The Panthers will reportedly start second-year QB Jimmy Clausen in their first preseason game against the Giants on Saturday. Speculation has been swirling about who the starting job will go to at the beginning of the season for some time now, as the Panthers have two viable options on their roster. Jimmy Clausen was a highly-touted pick by the Panthers a short time ago, but went 1-9 in his rookie season with the Panthers last year, finishing with the worst passer rating in the NFL. Cam Newton, on the other hand, was picked first overall by the Panthers in this year’s draft, and is expected to give Clausen a run for his money for the starting job.
Although Clausen had a glaring lack of receivers to throw to last year, many people– myself included– have been calling for a fresh look at the QB position this year due to poor decision-making and overall poor play by Clausen in his rookie season that could not be attributed entirely to the receivers. Clausen was, admittedly, running for his life in most of his games in a Panthers uniform last season, but looked lost a majority of the time and would sometimes misread routes or disregard the tight end– traditionally a security blanket of sorts for quarterbacks around the NFL in the event of a busted play– and would end up either taking a sack or throwing an interception.
Newton, on the other hand, was a college sensation who came out of his senior year with a Heisman trophy and a national championship to boot. In his 2010-2011 season with Auburn, Newton became the first QB to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season in the NCAA.
Ron Rivera, however, was hesitant to anoint Clausen as his QB for the season.
“Unofficial depth chart. Let’s make sure we get that clear. It’s an unofficial depth chart. It’s the one that we started with, and we’ve kept it. We’ve obviously had to add some players and move players around because of injuries, but we have not sat down and solidified what we’re doing for the first preseason game,” Rivera wrote on Panthers.com.
This season looks to be shaping up as an interesting one for the Panthers. A battle for the starting quarterback position will only make it even more exciting for Panthers fans.