Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Case For Clausen, Cocky Or Not

Apparently, Jimmy Clausen is too cocky.

Whatever that means.

Todd McShay says so, and that's the big rap going around now about the Notre Dame quarterback ahead of April's draft.

Too cocky.

Like what, exactly? Ryan Leaf cocky? Jay Cutler cocky?

I don't want my QB to be timid, that's for sure. So if that's the only real knock on Clausen, I will say I have no fears or qualms about my Redskins drafting him with the 4th overall pick.

Excuse me for a moment, but this is NOW a problem, when last year cocky-ass Mark Sanchez was instead re-labelled "presidential."

Let's just back up a minute, and ask ourselves: who had a better college career? Sanchez or Clausen?

Uh, huh. Right.

Emailer Tim Mudd from Highland, MD chimes in with the following...

TO: Czabe
RE: Clausen and 1st Round QBs


I heard your discussion yesterday on drafting a QB in the first round. Bradford will be gone so we are really discussing Clausen. Full Disclosure – I am a big ND fan. You can take that as a negative or think about the fact that I saw about 90% of his college passes. He is amazingly accurate – AMAZING! Think about Golden Tate. He went from being a running back to a descent WR to a Heisman Trophy Candidate on a team that was 6-6.

In fact that 6-6 team had 2 Heisman Trophy Candidates with Clausen being the other. Tate has good strong hands and the ability to get open but what made him special was his Yards After Catch. Clausen made this possible through his accuracy and hitting Tate in stride rather than throwing slightly behind him or making him dive. To me this is what separates him from many. Turing a 6 yard slant into a 12 yard gain. Turning a 12 yard out into a crucial 3rd and 9 conversion. Hitting that 40 yard bomb in stride for a 60 yard TD!

Rather than a 1st and 10 from the 20 and settling for a FG. This is what makes a difference in the NFL – moving the chains and scoring TDs. Not settling for a FG or coming up a yard short on 3rd and 7. This accuracy will lead to that extra yard on 3rd down and lead to the big time pass on 3rd and long. Clausen had little to no running attack. There were no 1,000 yard RBs during his tenure.

In his first 2 years the longest run from scrimmage was 27 yards. His OL?? Gave up 58 sacks his freshman year. He matured and learned the mental clock and when to throw the ball away.

His Sophomore year he threw them away to the other team – 17 INTs and his Junior year he threw them out of bounds – only 4 INTs. I don’t have a stat on this one, but I would bet that he threw at least 3-5 balls out of bounds a game. Why is this important? 289 completions in 425 attempts. 68%!! If he threw 4 balls away a game (I would bet it was higher) then only 377 of the attempts were really intended for a receiver. That translates into 77% completion rate!

Thinking back to his Sophomore year with those 17 Interceptions. He had 25 TDs, 17 INTs for 3172 yards on 60.8% completion percentage and a passer rating of 132.49.

Here are Matt Ryan’s SENIOR year stats. 31 TDs, 19 INTs, 4507 yards, 59.3% and a 127.04 passer rating. He threw the ball 624 times – Clausen only 440 so that is the big difference in yards. Remember – I am comparing Clausen’s Sophomore numbers to Ryan’s Senior numbers. Clausen’s Junior numbers are ridiculous when compared to these. 28 TDs, 4 INTs, 3722 yards, 68% and 161.43 passer rating.

All this on 15 fewer passes than his Sophomore year.

Clausen is the real deal.

The Redskins are not going to turn this thing around in a year. Campbell is not the answer and neither is a rookie QB. So I look to 2011. Clausen will have a year under his belt. He will have a younger and healthier and better OL around him through this year’s draft and next year’s draft. Our WR core will be a little stronger and perhaps we will have a young RB as well. If we build the OL this year and draft Jake Locker next year for example to be our guy…we will be looking at 2012 as we cannot expect much from a rookie QB in 2011.

Now is the time to grab a franchise QB. How often do you get to pick in the top 5? I hope not a lot.

You cannot be gun shy because you busted on Shuler. Look at Manning, Brees, Favre, McNabb, Rivers, Palmer, Rogers, Sanchez and Flacco – All playoff QBs – 9 of the 12 playoff QBs were drafted 33rd or higher – in fact 4 of these guys were drafted in the top 5. Seize the moment.

It is time to get a QB for the next decade.

REACT: Sober, thoughtful analysis. I'm ready to pull the trigger. Let's do this.


  1. I agree...So Marino, Elway, Namath, etc. weren't cocky??? I gotta believe a huge portion of hall of fame quarterbacks are cocky. When the game is on the line they want the ball in their hands. They have to have the talent to back it up, but cocky in a quarterback is not a bad thing.

  2. Yeah, Namath, there's a one-hit wonder of a quarterback. Drunken fool with a 65.5 career quarterback rating and 173 TDs against 200 INTs.

    A quarterback's going to be a Leon-like little pretty boy, especially at the NFL level. Cocky is alright so long as you have something to back it up. The question isn't whether the kid's cocky, but whether he's cocky because he can back it up, or he's just a talent-lacking, arrogant prick.

  3. The skins should take the best player available, regardless of position. If they had one or two holes to fill to make a run at the SB, then maybe it would make sense, but they have room to upgrade everywhere.

    I wouldn't make a pick based on the 2011 season. There probably won't be a 2011 season. I wonder how the draft order will work in April 2012?

    Quarterback completion percentage and rating are all massively inflated in college. It seems like every year there are 10 guys with amazing stats. The Pro and College game are completely different. At ND, Clausen faced maybe 10 defensive guys who will play in the NFL. If Clausen is so great, why was ND so mediocre?

    The skins should take...
    1st choice) Suh
    2) Okung
    3) McCoy
    4) Bradford

    I know Suh plays the same position as Haynesworth, but if you have a shot at King Kong for the next 10 years, you take him.

  4. I live in VA but I'm not a big Skins fan, I'm a lifelong Dolphins guy. When I was a kid watching Griese, and later Marino, I took for granted that all quarterbacks were that good; that consistent. Being in the playoffs year in and year out was a no-brainer. Good ole days, indeed.
    But I was wrong to take this for granted. Take a look at the long line of disappointments since Marino: Fiedler, Huard, Lucas, Griese (Brian), Feeley, Rosenfels, Frerotte, Culpepper, Harrington, Lemon, Green, Beck, Pennington, Henne...I think that's most of them, not necessarily in order.
    Not all horrible players, but none were spectacular - heck, even the good names had lost their luster by the time we got them, and the verdict is still out on Henne.
    What I'm saying is this: a truly great quarterback may come to your team once in a lifetime, maybe twice if you're lucky. Take the chance.

  5. You could also end up with the next Andre Ware, David Klingler, Rick Mirer, Heath Shuler, Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, Akili Smith, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Alex Smith or JaMarcus Russell. And those were just the guys who were drafted in the top 10 of the draft who turned out to be busts. (I am work, and couldn't spend the time to do the whole first round.)

    You are rolling the dice. Take the best player on the board, the Skins have lots of holes to fill. People are going to be excited enough about this team with the new regime change anyway.

  6. What if he's Ben Rothlisberger cocky? That's probably not a good cockiness to possess.

  7. If the Redskins take Brady Quinn, I mean Jimmy Clausen with the 4th pick, it sets the franchise back another 4 years. QB stats are for losers - the only stat that matters is wins and losses. With the game on the line and the ball in his hand, Clausen failed to deliver.

  8. I'm a Bears fan! Can we just get rid of Lovie Please!

  9. Congrats! The 'Skins now have McNabb and can take the best player available...