Once-prized QB Jimmy Clausen just wants another NFL chance Tom Pelissero, USA TODAY Sports 12:34 a.m. EDT April 18, 2014(Photo: Sam Sharpe, USA TODAY Sports)Westlake Village, Calif. — Jimmy Clausen has two modest goals at the moment: get his throwing arm back in shape and find a job. And he hasn't given up on being an NFL starter again, either."That's what I want," Clausen, once a prized prep recruit and Notre Dame standout, told USA TODAY Sports this week while driving to a throwing session. "The only thing I can ask for is an opportunity — a legit opportunity to compete to be a No. 2 and hopefully work my way up."Clausen's four-year rookie contract with the Carolina Panthers expired after last season, which he spent on injured reserve after tearing the labrum in his right shoulder in the preseason finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers — a game he finished without knowing the extent of the damage.He quietly underwent surgery with noted orthopedist James Andrews on Sept. 11, didn't throw for roughly five months thereafter and now finds himself unemployed as organized team activities launch around the league."It's tough," Clausen said. "Obviously, I'm a competitor and want to get somewhere and compete."A second-round pick (48th overall) in 2010, Clausen hasn't gotten a chance to do that outside of practice and exhibition games since his rookie year, when he threw for three touchdowns and nine interceptions in 13 games (10 starts). The Panthers went 2-14 that season, leading to a coaching change and giving them the No. 1 pick they used in 2011 on Cam Newton, who has started every game since and kept Clausen on the bench."I think it's been a fire under his butt not being with a team right now," said Clausen's longtime trainer, Ryan Capretta. "I can tell you he's in here probably three hours a day. He's working with a therapist. He's out running with the rest of the guys. He's lifting. He's doing everything he can."Clausen also is throwing four times a week with his quarterback coach, Steve Clarkson. He estimates his arm is about 95% back to normal and on track to participate in OTAs, if and when he gets signed."I'm still really young," said Clausen, 26. "I'm going into my fifth year in the league. I feel great. This is probably right now the healthiest I've been since my junior year in college, to be honest with you."He tore two tendons in the big toe on his right foot in the third game of that 2009 season for the Irish, had surgery before the draft, then had surgery for a neuroma on the same foot after his rookie year with the Panthers.With his feet healthy, Clausen said his lower-body strength is better than ever. Capretta and his staff at ProActive Sports Performance have worked extensively on Clausen's foot speed in hopes of showing improved mobility in workouts for prospective suitors.As for perceptions about his ego and attitude, Clausen said "you can ask all those guys who were there (in Carolina) how I was in the locker room, on the field and in the quarterback room."He recently became engaged to volleyball player Jess Gysin and plans to get married in February. The spiked hair he wore as he exited a limo for his much-hyped commitment to Notre Dame is long gone. Clausen knows he's no longer the star of the show — he just wants a chance."Just like everybody else in life, you grow up," Clausen said. "You're immature in high school, and then you start maturing the more you get older. I really don't want to get into that, but as far as people out there — everybody's going to have an opinion."The biggest thing (I learned) growing up and being in the NFL for the past four years is that you can't take things for granted. Each and every day is an opportunity for you to grow."***Follow Tom Pelissero on Twitter @TomPelissero
I never thought Clausen would be any good. The best thing he could do now is go to Canada for a year or three and then try the NFL again.As far as Glennon goes, my feelings on him haven't changed, I still think he has upside and can be better than the backup quarterback a lot of fans here think is ceiling is. I feel one season, especially one under a coaching staff that everyone felt was inadequate, isn't enough to write him off. However, this coaching staff has nothing invested in Glennon so how he played last season may not make any difference to them, he just may not be their guy. In that respect, he IS a bit like Clausen, so I agree with Hate.
He wasn't given much a chance in Carolina. Epic fail rookie year then Cam came in and he was tossed aside.
Dude was a real A-hole from the moment he arrived in Carolina. So its on him, more than anyone else. I don't like when guys are made out to be victims, when its their own doing. But from the sounds of this article, it sounds like he has got it together somewhat.They mentioned he is working with a therapist. I assume they mean a physical therapist. But its actually the other kind of therapist he needs more than anything. I agree with whoever said he needs to join Ochocinco in the CFL. He needs to work his way back into the league.
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