Panthers 'Scratch Their Itch' at Quarterback

The Panthers made it known they were going to get younger throughout the team in the offseason, and they did just that.

The first big-name player cast away from the team, was seven-year quarterback Jake Delhomme. After having a season where he was a turnover machine; with a preview of what was to come in the playoffs against the Arizona Cardinals during the playoffs a year prior, it was time to move ahead and look in a new direction.

The direction was believed to be incumbent QB Matt Moore, which was met with mixed reaction. None of which I really disagree with, aside from those who truly believe Moore hasn’t got what it takes to be a starting quarterback in this league.

I’ve said I believe Moore has the potential to do some good things as a starter for the Panthers, especially since the surrounding cast has been built very well. So long as every player on the offensive line, running backs, and fullbacks stay healthy, you can put just about any quarterback in the pocket.

I do still believe Moore has the potential — for now — to be the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers.

The competition against Moore however, is likely going to be stiff. Maybe not in their first years, but certainly two years from now, the possibility exists.

As for Hunter Cantwell, look for him to be supplanted by Jimmy Clausen or Tony Pike.

Jimmy Clausen; QB, Notre Dame

With it’s first pick in the second-round, the Carolina Panthers — first pick came as something of a shocker to me. There was the wide receiver I wanted so much, that when it was the Panthers’ turn to pick, I just knew he was ours — select Jimmy Clausen; quarterback, Notre Dame.


Immediately, the guys on Sirius NFL Radio covering the draft started saying this was a Jerry Richardson pick, not one by Marty Hurney or John Fox.

I was livid and sorrily disappointed at the same time. I felt for Smitty. I felt for Panthers Nation.

But Clausen addresses a very important need for the Panthers, especially since going into this year’s draft, they only had two quarterbacks on the roster. Now they have four — technically five, if you count Armanti Edwards; even though I know Marty Hurney stated he will be used as a receiver and in no way will he play at the quarterback position.

If Clausen lives up to the hype, he will be a very good quarterback for this team. There were two factors that really brought his draft grade down. The biggest factor, was the surgery he had to repair his turf toe.

If you remember, when the Panthers drafted running back Jonathan Stewart at 13 overall in 2008, he was suffering the same ailment, which is why he fell so far in the first-round.

Secondly, what hurt Clausen’s value is his personality. To put it bluntly, he has the tendancy to be a pompous ass. That’s not something that can’t be corrected in time, though; Fox or another certain head coach who could be leading the Panthers in 2011 won’t put up with that.

Athletically, Clausen had first-round value. The two things to be wary of with him right now though, are leaving the pocket too early / not allowing the play to develop, and forcing the ball when in the red zone.

To his defense, Notre Dame’s offensive line left him very vulnerable most times.

Tony Pike; QB, Cincinnati

With the 204th pick, Carolina took Tony Pike, a quarterback out of Cincinnati.

I heard today that Pike is reminiscent to some of the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady.

I’m reluctant to go along with it however, as I prefer to see how the person reacts to being on the field and being put in different situations.

At Cincinnati, this guy was like true grit. He had the toughness of Brett Favre, playing through and with injury; he also showed the kind of work ethic which made Johnny Unitas famous.

Pike worked his way through the ranks until eventually, he became the starting quarterback, with the luck per se, of the quarterbacks ahead of him succumbing to injury.

This guy was projected as second- or third-round potential, and was rated as one of the top-five quarterbacks entering the 2010 NFL Draft.

In his senior year, Pike threw for 2,520 yards, and 29 touchdowns.

In the following video, you will see some highlights and lowlights from Pike’s 2009 season.

At the end of the day, the Panthers have three quarterbacks on it’s roster; each with the potential to be a starter on this team or in this league.

Among Pike, Clausen, and the rest of the quarterbacks drafted in this class, Pike seems to be the most pro-ready quarterback in the entire draft.

Draft-Day analysis for wide receiver is next.

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Tags: 2010 NFL Draft @THECatCrave Arizona Cardinals Armanti Edwards Brett Favre Carolina Panthers Cincinnati Facebook Hunter Cantwell Jake Delhomme Jerry Richardson Jimmy Clausen John Fox Johnny Unitas Jonathan Stewart Marty Hurney Matt Moore New England Patriots NFL Notre Dame Quarterback Sirius NFL Radio Tom Brady Tony Pike Twitter

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