Ex-Jet Clowney embracing new role with Panthers

David Clowney didn’t know how thin and inexperienced the

Carolina Panthers were at receiver until he arrived this week as a

waiver claim from the New York Jets.

”I’m the old guy in the room with Steve (Smith) being out,”

the 25-year-old Clowney said Wednesday, laughing.

Upset at being cut twice in a month by the New York Jets, the

speedy Clowney is embracing his new, expanded role with a winless

team in desperate need of a solid receiver. Smith was on crutches

Wednesday because of a sprained ankle and the Panthers released

Dwayne Jarrett after he was arrested Tuesday.

”Maybe being here, I can actually get an opportunity to run

different routes and get involved as a full, complete receiver,”

Clowney said.

The Virginia Tech product was claimed Tuesday to replace

Jarrett, cut the same day he was charged with driving while

impaired. It came after Clowney was let go by the Jets on Monday, a

move he said was unexpected because he thought he was safe when he

re-signed after Week 1.

”They told me I was,” Clowney said.

Clowney, first let go in final cuts before the start of the

regular season, said he was told he’d be used as a receiver, but

spent most of his time on special teams. Playing behind Braylon

Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery and with Santonio Holmes coming back

from suspension, the Jets had no room for him.

”I think sometimes when you’re with a certain organization,

they put a stamp on you, regardless whether it’s good or bad, you

have that stamp and they put you in that role,” Clowney said.

”Being with the Jets, my stamp was I’m only a deep threat

guy.”

The Panthers (0-4) are looking for anybody to become a target

for rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen. With Smith expected to miss

at least one game, the Panthers are left with Clowney and three

rookie receivers.

Clowney, who had one catch for 22 yards this season, has just 16

catches in his four-year career. Wearing No. 87, Muhsin Muhammad’s

number last season, Clowney said he was taking some snaps with the

first unit on Wednesday.

”Hopefully, I get a chance to start this week,” Clowney said.

”If I don’t, I’ll be in there going in wherever the coaches need

me, whenever they call my number.”