The Bears are going to be in the market for a quarterback this offseason. This time, coach John Fox will probably see the guy they end up going with.
While discussing their looming search for their next starting quarterback Wednesday, Fox admitted he may have been caught a little off-guard the last time one of his teams used a high pick on one.
Asked about the Panthers drafting Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen in the second round in 2010 (45th overall), Fox admitted he was a little surprised.
“There’s a lot that goes into it,” Fox said. “You have to do a lot of research. That situation was a little bit unique, because I think people projected him maybe even into the top 10. On draft day, that’s not how it materialized. I can’t give you all the exacts. He was dropping.
“Personally, I never even watched him, because he wasn’t a targeted guy for me in our pre-draft assignments. But I can say now I would hope we draft someone that I’ve actually gotten a chance to watch.”
Yeah, that might help.
Of course, Fox might not have been doing his most in-depth research that spring, since contract extension talks with the Panthers had broken down the year before and he knew 2010 would be his last season in Charlotte before the offseason even started.
The Panthers were in their post-Jake Delhomme lull, and had Matt Moore penciled in as their starter before the draft. But when Clausen fell into their laps, then-General Manager Marty Hurney took a chance on a guy who some might have considered an undervalued commodity. It’s not like they didn’t have a need there.
Of course, Clausen did turn into a franchise quarterback for the Panthers, at least indirectly. He and Moore (with a cameo by the legendary Brian St. Pierre) combined to go 2-14 and put them in position to draft Cam Newton first overall in 2011.
Fox was in Denver by then, so he didn’t care. This time, he has a bit more of a vested interest in the future of the pick.