Friday, 2 April 2010

Jimmy Clausen interview


Anonymous said...

Anyone think we should sign Ken Hamlin back?

Kip Earlywine said...

Hey Rob, I noticed you've been a bit quiet regarding Clausen lately. What are your feelings in regards to Charlie Whitehurst? Is it a good thing in your eyes that his acquisition makes Clausen less likely? Just wondering how you would weigh in on that.

I don't have a solid opinion on Clausen yet, but if he was a better fit for Bates, I'd still want him at #6 even with Whitehurst.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kip, I'd take him at #6 if he was still there. I'm no expert but when I watch him play it looks to me that he can make all the throws and has that "it" factor. Isn't 50 yards in the air, if Brandon Marshell is there to go up and get it, far enough? I beleive he will be a great one at the next leval just like he has been at the previous ones.
I've heard somewhere, maybe here, that acuracy is the number one thing a pro QB needs to excell at. Not Whitehurst strength.. or so we are lead to beleive. Ask Nick Reed. Most QB's are asked to be game managers,more or less, and not do stupid stuff with the ball like throw INT's. Jimmy seems to have done an exceptional job with that, 425 attempts and only 4 INT's... as well as being able to win 4 games last year in come from behind efforts. In 2009 he had 7 300yd+ games, 2 400yd+ games and that would indicate to me that he isn't just a "check down" guy. Personally, I think the "bad teammate" rap is crap and in the pro's, as a rookie, leadership isn't expected right out of the gate while your holding a clipboard. He'll grow into it like Eli and others have. I hope he's a Seahawk when it's all said and done.

Rob Staton said...

When I watched Clausen, there were a lot of things that bothered me. But I wasn't so blind to appreciate that most of those things had a counter. For example - I noticed Clausen makes a lot of high percentage throws (short slants) to two of the best receivers in college football in 2009. That, for me, aided the great stats he registered in 2009. At the same time, you could turn it on it's head and say that's good decision making and ball protection. But the thing is, I didn't see enough of a range in college to think - this guy can be a top tier QB. I didn't like the amount of air he puts on his deep ball, and the way he lost velocity on his throws throwing (often) off the back foot. I didn't like his side arm release - which bothered me more before he was confirmed at a very solid height. However, I still saw a lot of tipped balls and the occasional pass fire back off an o-liners helmet.

Physically he's nothing special and he doesn't have the eye catching tools. He compensates that with a level of understanding of a pro-style offense and it'll be a short learning curve.

My final assesment was... to a team with a 35 year old QB in a contract year who's missed a lot of games.. he's a major upgrade over anything else in terms of a long term option. It's a similar situation for any team like that, not just Seattle. The decision is - do you invest the imminent future in this guy knowing it'll cost a lot of money? I wondered for a time if Seattle would, but then the trade for Whitehurst and the price involved made me reconsider.

The issue is with Clausen, I don't think teams will be patient. He's being sold as short learning curve guy. If he comes into the league and in years 1-3 struggles, he won't have the excuse of being 'raw' or developmental. A team might lose patience, it might cost a coach or GM his job and when he becomes 'somebody elses guy' that's when trouble begins. Indeed, if he just doesn't match up - I'm not sure where he goes. He won't get much better than he is when he eventually starts.

However, he could also come into the league and just click straight away. He could be Rivers. He could be Romo.

But that's why everyone is so torn. Which will he be? I don't think anyone really knows which is why you see him at #4 and at #30. What I will say is - somebody will like the guy. His worst case for me is a team trading into the 20's to get him after a fall. But I think one of the QB needy teams early could pull the trigger. Seattle aren't out of the equation. Cleveland and Washington aren't. I dont think Buffalo or Jacksonville go in that direction. I think SF might because they have another early pick, they are clearly not sold on their QB situaton, they have a good roster and just lack that missing piece at QB. But if he gets past SF, then where does he go?

It'll be a big story on draft day where he goes - fascinating story.

micah said...

I don't care for Clausen myself. His stats were pretty much the same as Brady Quinn, in the same system. His overall record in college is what disturbs me. Also, stats in college can be very misleading and don't necessarily translate in the nfl. I think 6 is way too high, but we'll see what happens.


Clasuen is the product of his environment and the shoe will fit. Remember Brady Quinn dropping in the NFL draft and sitting there about to cry. Will Clasuen you got next!

Anonymous said...

Rob, I think your being kinda harsh on Clasuen. You are right about his faults, and also right about the fact that he was making very good decisions. Isn't that what we want in a QB? Favre throwing accross his body in the NFC Championship game when they were already in position to kick the game winning feild goal is exactly what we don't want,right? I'm referring to the mindset. Clasuen appears, with all his faults, to make good decisions and get the ball in a position for only his receivers to make a play. I don't nesesarraly agree that he had two of the best receivers at ND, but for argument sake will counter that they were made to look as good as they did BECAUSE they had Clausen throwing the ball. I guess we will see how much they are valued by NFL teams in a few weeks.
Too all you ND/Clausen haters, if it's JUST because it's ND/Clausen, grow up.... This is about getting the Seahawks back to the superbowl. If he's the guy to help get us there,it don't matter where he went to school or if you want him dating your daughter/sister/mom!

Rob Staton said...

Annonymous - The thing is though, I wouldn't say Clausen's game was about just putting the ball in a position for only his receiver to get it. There were a lot - a lot - of balls throw up for grabs. When he tosses deep, he puts so much air on the ball with little front foot drive. The difference really is looking at a high percentage throw and making an accurate throw. When you throw it on a short outside slant behind the wide out, there's not much chance for the DB to make a play to get the interception. At the same time, you're never going to truly threaten a NFL defense throwing almost exclusively the short outside slant. Notre Dame and Clausen were awful in the red zone last year and I think, to an extent, that was down to bad play calling and also Clausen's real inability to fit the ball into tight windows without just looking to the outside. He isn't a particularly accurate deep thrower and he hasn't got a big arm, so keeping a defense honest might be difficult.

I think it's hard to argue against Malcolm Floyd and Golden Tate being amongst the best wide outs in college last year. Floyd missed some time, but we're talking about a guy many have tipped to be a high first round pick with great size, speed and ability. Tate could be a first round pick this year, but just fights for the ball and had great YAC. Watching him, he had to adjust so much to fight for the ball in '09. I think it'd be unfair to say Clausen 'made' these guys - and lets remember, Notre Dame also own one of the better college tight ends.

Personally, I just raise concerns or positives based on tape. I have no agenda because I'm not a fan of any specific college team and I don't have any reason to dislike a programme. Clausen troubled me as a top, first round QB and I gave him a late first/early second grade. I have to admit that he could go a lot earlier than that, or he might not. But I can only offer a honest assesment. If you look in the archives I did an article talking about my concerns for Clausen and then a seperate piece discussing why they might be proven wrong.

Anonymous said...

I hope you know the "hater's" comment wasn't directed at you. You are more than fair in your analysis. That's one of the reasons this is the best blog's on the net.

When I watch this 09 highlight piece, I see many of the issues you describe. I also see throws that look pretty darn good. Throws I haven’t been seeing on Sundays in Seattle recently.

Also, I see many of the same issues and throws watching Bradford and J Locker with their stronger arms. Would you tell us what you believe the characteristics our QB's should have and in what order of importance they should be. Things like arm strength, quick release, vision etc. Build me a rookie pro QB. What’s he going to be like?
As far as ND Red Zone scoring, you may be right, but the 6 games they lost last year they had scored -34 -27 – 21 – 22 – 30 – and 38 points. Scoring didn’t seem to be their biggest issue. I’ve seen others say they don’t care for Clausen because he didn’t WIN enough, I guess I look at that differently too. I’m really not his biggest fan but I am very concerned about our QB’s in this QB driven league.
Lastly, do you trust PC to judge this right? If he takes Clausen will that mean anything to you in regards to his ability to judge talent, or assemble a team?
I do agree that watching this unfold is fascinating.
Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

Look guys selecting the right QB is a hard thing to do, EVERY!!!!! year is the same thing.
You have to gamble... To me is just simple pick the one who has a decent arm, successful in college and a nice work ethic that's it!

I dont care if he...

*Played in a spread offense
*Weird mechanics

micah said...

I'm not a hater on ND, I just don't care for Clausen. I named Brady Quinn because he had a similar situation and the same coach and offensive system. Everyone said playing in that system makes you "pro ready". Going with past results, I don't necessarily think that lighting it up in college equates to a good NFL QB. Look at Graham Harrell (texas Tech), Colt Brennan (Hawaii). like the other anonymous said, it's really hard to know who will be a great NFL QB. Personally I smell bust with Clausen. And as far as his points per game, if he's throwing 300/400 yards, he shouldn't be scoring only 25 points per game or so. that shows a lack of "finishing". it's not all on him, but my thought is that a winner will find a way to put points up on the board, even if they don't put up that much yds/game. i guess we'll soon see.

Anonymous said...

Micah, you didn't strike me as a hater either.
Of course lighting it up in collage doesn't equate to a great pro carrer. It is a crap shoot more or less. But I never have understood the comparisons to past QB's like Quinn, why not compare him to some that have succeed coming from similar backgrounds and with simalar strengths and weakness?
What I mean kind of is if I understand your logic on "finishing", you wouldn't be impressed with theses 2009 game stats or QB's
301 yds - 14points
347 yds - 18 points
318 yds - 20 points
299 yds - 17 points
333 yds - 17 points
or these
378 yds - 25 points
216 yds - 9 points
352 yds - 21 points
Well, I still would take Payton Manning(1st guy) or Tom Brady(2nd guy) on our team. I'm not comparing Clausen to either of those Pro Bowl QB's, I've just never heard anyone accuse those two of not being "finishers". Do those two not have the arms, skill and experiance to fit it in tight windows in the red zone? Of course they do. And we probably agree that we wouldn't mind having them on our team.
I have no argument with those who do not beleive that Clausen will be a great pro.For example,Rob states his opinion and backs up his beleives very well. But I do disagree with him on this one and, like you said... we will find out soon enough and it should be fun watching.


micah said...

good thoughts anonymous. the thing about peyton manning is that he's a game film rat and has progressively gotten better. he ends up outsmarting defenses. Even until his Super bowl win, Peyton was known to lose the big games. He lost a lot of those games in college and the pros. not that he was ever a bad QB, but I'm just trying to say he needed to develop into a clutch player. So, getting back to Clausen, based on his record I have trouble believing that he will come in and win games. not that he needs to play immediately, but if we pay him #6 money, then I assume hass is out next year for sure and clausen is in. I can't say I'd guarantee he'd bring us back to winning ways. The one thing I can say is that Clausen has improved his every year at Notre Dame. Their record may not be much better, but he personally has done better. Does that equate to improving in the NFL? we'll have to see.

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter!
For what it's worth, the stats listed above were from last year. Manning and Brady are superstars, and clutch players by all accounts, right? My understanding is that Clausen is a hard core film junkie and gym rat. He works at it.
It had to suck last year for ND fans to watch their offense score 38,34,30,and 27 points and lose the games. Would we have a different opinion of JC if those had been wins? Not if we are looking at his mechanics and technique etc, maybe if we are looking at his intangibles.
It had to suck for JC to throw for all those yards and TD's and only 4 INT's, (basically, do his part) and be labeled a guy that doesn't win by some.

There is no doubt that he continued to get better each year.I wish him luck at the next leval. I expect he will become a great one