Newton or Clausen? We'll find out soon

Would the Carolina Panthers dare not start Cam Newton at QB? After all, he was the first pick in...

Would the Carolina Panthers dare not start Cam Newton at QB? After all, he was the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft.

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:19 PM ET

TORONTO - The Carolina Panthers will name their starting quarterback for the season before next Thursday’s game against Cincinnati.

Head coach Ron Rivera will see a little more from Cam Newton and Jimmy Clausen on Friday against Miami before he makes the call.

Clausen, the sophomore taken in the second round out of Notre Dame a year ago, is getting the first team reps right now, but it would be shocking if he got the job over the first pick of the 2011 draft.

Neither looked tremendous in the first pre-season contest, but Newton has awed even veterans like Steve Smith with his raw athletic ability.

Clausen’s better than his three touchdown, nine interception, nine fumble, 58.4 QB rating 2010 season, but Newton is the future, and barring a shocking call by Rivera, also the present for Carolina.

Clausen would have to channel Joe Montana and Brett Favre against Miami to have a realistic shot at taking the job of the new face of the franchise.

Full speed ahead for Welker

Wes Welker has flown a bit under the radar this pre-season due to Chad Ochocinco’s arrival in New England.

But Welker wants everybody to know he plans to be a force this season, despite still not being 100% recovered from Feb. 2010 surgery.

Welker believes he is faster than ever.

“I feel like I’ve gained a step from two years ago. This is the best I’ve felt in a long time, and I just want to continue to play well and continue to get better,” Welker told the Boston Globe.

Some thought Welker might be done when he suffered the stunning knee injury at the end of the 2009 regular season, but he battled back and now feels ready to do some damage.

“This is the best I’ve felt in my career.. I think my knowledge of the game and being able to be healthy, it’s really helped. Hopefully, it will keep on improving and keep on getting better as the year goes on.’’

Welker is in the last year of his contract, but doesn’t sound like he’s concerned about his future.

“I’m just worried about going out there and playing ball and I love playing on this team and I enjoy every day that I’m out there,’’ he said. “I’m going to let my play take care of everything else.’’

Brain issues for Brown?

Is Corwin Brown in hospital because of the brain damage he suffered in the NFL?

His family believes so. Brown, 41, formerly an NFL player and assistant coach shot himself last week following a standoff with police.

His family believes he is dealing with the same brain injuries as Dave Duerson, another former player who committed suicide in February.

Duerson donated his brain for study and was found to have suffered from a degenerative disease brought on by concussions.

“Many are asking, what would cause a young man who has been blessed beyond all measure, with a life so promising that he would put himself and his family in harm’s way? We believe Corwin is suffering from symptoms similar to those experienced by the late Dave Duerson and were caused by the many notable collisions during Corwin’s career in the NFL,” Brown’s family said in a statement.

Crowder no fan of Henne

Nobody is overly impressed with Miami’s quarterback situation and that includes ex-Dolphin Channing Crowder.

Speaking about presumed No. 1 Chad Henne, Crowder told WQAM: “He hasn’t really proven anything to me while I played with him and now being on the other side, looking down as a fan, he’s not impressing me, either,” Crowder said.

“(The) arm strength he has, you know he can make some good throws, but the intangibles, the winning the game, the wanting to have everything on his shoulders, like the Bradys and like the Mannings, and wanting to have, be down by five with a minute left on the 20 yard line, let’s see what happens, he doesn’t have that in his heart yet, and I think it will be hard for him to win. But like I said the proof’s in the pudding, so if he comes out this year and going crazy, you know, I’ll have to put my foot in my mouth, but, if I was a betting man, I wouldn’t bet on him going crazy.”

Neither would we.

Meanwhile, Matt Moore doesn’t seem like the guy to give Henne much of a run. Head coach Tony Sparano said Moore won’t get any first team snaps in Miami’s second pre-season game.

Sparano must have watched Moore play in Carolina last season, though to be fair, Moore wasn’t half bad there in 2009.

Pryor still waiting for the call

The NFL has postponed its supplemental draft.

Originally slated for Wednesday, the inability to make a call on Terrelle Pryor apparently pushed the entire draft back.

Pryor, the former Ohio State quarterback who left the school after being suspended for what would be the first five games of his senior season for various violations, has still not been told his status.

This is a weird situation. Pryor’s people have been badgering the league for clarity for ages, but the NFL seems to be having a hard time making a call, perhaps worrying about the ramifications down the line.

It is odd that they are taking so long to make up their mind, even to the point of delaying the draft.

If Pryor is ruled eligible, other NCAA rules violators will expect the same treatment later.

Pryor is Ohio State’s all-time quarterback rushing leader but left school and hired an agent instead of sitting out his suspension. His lawyer told Pro Football Talk Live that Ohio State’s new head coach wouldn’t even return Pryor’s calls, leaving him with little choice but to depart.

The five players eligible for the supplemental draft now will have to wait a little longer to see if they can earn NFL jobs this season.


Videos

Photos