racked up 28 TDs while piling up 3,722 passing yards and a 68% completion rate. 

While he was increasing his yardage, passing rate and touchdown stats, he was decreasing his interceptions.  From Clausen’s first full year as a starter to his junior year, he went from throwing 17 interceptions to only four interceptions.

Clausen is a determined, fearless QB that will get create a situation where Moore, the 4-1 record QB, will have to fight to remain the Panthers starting quarterback.  Clausen gets better with age, and Carolina hope to get better in time. 

“This is the story of a girl who cried a river and drowned the whole [Panthers’ organization] and while she looks so sad in photographs I absolutely love her when she smiles…”

Through Jimmy Clausen’s 2010 draft fall, the Panthers and Clausen seem ready to oust Moore at the first sign of trouble.  And it’s okay, because the entire Panthers nation has something to smile about: our fallen gem, our QB that perhaps will one day prove to be the best QB from this year’s draft. 


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