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Carolina Starting Jimmy Clausen?

It would be a huge surprise to see someone under center for the Panthers other than Cam Newton but ESPN’s Adam Schefter seems to think that Jimmy Clausen has a legitimate shot at doing just that.

My sense would be that it’s going to be difficult for Newton to start Week 1, or even at any point early in this season. For starters, he did not play in a pro-style offense at Auburn, which will set back his development some. For another, he’s not going through any of the offseason program with the Panthers’ coaches, which also will set him back. It’s difficult enough for a rookie quarterback to start Week 1 in regular circumstances, and it will be that much harder for Newton to do so now. I know I could be surprised, but I just don’t see it happening right away. I think many rookies will be set back and hurt in their first season because of the circumstances that now confront the league and its players.

Schefter’s point that Newton will need time to get familiar with the offense scheme is a worthy consideration. Newton comes from a very simple offense at Auburn which was put into context during his appearance on John Gruden’s Quarterback Camp.

Darin Gantt of the Rock Hill Herald doesn’t think that Clausen has shot to start unless Newton is injured.

Newton will draw plenty of interest throughout the 2011 season whether he’s playing or not but the fact that he’s already begun to miss valuable practice time should have impact on his ability to be ready for the start of the season.

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