Rookie Report: Emergency QBs

It's almost funny at this point. The Carolina Panthers' tumultuous season has taken yet another unexpected (or are we used to it by now?) turn for the worse, as the turnstile at quarterback continues.

Replacement rookie starter Jimmy Clausen is out for Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Brian St. Pierre, a 31-year-old journeyman with even fewer career pass attempts than rookie Tony Pike, will get the starting nod despite joining the team just over a week ago.

The quarterback situation in Carolina is almost unprecedented; there are no proven or experienced quarterbacks whatsoever on the roster. St. Pierre has played in two games during his eight-year career, totaling two completions on five attempts for 12 yards and, surprisingly, a touchdown.

The backups will be the same as last week, with Pike No. 2 and Armanti Edwards as the emergency quarterback. Then again, aren't they all emergency QBs at this point?

Pike will be ready if called upon in relief, which is what happened in his lone appearance earlier this season. He came in and managed the offense well, considering the circumstances, and garnered six completions on 12 attempts for 47 yards in two series.

However, it is important to note the Saints were already half-way home to New Orleans by the time Pike took over. Relieving a starting quarterback in garbage time is one thing; it will be an entirely different animal if he is needed to play meaningful snaps against Baltimore.

The Ravens, giving up only 18 points per game, are 13th in the league against the pass (216 yards per game) and eighth against the run (99 yards per game). Plus, having Ray Lewis stare you down on every play is a factor in and of itself, although Carolina's QBs should be more fearful of Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs, who have 5 and 6.5 sacks, respectively.

Also, with the departure of DeAngelo Williams for the season and the uncertainty about Jonathan Stewart's health, the Panthers will not be able to rely on the running game to bail them out. Mike Goodson had a good outing against Tampa Bay with 100 yards on the ground, but the Bucs are also second-to-last in the league against the run, giving up an average of 143.8 yards per game.

Other Rookie Notes

--Armanti Edwards made no appearance at quarterback against Tampa Bay, mainly because there was no Clausen meltdown. It looks like now if John Fox finds a QB who can manage the game, he's not taking any chances. But if the offense needs a temporary spark, putting Edwards in for a series is not out of the question.

--Jordan Pugh returned three kicks against Tampa Bay for an average of 22 yards per return. Look for him and fellow rookie David Gettis (who had two returns for 17 yards against Tampa Bay) to take up the slack while Mike Goodson spends most of his time at tailback.

Alex Montgomery is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a degree in Professional Writing. He has worked for the Western Carolinian and his hometown newspaper, the Kernersville News. He currently resides in Charlotte, NC. You can see more of his updates by following him on Twitter.


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