Jimmy Clausen and Group Stupid Mindthink

The Rock – http://www.ndnation.com
A herd mentality makes us all stupid and such is the case with current group stupid mindthink on Jimmy Clausen.

Writers are supposed to be above the herd mentality (or at least try to see beyond the herd mentality,) which is why the vocation has meaning. Unfortunately that’s rarely the case, as it’s certainly not with regard to evaluations of Jimmy Clausen. In fact, there seems to be almost a teenage grudge against him for the publicity he received in High School.

Here’s a little perspective for those wondering why Clausen didn’t take home the Heisman last year.

Clausen was a true freshmen who came in behind the worst offensive line in ND history, with the worst running game in ND history, with arguably one of the worst collections of wide receivers in ND history and behind that line(that gave up a school record and NCAA worst 56 sacks,) he still managed to have a better freshman year than first round draft pick Brady Quinn. No quarterback, no matter how good, could have performed well under those circumstances. Want more perspective? Look to Tom Brady and ask yourself: Did Brady look like greatest quarterback of all time when the Giants were able to pressure him in January’s Superbowl? No. He looked like a harried and harassed quarterback who completed just 60% of his passes.

Looking back at the year Notre Dame had, I came away impressed by Clausen’s maturity and toughness. More so when you understand that Clausen was more than fifteen pounds underweight after elbow surgery and that he didn’t throw all summer until camp. And more impressive still when you realize he injured his hip and had mobility problems on top of everything else.

So here’s a twice injured true freshman with no running game, no receivers and no protection and he still completed 56% of his passes. How does that compare to phenoms of the game?

Pretty well.

Should have been Heisman trophy winner Vince Young completed 58% of his passes and threw for 6 touchdown passes against 7 interceptions his SOPHOMORE year. He didn’t play at all as a true freshmen.

Heisman trophy winner Carson Palmer completed 55 % of his passes for 1,755 yards and 7 TDs with 6 interceptions as a true freshmen and 228-of-415 passes 54 % of his passes for TDs with 18 interceptions as a junior.

Heisman trophy winner Matt Leinart didn’t take meaningful snaps until his Junior year, his third in the program.

Heisman trophy winner Troy Smith didn’t play as a freshmen, but completed 55% of his passes for 8 TDs and 3 Ints as a sophomore.

Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow had some nice stats as a freshmen, but only threw 33 times in total as back-up on a national championship team.

In other words, while certainly not playing at near a national championship level yet, Clausen was at least the equal to the best quarterbacks in recent history while facing many more obstacles, battling two injuries and playing against 10 bowl teams. The best High School quarterback recruits are rarely called on before their sophomore years.

What hasn’t been written about Clausen is that he never complained about the blocking, the play calling, the running game or the receiving. He also didn’t complain about his injuries, which we’ve now learned were more extensive than anyone thought. What I observed last year was that Clausen, in the face of the most disappointing season in recent memory, was the one guy on the field who consistently showed emotion and never gave up.

Myopic observers clinging to some hope that Clausen will fail (and like immature schoolchildren are still somehow upset that Clausen’s Dad rented a Hummer Limo for his announcement – oh my gosh) should get over it now. He won’t.

Clausen is up to 220 pounds, 30 pounds heavier than last season. His accuracy is still uncanny, but now he has his arm strength back and he’s looked very good according to all around the program.

But perhaps more important than anything Clausen does himself, he should have more time to throw the ball, a running game and a cadre of receivers who can get open and catch the ball. Keep an eye on Michael Floyd.

Last year I wrote that Clausen will be better than Quinn in this offense by mid-season his sophomore year and I believe that’s still possible. Expect Clausen’s completion percentage to jump 10 points this year and for him to become a Heisman candidate by his Junior year.

In other words, don’t fall prey to group stupid mindthink. Clausen had a very good freshmen year in comparison to previous phenoms, especially given his circumstances and it’s only going to get better (barring injury.)

But shhhh, nobody tell Beano.

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45 Responses to “Jimmy Clausen and Group Stupid Mindthink”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Jimmy is tough and a stud. We’ve seen nothing yet.

  2. Ben Says:

    WE ARE ALL WITNESSES.

  3. Jack Says:

    Don’t give Clausen an inferiority complex, by saying he’ll be better than Brady. Everyone didn’t know the extent of JC’s injuries. Actually, I had no idea he was completing so many passes, but no one was open down field. I’m 100% behind him !!!nvdlxnj johnny boy

  4. Dillon Says:

    Hi Rock,

    Nice article. I certainly do think Jimmy Clausen is a special player. In fact, I remembering when I was watching games last year, I never blamed Clausen for our struggles.

    All I kept thinking was, “man I feel sorry for Jimmy”. It just wasn’t far to have a kid come in with a savior tag stapled to him and have the kind of o-line play we experienced last year.

    And that is exactly where I think our offense faltered. I know the o-line was young and inexperienced last year, but it was stocked with talented four stars (Gatorade POYs) players. Could you say, the players lining up in front of Jimmy were less talented than Purdue’s o-line? How about Boston College? Or dare I say Navy? Yet, we still managed to rank dead last in sacks allowed?

    And it is not just statistics. Watching actual footage of the games, it is just ugly how consistently those defenders whiffed by our line to get to Jimmy. All of this just has to make you reevaluate everything. From Coach Latina to our number of lineman on the roster. I don’t know if we need to upgrade from Latina (and Jappy Oliver too for a matter) or if we should seriously start recruiting more numbers on the line, but anyone who knows football knows that games are won in the trenches. You can’t have a good offense without good o-line play, and this is true no matter how much of a stud your QBs or WRs are.

    I just hope Coach Latina and the whole Weis staff can calm my doubts and get these lineman to start playing like synchronized beasts. My fingers are crossed.

    And lastly, changing back to the subject, did you really write 10 percent Rock!?

    Wow, that would catapult Jimmy’s completion rate of 66 percent.

    That is an awesomely good percentage. Why did you say 10 percent? Why not 5 percent? What makes you think it will improve that much?

    Thanks,
    Darren

  5. David Chase Says:

    The reason Clausen’s completion percentage looked somewhat decent is because of all the dump passes out of the backfield. I remember watching several games last year, where those passes out in the flat were being called on third and long.

    I hope more than anybody Clausen comes out of this ok. He’s a pro prospect QB who has some really nice tools. It will be fun to watch him and Floyd do some damage this season.

    This years schedule is much weaker too.

  6. The Renaissance Man Says:

    I understand the message you’re trying to get across, and agree with it to an extent. Clausen played as well as any freshman should be expected to play. Unfortunately, the expectations placed on him by the media were much higher, and when combined with following Brady Quinn at QB, Clausen got nailed both by contrast and comment. His career is on track to give him the opportunity to be a great college QB, and possibly a good NFL prospect.

    That said, there are some points on your article that made the football historian in me cringe.

    Vince Young never won the Heisman Trophy.

    Matt Leinart, as a 20 year old sophemore, the same age Clausen was as a Freshman, completed 255 out of 402 passes for 3,556 yards 38 TDs and 9 INTs his sophemore year, on the 2003 USC National Championship team. I am reasonably certain that at least some of those were meaningful snaps.

  7. The Rock Says:

    Ah, good point on Vince Young (now changed.) He “should have” won the Heisman Trophy.

    Not so good a point on Matt Leinart. Leinart didn’t take any meaningful snaps until his third year in the USC program. That would be next year for Clausen. Regardless of age, years in a program, watching the college game, playing with elite players and lifting in a college environment.

    My guess is that by the time Clausen’s been in the program as long as Leinart, the two will have very similar numbers.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    All excellent points, although you’ve set quite a high bar to compare him to. I am very curious to see whether he takes that “next step” this year or whether we’re really looking to ’09 for him to show what he can do.

  9. tednict Says:

    Thanks Rock. A positive voice is always appreciated. Let us hope the Irish finish at least 8-4, but I would like to see 9-3…something special about those numbers turned around.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Amen to that brother. Completely hit the nail on that one.

  11. The Renaissance Man Says:

    If you’re talking about Leinart’s Sophomore season, you shouldn’t call it his junior season. He was a sophomore in 03, and played 2 more seasons, without an medical waiver.

    Clausen was enrolled into kindergarten late and repeated the sixth grade. He was at the same stage of physical development as Leinart was in 03.

    I also don’t subscribe to the idea of a clipboard QB. If you take a QB who’s been carrying a clipboard for several seasons, as opposed to a QB who’s started about half a season, the QB with game experience will be further along in terms of understanding the system every time. You simply can’t replicate full speed, full contact game experience. If I had to pick between Clausen heading into this season, and a hypothetical Clausen who’s been holding a clipboard for Sharpley for a few years, I’d take the real Clausen every time. The other one might be older, might be in a little better shape, but he’ll still be lagging behind the one who’s got experience when it comes to QBing the offense.

    As for replicating Leinart’s numbers? Personally, I don’t think ND has the talent to open things up like that. The two QBs have similar skill sets, but Leinart had a much more talented team around him than Clausen will have.

  12. The Rock Says:

    TRM — You’re losing perspective. It’s not about age. I can be 25 and pick up a a football for the first time and I’m going to stink. Matt was a Junior by ND standards by the time he took a meaningful snap. Clausen was an injured freshmen who was frail because he couldn’t lift and couldn’t throw. Matt also played a great team when he did get in.

  13. Brian Says:

    Rock,

    I take it you read that ridiculous article on bleacher report yesterday from the USC grad?

  14. Anonymous Says:

    I’ve seen all the star QBs mentioned above (even the immortals like Young and Tebow) look like junior high QBs in games where the protection breaks down or the y’all come blitz isn’t impeded. Look at Tebow against Michigan last year? Troy Smith against Florida in the BCS championship.

    Just a little more time to look downfield will go a very long way for Jimmy Clausen.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Last year, Jimmy was a FreshmAn. We were looking at those quarterbacks’ FreshmAn stats. All together, in plural, they are FreshmEn.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    There is no doubt in my mind that Clausen is our QB. I never blamed him for our struggles last year. But he was not completely out of blame last year. He had a propensity to hold on to the ball way too long. If he gets that straightened out, the negative plays will surely increase and the offense will ultimately be more effective.

  17. irish2 Says:

    Good blog group!

    However, I have to disagree, with all respect, about those completion percentages – they are misleading!

    Those percentages don’t indicate to WHOM the passes were completed! Bear in mind, anyone can get a high percentage completion rate when throwing the short passes JC threw into areas just vacated by the blitzing LBs & CBs/Safeties – & most teams blitzed us last year because of our poor line.

    Yes, Clausen was injured last year & I give him credit for being a tough athlete in the Irish mold. However, talent-wise, JC is just NOT the athlete that Dyne Crist is. I suggest comparing hs videos & watching the passes, mobility, & what each does AFTER they hand the ball off! Crist is much better.

    Watch Crist develop over the next 3years, & I believe that he’ll outshine JC.

    Have a good, safe 4th everyone!

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Rock:

    I completely agree re. Vince Young–he definately deserved that H-man! Reggie Bush (and Leinhart the year before) got all the love from ESPN–with apparently no consideration given for the fact that with all the weapons on the same offense, neither of them individually had to be anywhere near as good as Young, to achieve what they did.

    Unfortunately, on that note, I don’t see Clausen matching Leinhart’s numbers, simply because ND’s offense doesn’t have the shear number of offensive weapons to keep defenses off balance, that USC had in ’04-’05.

    The flip side: perhaps it has something to do with my orange and blue tainted lenses–Jimmy Clausen reminded me last year of Chris Leak, his freshmen year. Leak, like Clausen, was heavily recruited out of HS; came in with high expectations; and had to play behind a weak OL (against SEC defenses). He had very little time to throw. What was most remarkable about Leak that year–the same thing I saw in Clausen last year–his/their poise under pressure. (Though I’ll concede off the top, that Leak never had it nearly as bad as Clausen did last year; that was just brutal).

    Sometimes the best play a QB can make, is just to throw the ball out of bounds. It ain’t pretty, but it also ain’t nearly a ugly as it can get, either. Clausen showed a lot of maturity in that regard last year–and shows a hell of a lot of promise going into this year.

    One final similarity: Clausen’s leadership style is also reminiscent of Leak’s.

    Re. Dayne Crist: maybe Weis’ll work him in like Meyer worked in Tebow with Leak in ’06–help keep D’s off balance (just a thought).

    ’92 Gator

  19. hey song Says:

    i haven’t been hearing this rampant criticism of jimmy clausen. it’s pretty obvious that last year wasn’t his fault – let’s just calmly see what happens before our hyper defensiveness kicks in.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    I agree with most of the positives said above. However I was dissappointed in the Stanford game when it seemed that several times Clausen ran out of bounds for a loss rather than throw the ball out of bounds. Since this was the last game of the season I would think he would know better than to take a loss like that.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    I, too, think Crist will be better that Clausen…very quickly at that. But I hope Charlie doesn’t waste eligibility by mixing him in with Clausen this season. They’re only a year apart. If he does end up being the man, Charlie either needs to make Crist the starter outright, or wait until he’s a Sophomore to start plugging him in, so he can play what would be his senior and 5th year as the starter. Playing him sparingly this season would, in all likelihood, take a year away from Crist as the starter on the other end. So unless he’s just ridiculous good right out of the box this fall, he should sit behind Jimmy and Evan and soak in the playbook.

  22. DeWayne Says:

    Clausen will go down as one of the best ever at ND. Great article!

  23. Kayo Says:

    I know you touched on strength, but it deserves a bit more commentary. We know Clausen couldn’t cut loose on more than a couple of throws each game because he hadn’t fully recovered from elbow surgery. That’s the obvious part.

    The less obvious part is that Clausen couldn’t use his arms in his strength related weight training regimen from the time he arrived on campus until the end of the 2007 football season. Thus the large number of hits opponents got on him took an even greater greater toll than they should have because he didn’t have as much strength as he should have. Imagine how tired and sore he was late in every game.

    I believe that Clausen’s inability to lift for strength hindered his performance last year more than his inability to throw hard whenever he wanted.

  24. Jack Says:

    If Evan Sharpley is ever needed, & if the o-line is still the 0(zero)-line, he will be needed !!

  25. Anonymous Says:

    While I agree with most of your comments, I think what made BQ a better quaterback was he took a similar beating in his freshman and sophmore years but managed to stay relatively uninjured. Yes he was a physical specimen to begin with. If the line can provide a modicum of protection to Clausen this year, we should then try to judge his performance.

  26. darren Says:

    Lets clear up some things between Clausen and Crist. While I love Dayne Crist and think he is going to be a phenomenal player. I want to note the differences between Clausen and Crist.

    This is why we love Dayne Crist:
    1) Remarkable leadership potential-
    this kid just conducts himself in a manner that makes you want to rally around him. Once he becomes the QB in the future, he is going to be the perfect QB that is going to bring the team together.

    2) Rocket for an arm-
    Crist’s arm strength is simply amazing. When you watch his HS highlights and his performance at the AA game, you can just see how much lift and distance he gets on his long throws. It is pretty amazing being that he is just going to get bigger and stronger.

    3) Coachability-
    Crist stikes me as a kid who has his head on straight. Just the type to come in with the mindset to get better and take whatever constructive criticism that is dished out by the staff to improve his game. It one of the qualities that I believe will endear him to coaches and fans alike (and a great representative to the university).

    Now where Crist needs to improve as a quarterback is his mechanics and overall polish for the position. As of right now, Crist is pretty raw. He still has not developed a consistency to his throwing motion and his foot work and others things need work. As a result, Crist accuracy is not where it needs to be right now. But of course, these are things that will get better with time and solid coaching.

    This is exactly why I think you guys who are saying Crist will be better than Jimmy very soon are a little bit too jumpy.

    Jimmy was the number one rated QB out of HS because of his solid mechanics and deadly accuracy. Understandably, the struggles of last year have put a dampen on his reputation, but I think we all agree that no QB that could have been successful with our O-line last year. It was just that bad (like matadore blocking- last place in NCAA for sacks allowed- bad).

    And the simple truth about quarterbacks is that accuracy is the most important attribute. Look at all the past and future hall of famers of the position. Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning; they are all hawkly accurate. It looks pretty to have a QB like Jamarcus Russles throwing the ball 80+ yards, but if you want to be a championship QB, you need that accuracy.

    This is exactly why I think Crist should sit, learn and improve his mechanics and accuracy for 2 years behind Clausen and then get ready to step up by his Junior year.

    I know when times are tough, we have a tendency to see the grass being greener on the other side, but lets not forget how special and skilled Clausen is and will become.

  27. darren Says:

    sorry, i meant 3 years.

    redshirt freshman year, and be a backup for two additional years and get set to jump in and play with 2 years of eligibility left as a redshirt junior.

  28. Sulla70's Says:

    The ? is not Jimmy Clausen but Charles Weis. He did a horrible job and the players took the fall. Sam YOung was much better as a Frosh as were others. We will see about Jim C this year. All I know is that a ton of QB’s were quite a bit better than him last year. He is no where near a Sam Bradford just to mention one. How about the dude at Georgia from Highlands Prep in Dallas. He is guite good as well. Jimmy has a long way to go. Good play calling, coaching and the like will determine how far he goes. Can Weis motivate or will more players jump ship like last year?

  29. Anonymous Says:

    All very valid points about JC. The most frustrating aspect of his game last year was getting rid of the ball. This will come with experience. Being QB for ND is life in the fishbowl. JC seemed to handle it very well for a freshmen. To surpass BQ he must out work BQ which is a very tall order. Hopefully someday the beating he took in 07 will reap the rewards in his final 3 years. Go Irish

  30. Anonymous Says:

    It was everyone’s fault for last year. I feel it was mostly ND’s alumni and fans (I graduated from ND and I am a diehard fan, so don’t assume I am a hater, I am pointing the finger at me, also). We put pressure at all the wrong times to produce championships and last season we paid for it. I am certain if we give Weis and the team time, we will see the results we want. College football has changed in recent years and ND doesn’t allow JUCO transfers, so that prevents us from quick turnarounds people saw at OU or Utah in the recent past. Also, in the more distant past, we were able to turn things around quickly because we had a great advantage in recruiting, so the blame was on the coach. We still have the best advantage in recruiting in my opinion, but we have a lot more competition than in the past. Florida, Florida State, Miami, etc (Note: Florida’s first consensus championship was in ‘96 and Florida State’s was in ‘93, Miami’s ‘83). Although, many people I know believe these were always championship powerhouses, they weren’t until the 80’s and 90’s. These schools didn’t win championships or produce winning teams of consequence until recent. Many variables prevent us from the quick turnaround. The more we fuss and fight to get a championship “now”, the longer we prevent it from happening. Before the last 30 years, you could count our championship competition on one hand; it was USC, OU, Alabama, and Ohio State. You can then include Michigan because of regional competition in recruiting, although they haven’t consistently won championships since the early 1900’s, only three championships since ’23 to be precise. Patience, Patience, Patience, that is all we need, everything else will fall in place and most likely sooner than most of us think. Even if we do horrible this coming football season, we have to stand by Weis and Clausen at least for another year. It hurts us in recruiting when we start talking about firing a coach or ridiculing a player. Honestly, if you were a recruit, would you want to go to a school in which you wouldn’t know who the coach was going to be? I guess my complaint is that we point the finger at everyone else, and never ourselves. We started talking about firing Bob Davie right away, and then, we started in year two with Willingham. That hurt us, let’s be honest about it. Although, I don’t think either one could coach at the level we wanted. Let’s give Weis the whole five years before we start analyzing his ability to coach. One, we took a guy without any head coaching experience and two, without much college football experience. Yes, he was a phenomenal Offensive coordinator in the NFL, but that’s not college football. He’s learning, Clausen is learning, and hopefully we will learn to be patient on criticizing our coaches, also. Last, Good job on the article this time. I’d like to see more articles defending our coaches and players.

  31. jeff Says:

    Jimmy is good, but for some reason I’m really thinking Crist has the build and the golden boy persona to make things happen (granted, he has not taken a single snap in college yet).

    I remember when I first met Quinn, during the summertime when I was Ndukwe’s roomate. I was like dam, this guy is huge for a QB. I knew he would go on to do great things. I have not seen Crist in person, but he just reminds me of him a lot.

    Either way, we have two top-notch QB’s, now all we need is to get the line going!

  32. Andy Says:

    An overlooked observation by Rock is that Jimmy showed “emotion.” Translation, Jimmy is one hell of a competitor and is not afraid to show support for teamates, fired up sprinting to the fans after a win (UCLA), and tough-as-nails attitude (elbow, hip injuries and taking 56 sacks for the team).

    And….he was a freshman. Can’t wait for the next three years.

  33. Anonymous Says:

    ok oklahoma,nebraska,tennesee need to be added to one hand. now I dont know what anyone expected out of true fresmen starting at QB, 2 WR,2RB,te with 3 or 4 soph starting at o-line at the same time to start the game. Ive nevr seen that in my fifty years.most good teams put the frosh in for spot duty to see what they can do in a college game. few become starters early in the season.most stay at spot duty getting experience for a couple years.that is why the good teams reload year after year. now thats hard to do when you only recruit 1 O-line one year and 2 the next.not to mention that spot duty is with jr and sr vets. Ive never seen such young guys play all at once! these freshmen just played the equivalet of a jr year. by the time they are sr it will be like 6 year vets. big things are on the horizon for the IRISH! go big green

  34. Anonymous Says:

    If only some evidence of the “group stupid mindthink” was provided. I know Rock can’t handle any negative commentary or analyis of ND, if his writing is going to be above that of the crowd, please offer some proof of that which bothers you so much.

  35. Anonymous Says:

    You guys are hit. He’ll choke in the Purdue game and you’ll just end your program after that easy loss. Find something else to blow your money on.

  36. Anonymous Says:

    We are spoiled for the incredible history of Notre Dame Football. It used to be a new QB would be surrounded by vertran talent when he came in to be the starter. When Joe Theisman came in as a Sophomore to fill in for an injured Terry Hanratty he took Number 1 USC down to the wire in a Tie because he had the compition in practice from ND Defense and had great vetran players around him. Tommy Clements started his Sophomore year in 72 he had really good talent around him and great compition from the Defense in practice to be prepared. ND won the National Championship the next year in 73.

    Joe Montana also had great talent around him when he finally won the full time starting job as QB in 77. But during practice at ND he played against top notch talent to get prepared.

    The same thing happened for Tony Rice and Rick Mirer. The Defensive talent was as good as most of the teams Notre Dame played.

    Now that Corwin Brown and Jon Tenuta are getting the top notch defensive players to come to Notre Dama again. Jimmy Clausen and the Irish Offense will start seeing much tougher practices as compared to the teams Notre Dame plays.

    Jimmy Clausen and the Offensive Line and the WR will be much better prepared than last years team was.

    USC never faces a tougher Defense all year than it does in its own in practice.

    When the Irish get back to that level of players and competion on Defense to challenge the Offense every day in practice it will start winning at the National Championship level.

    Jimmy Clausen is a fine player. John Tenuta and Corwin Brown will be as much responsible for Notre Dames growth of its offensive players as much as anyone.

    If COach Tenuta sees the Offense Line getting whipped every day in practice,just watch what happens to Coach Latina and Coach Jappy Oliver. Competion brings the best out of people. Notre Dame practices were yawner’s compared to what they are going to be.

    Coach Weis is going to do fine. But the one lesson learned with the last three Coaches is this. Bob Davy was a Cordinator before becoming Head Coach. Next Coach willinham who was never a Cordinator and having all the pressure to perform by getting a pass did not know how to pick his own Cordinators. And lastly Coach Weis was a fine NFL Cordiantor but was never a Head Coach before coming back to Notre Dame. So what has happened in my dumb opinion is that the last three Coaches at Notre Dame have had to learn on the job. The lesson of all this folks is that if Coach Weis is our Coach at least he now realises that he needs top notch Coaches to help him in things he might not be great at.

    Coach Tenuta and Coach Brown will do a much better job than we have seen the Defense do in a long , long time.

    But hopefully the good Fathers at Notre Dame next time learn from past mistakes is that your hire a Head Coach with prior experience as a Cordinator and a Head Coach. Two things that should be deal breakers on any Coaching Candidate if the men do not have that in their backround.

    No more should Notre Dame Football be allowed to a job where someone learns while they go.

    With that said. The hard part is over as far as going thru the grinder. If ND has a winning season this year. 7-5 or better. ND will be on the right track with greater things ahead in the next couple of years.

    Bottom Line, Jimmy Clausen and the entire Offense will be much improved (It could not have been much worse last year)and so will ND’s O Line play because of who is Coaching against him in practice every day. Watch the better route running by the WR and the RBs htting the hole and blocking.

    Go Irish

  37. Jack Says:

    Let Jimmy call his owm plays, & see what happens. We know he is a Domer…Johnny Boy …>>>> Just an experiment… All good QBs can make good calls !

  38. Anonymous Says:

    I tried to keep from criticizing Clausen’s gameplay, but two thirds of the way through the past season and I couldn’t restrain myself any longer. True, there was absolutely nothing looking up for him in regards to line, play calling, experienced receivers, etc., but there were quite a few things, such as appalling pocket awareness and, likewise, a unexplainable reluctance to throw the ball away. Yes, he was a true freshman, but he did beat out several other more experienced quarterbacks for the starting job, and, I my opinion, did not look better than them.
    This also comes on top of the ridiculous ostentation that was his commitment to ND (yes, it amounts to beating a dead horse, but it reflected badly upon the football program). Also, nothing has come to light that would suggest an image for him other than “douchebag”.

  39. Anonymous Says:

    Anon (post #38):

    Interesting–you said Clausen had an “…unexplainable reluctance to throw the ball away.”

    Maybe I didn’t watch enough ND FB last year, but when I did tune it, he struck me as pretty solid in determining when to toss it and when to eat it (if he tosses it while in the pocket–b/t the tackles–it’s intentional grounding; better off eating it).

    In a lot of those sacks that I saw, the pocket collapsed so fast, he had no chance to escape, so he had to eat it. On plays that called for qb to roll out though, he seemed to display maturity and patience beyond his experience in determining when to hold, dump off, or shoot downfield.

    (Maybe I didn’t watch enough ND FB–idk)

    b/t/w: what’s with the “douchebag” rip? Is there a story behind that?

    ’92 Gator

  40. Anonymous Says:

    Jimmy has great technique and an accurate and beautiful delivery. It’s all learned and practiced stuff that complements a natural gift.
    Nevertheless, I’m convinced that Evan Sharpley, when all is told, is the better QB. He displays better character, pocket presence, passion and playmaking ability under duress than Clausen. Like Quinn, he’s also a much better all around athlete. I’m sure there’s no comparison in the weight room. Does anyone know how many times each can lift 225?
    Purdue and BC, which can still both be seen on the NBC site, are ample evidence- and he didn’t even practice with the first team. It was all politics. But Charlies’ own reputation is on the line this time around. If Jimmy can’t throw under heat this year- he’s gone. Evan will salvage what’s left and Crist is waiting in the wings. That’s a luxury Weis didn’t have before.

  41. Anonymous Says:

    I would like to say that I did comment on NDnation about the condition of Jimmy’s elbow a few months before the start of last season. I was nearly ousted from the site. As a physical therapist I have conducted physical rehab on several similar elbows following arthroscopic debridement and so I was pretty certain he was not ready. Additionally, he has a decent probability that his elbow pain will return and that this could become a chronic condition for him. I hope not, but it is certainly plausible and something to consider for the future.

    IrishSoldier

  42. Anonymous Says:

    physical health is always important. Never sacrifice long term career for the short term. Let just hope all the precautions are taken on Jimmy’s elbow for his career sake.

    We all know too many people who have shorten their careers by coming back to an injury too soon.

  43. Anonymous Says:

    I apologize for changing the subject in this forum, but I was reading it and found it a convenient place to ask a question to (presumably) informed Irish fans. I was wondering if anyone else has heard rumblings that Darrin Walls could be ineligible (assuming due to grades). If true, that’s a big blow to the one unit everyone is pointing to as the strength of this year’s team.

  44. Anonymous Says:

    Jimmy Clausen is going to one of the all time greats and win a lot og great games for Notre Dame along with his fellow Irish team mates because he has the tools to do it. He ran for his life last year and as a QB he still did okay. Now if the O-Line can block long enough for the recievers to get open he will start throwing down field and hit big plays. He had the worst running game in Notre Dames recent memory. Let’s face it. We soon forget.Last years team QUIT against Michigan and even more so against USC at home. I never saw a worse Notre Dame team ever. The blocking was worse than Junio High Football. So before Jimmy Clausen can throw and be a great QB he needs team mates who block and run their routes and catch the ball. If Notre Dame can actually run the ball with success which is a HUGE IF in 08 then Jimmy will be able to throw. Jimmy is going to be great. I just hope the O – Line gets it rear end kicked in practice enough by our new Defense Coach in John Tenuta that the games are easier than the practices.That is why Ohio State, USC and Florida and yes LSU do well. Their Defenses kick their Offenses around all week prior to the game.

    GOOOOO JIMMY CLAUSEN AND GO IRISH!

  45. TC Says:

    Since you made a point to say that it was NEVER stated how Clausen never complained about the line/injuries, etc., isn’t it important to note that one of the reasons he never complained about any of that could have been because he wasn’t allowed to speak to the media? I’m not suggesting that if he had media access, he would have complained. I just think it’s important to stipulate that he never said ANYTHING either positive or negative about the program. You seem to imply that the press chose to ignore his courage of not blaming failings on anything or anyone…

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