Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2015

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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IRISH IN THE PROS BY ANDREW OWENS I t had been four years — four long years of cuts and injuries — between NFL starts for former Irish quarter‑ back Jimmy Clausen. When he finally got his chance for the Chicago Bears at home against the Detroit Lions Dec. 21, he showed some of the promise that came with the high expectations he carried when he left Notre Dame a year early to turn pro. Clausen completed 23 of 39 passes for 181 yards with two touchdowns and one interception in a 20‑14 loss to the playoff‑bound Lions. Clausen's teammates, however, did the signal‑ caller no favors with seven drops in the game. At one point in the second half, Chi‑ cago led 14‑10 before the Lions scored the final 10 points of the game. "I've never given up," Clausen told reporters. "You can never give up. The only thing you can ask for is another opportunity. That's what Coach [Marc] Trestman gave me today, another op‑ portunity. Like I said, I just went out there and tried to compete to the best of my ability, make the plays when the plays were there. We just came up short, and it's really unfortunate." In the loss, Clausen played against former Irish teammates Theo Riddick (2009‑12) and Golden Tate (2007‑09), with the latter supporting Clausen's abilities. "I think it was unfair when he was in Carolina," Tate told reporters. "He wasn't on a great team, and being a rookie, the next year, they draft Cam Newton, so he sits as a No. 3 because Derek Anderson was the No. 2. They wouldn't let him go, so he couldn't even get an opportunity to prove him‑ self." What was supposed to be a two‑ game opportunity was limited to one due to a concussion Clausen suffered toward the end of the loss to Detroit. Jimmy Clausen Finally Gets Another Opportunity To Start In his first start in four years, Clausen completed 23 of 39 passes for 181 yards with two touch- downs and one interception in Chicago's 20-14 loss to playoff-bound Detroit Dec. 21. PHOTO BY BILL SMITH/CHICAGO BEARS

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