Scott Fowler

Jimmy Clausen and John Fox, together again: What could possibly go wrong?

In 2010, Carolina quarterback Jimmy Clausen and head coach John Fox were the faces of one of the worst Panthers teams ever. They have reunited in Chicago, and Clausen will start for the Bears on Sunday in Seattle.
In 2010, Carolina quarterback Jimmy Clausen and head coach John Fox were the faces of one of the worst Panthers teams ever. They have reunited in Chicago, and Clausen will start for the Bears on Sunday in Seattle. DAVID T. FOSTER III-dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Scott Fowler’s quick takes on the week in sports:

▪  Oh, Jimmy: If you happened to be in Seattle Sunday watching the Seahawks, you could almost swear it was 2010.

That’s when John Fox started Jimmy Clausen for most of a season that for my money was the most painful to watch in Carolina history. Clausen was a rookie quarterback, Fox was a coach who knew he was a lame duck, the Panthers were trying to save money and the team was terrible.

No one was worse than Clausen – jittery in the pocket, always throwing check-downs for 1-yard gains, blown over at times by a stiff wind. Carolina went 2-14 and rarely scored more than a single touchdown a game.

That was the only Carolina season – including the 1-15 year of 2001 – in which I truly dreaded going to Panthers’ games.

Now, five years later, Fox is in Chicago and Clausen will start Sunday against the Seahawks because Jay Cutler is hurt again.

Clausen can’t possibly be as bad as he was for the Panthers in 2010. Can he?

The Bears will lose the game, of course. Clausen, 1-10 in his career as a starter, will drop to 1-11. The only question is whether the margin will be 10 points or more like 25. I would bet on 25.

▪  And they sell for more than $59: Although Luke Kuechly has had some trouble staying on the field this season, he sure hasn’t had any trouble selling No. 59 jerseys. Dick’s Sporting Goods released a report that showed Kuechly’s jersey is No. 6 in sales among all NFL players at the moment at Dick’s stores, ranking ahead of players such as Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.

▪  Bell tolls for DeAngelo: It will be interesting to see in Pittsburgh how much former Panther DeAngelo Williams is used with Le’Veon Bell returning. DeAngelo’s first two games were excellent, but I would imagine Bell will get 80 percent of the carries as long as he’s healthy.

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