Interview with Dave Razzano by Dewey Hammond.
Dave Razzano is a former NFL scout and Playmaker Mobile correspondent with more than 22 years of professional scouting experience with the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals under NFL coaches including Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Chuck Knox and Dick Vermeil. He's been a part of five Super Bowls with three Super Bowl wins (49ers, 1989, 1990; Rams, 2000).
Q: Pound for pound it's tough to argue with Steve Smith, but how will he perform with Matt Moore under center?
A: It's tough when you have Matt Moore as your starting QB. He's more of a fringe backup. That team will struggle. In my power rankings I think I have them at 26. Steve Smith is a great receiver but he's small and has a tendency to get injured, to get nicked up. Just the way he plays, his reckless and fearless style. I'd be shocked if he played a full season. They have a good young RB in Jonathan Stewart to go with DeAngelo Williams, who is also injury prone. They need their other receiver to step up. Dwayne Jarrett, I thought he was a bust coming out of college. But they do have a nice rookie coming out of LSU this year in Brandon LaFell. He will play well and surprise people. But the Panthers need a good QB. Will Jimmy Clausen play this year and even so is he the guy? I don't know.
Q: That was my next question. Jimmy Clausen. When do you expect he'll see the lineup, and what sort of impact do you think he'll have, not just this season but long-term for the Carolina Panthers?
A: His arrogance hurts him. He's a little bit like Joey Harrington in that he rubs a lot of people the wrong way. He's a talented kid but he's sort of a finger pointer. I don't see him as an impact this season. Even though Matt Moore is a backup-quality guy, he knows the system and I think it would take too long for Clausen to learn the system. In the long run is he a quality starter? I think he's more of a fringe starter in the league. I think he's held back mostly by his personality traits, to be honest.
Q: What about sixth-round pick QB Tony Pike? Could he push Clausen for that #2 spot with regard to skill (not necessarily opportunity)?
A: Well he probably could but he won't get the chance. It's like Alex Smith in San Francisco. You take a guy high and he's going to get all the reps. He's going to get all the work. But Pike, he's a tall kid, pretty good arm, not very mobile. Clausen's skills are a lot more versatile than a guy like Pike. Pike does have the arm but he's strictly a pocket passer with limitations.
Q: Let's talk about the run game. Obviously a fantastic duo in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Who do you expect to carry the bulk of the load?
A: I expect Stewart to be more of the bell cow. These guys need to stay healthy, though, and if they do it's one heck of a one-two punch. Top 2 in the league. You've got one guy who is a space runner in Williams, and Jonathan Stewart is a pounder, a big strong running back who moves the chains and can also go the distance. I see Stewart being the consistent guy. He's bigger, stronger, and some of these small guys get nicked up, plus Williams has a history with injuries. They complement each other very well, and they're the key to this offense.
Q: What is your prediction for this season?
A: 6-10. I don't see them winning more than 6. Too many questions, not enough talent, no real QB. They're not very close.