Clausen meets with Bills

NFL teams are allowed to conduct up to 60 personal interviews during the week long NFL combine in Indianapolis, and the Bills made sure to spend one of their 15-minute sitdowns with Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen.

"I met with the Redskins and the Bills last night," said Clausen Saturday.

Washington holds the fourth overall selection, while Buffalo picks ninth.

Clausen is widely considered one of the top two quarterback prospects along with Oklahoma's Sam Bradford. After dramatically improving his game as a junior in which he completed over 68 percent of his passes, threw for over 3,700 yards and had a touchdown to interception ratio of 7:1 he could very well be a top 10 pick.

The only hang up that NFL clubs are undoubtedly trying to clear up are the perceptions that the Notre Dame signal caller was not the best leader. Clausen is thankful that the combine interviews allow him to set the record straight.

"Some people say I'm cocky, I'm arrogant and I'm not a good leader, I'm not a good teammate. I think the people that are out there saying those things don't know me as a person," said Clausen. "That's why I was so excited to come here and talk to all the coaches and the GMs and the owners so they get a feel for me as a person."

Friday night was not the first time that Clausen had met with Bills head coach Chan Gailey, but the quarterback prospect was glad to see him again.

"I've met coach before," said Clausen. "He was a great guy. We were in there and just talking, talking ball and just having a lot of fun. It was great to see him again."

Gailey is known for catering his offense to the strengths of his quarterback. In his time with the Steelers he ran a power offense behind big back Jerome Bettis, which contrasted greatly with his most recent NFL attack in 2008 when he spread the Kansas City attack out often going four and five wide when the Chiefs turned to quarterback Tyler Thigpen in 2008.

Clausen unlike some of the other top quarterback prospects did not play in a spread offense, a scheme many believe does not sufficiently prepare quarterbacks for the NFL game. Clausen believes his time under a former NFL coordinator gives him an edge.

"I've obviously been in coach (Charlie) Weis' system for the past three years," he said. "I'm a little familiar with the west coast system. I'm not sure what coach's system is going to be with the Bills, but whatever it is I've played under center for the past three years under coach Weis and we've been in shotgun. I've done a lot of different varieties of offenses."

What is undeniable is Clausen's production. His numbers improved each and every season with the Irish and he has some assets that few in the 2010 class possess at the position.

"Some of my strengths are taking care of the football, my accuracy, playing under center in a pro style offense, my durability, playing when I'm hurt and bringing my team back in the fourth quarter to win games," Clausen said.

Bills Vice President of College Scouting Tom Modrak all but confirmed that Clausen is one of two quarterbacks at the top of the draft class in his assessment of this year's group.

"There are a couple of people at the top that will get under the magnifying glass as much as they always do or more," Modrak told "Unfortunately there's been some injuries that have slowed the process down for these players and for us, but that still has to play out. But there's a couple at the top, and after that it's not quite as deep as it had been."

Clausen's surgically repaired right big toe, which has two pins in it to promote healing will keep him from working out at the NFL combine. Despite some reports that Clausen's toe would not allow him to work out fully prior to the NFL draft, he maintains that he'll be all systems go come his April pro day.

"That's what I'm shooting for, and the doctor said I'll be ready," Clausen said. "My scheduled date is April 9th."

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