He has not looked good, there’s no denying that. One touchdown and three interceptions through four starts is not going to get the job done. But since when do we judge a player’s career after four games?
Clausen’s demotion says more about John Fox and his insecure job situation than it does about Clausen himself. Fox is a lame duck, just riding out the remainder of his contract. The odds of him being rehired are slim and he knows it.
Like a player who steps up in a contract year, Fox is looking out for himself in this situation. If he keeps Clausen at the helm, it will likely result in 13+ losses this season. Clausen would progress as the season goes on, and it may be a great learning opportunity, but the 3-13 record (or worse) would still end up on Fox’s résumé.
Starting Matt Moore won’t turn the Panthers into playoff contenders, but it will make them more competitive. Remember, they were ready to hand the franchise over to him – at least in the short term – until Clausen fell into their lap in the 2nd round.
So before you go mocking Jimmy Clausen and everyone who called him “NFL ready” remember, this move says nothing about him or about the faith the coaching staff has in his abilities. This is a selfish move by John Fox who is more focused on his own résumé than the best interests of his soon-to-be former franchise.