|Panthers WR Smith says rookie QB Clausen has "a lot to learn" about the NFL|
|Written by Steve Reed|
|Sunday, 12 December 2010 17:49|
CHARLOTTE -- Carolina Panthers veteran wide receiver Steve Smith suggested Sunday that rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen has “a lot to learn” about playing in the NFL after the team's latest defeat.|
When told after the game that Clausen sought out defensive captain Jon Beason and apologized to him for his performance in Carolina’s 31-10 loss to Atlanta, Smith replied, "I’m the last guy to tell anybody to be apologizing, but if you’re going to apologize, you know, you should apologize to the people in the huddle with you. But he has a lot to learn. He ain’t at Notre Dame anymore, that’s for sure.”
With that, Smith ended his brief interview with reporters.
Clausen’s record fell to 0-7 on the season after going 14 of 24 for 107 yards with one interception. Clausen has failed to throw a touchdown in six of last seven starts and has gone 193 passes without a scoring toss.
He was sacked five times Sunday and pressured most of the day.
After the game, Clausen walked over to Beason’s locker at the end of the room and the two talked for about three minutes before reporters converged.
“He just apologized,” Beason said. “I told him that at times like this all you can do is do your job. The quarterback position is tough. You need help from the offensive line, the backs, the receivers and there’s a lot that goes into that. I told him to keep working and we’ll get better. Try to get better, that’s it.”
Clausen said in his post-game interview that he approached Beason because he’s one of the players he respects the most on the team.
“He’s been one of the guys that has taken me under his wing and is a leader of the team and a leader of the defense,” Clausen said. “So we have a good relationship and I wanted to talk to him about it.”
When told about Smith’s comments, Clausen refused to fire back at his top receiver.
“I didn’t hear Steve say that, so I can’t comment on something that he didn’t say to me,” Clausen said.
Clausen said he’s simply not happy with his play this season.
He still owns the league’s worst passer rating of 55.
He’s thrown more touchdowns to opponents than to his own team.
“I think I’m just not being as consistent as I want to be. I’m missing throws here and there – throws I can make,” Clausen said. “And that’s just the way it’s going right now.”
Clausen said he insists he’s not worried about the team potentially drafting Andrew Luck from Stanford with the No. 1 overall pick.
“No it’s not at all,” Clausen said. “The only time I hear it is when I talk to (reporters). The only thing I can focus on is getting this team better.”