Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Say It Ain't So

I'm a few days behind on this one but, in case you hadn't heard, Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate announced their intentions to enter the 2010 NFL Draft on Monday, December 7.

Clausen's announcement is not that big of surprise. He showed marked improvement over the course of his three years in South Bend and probably played as good, if not better, than any other quarterback in the nation this year. He completed 68 percent of his passes, threw for 3,722 yards, 28 touchdowns and four interceptions (three of which were tipped).

When he chose to attend Notre Dame over USC he shared that one of his deciding factors was (now former) head coach Charlie Weis' proclivity to develop upper echelon quarterbacks (see Tom Brady and Brady Quinn).

Now that he has developed into a strong pocket passer in a pro-style offense it is clearly time for him to move on in his career. There is no sense putting oneself in harm's way like Sam Bradford experienced this year.

Golden Tate, Clausen's go-to target all season long, is a bit more of a shock to leave early. He came to the Irish as a standout athlete in both baseball and football.

From the moment he stepped foot on campus he excelled on the diamond. On the gridiron he struggled to transition from his high school position (running back) to his new position (wide receiver) as he only knew one route - a 'go' route. Like any fine wine, though, he got better with age. In 2009 he finished with 93 catches for 1,496 yard (both ND school season records) and 15 receiving touchdowns (ties record).

Rather than staying for his senior year and learning a new offensive system with a new quarterback he decided to leave while his stock is rising. After all, as a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award he is regarded as one of the best collegiate receivers.

I doubt they will both wind up on the same team in the pros but it is likely they will both build off the momentum from their junior seasons. Maybe Golden can go help Brady Quinn out though...

Gentlemen. Good luck gentlemen.


Justin Cates said...

I'd like to introduce the NEW over-hyped QB of the Cleveland Browns...Jimmy Clausen!

This story is the anti-shock. Stick around through what will likely be another mediocre season for "free" under another jerk coach (assuming they hire Brian Kelly), or get your brains beat in and get paid for it?

They made the right choice.

Now to clarify, I'd like to point out I think Clausen is very good (I'm not too sure about Quinn anymore) but he's going to go to a crap team, with a crap line in some rust-belt city that will rally behind him only until they see he is but one man. Not exactly a recipe for success.

At least he will be well-compensated.

Brian said...

Not that I'm leaning one way or the other at this point, but what's your beef on Kelly?

Justin Cates said...

Mainly, I just don't like his coaching style. He's a micro-manager. If anything goes wrong, he starts yelling at the player involved or a coach he can blame.

Case in point, his kicker missed a 55-yard FG (I may be off slightly on the yardage) before the half last week, and when he missed it he gets an earful of "if you can't make the kick tell me!!! we could have thrown the ball!!!"

I first noticed it when we beat the 'Nati in the Orange Bowl last season, but literally every game of theirs I watch he just screams at everyone then plays it off as no big deal when he gets asked about it by Erin Andrews or someone.

Also, what has the guy done really?

He coached for a dozen years in division II, then coached at Central Michigan where five of his players were charged with second-degree murder to which he responded,

"A number of them were African Americans that had been in that culture of violence, and they're taught to look away."

Somehow that's less of a problem than one line on a resume?

Then he came to Cincinnati where he took a team that was already good and coached for 3 years in a crap conference until a better job came up.

Ummmmmm I think that's it though.

Justin Cates said...

As an aside, ESPN is now reporting that ND and Randy Edsall of UConn have some mutual interest.

Now THAT would be an outstanding hire. Great guy. Runs a clean program and doesn't run his mouth.

Also a defensive guy. That might help.


Related Posts with Thumbnails