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Steve Spurrier to Browns: Why not Connor Shaw

Cleveland Browns v Washington Redskins Getty Images

The Browns picked Brian Hoyer to be their starting quarterback this week, relegating Johnny Manziel to a backup role after a closely watched competition that fizzled on the field as neither player performed all that well.

The quarterback who played the best on Monday night against the Redskins was undrafted rookie Connor Shaw, who went 8-of-9 for 143 yards and threw a touchdown on a Hail Mary to give the Browns a chance to win the game with no time left on the clock. Shaw was never a serious contender for the starting job, much to the dismay of his coach at South Carolina Steve Spurrier.

“I thought Connor played pretty well,” Spurrier said, via the Greenville News. “What did he hit, eight out of nine? He has always been a pretty good percentage guy. Against Missouri he hit 20 out of 21 one day, 20 straight one day. It always amazes me, for some reason they just don’t assume that he is really a top quarterback and he is. I mean, look at his statistics. He’s a winner. He makes plays. I wish they would put him in the hunt for the starting job.”

Spurrier doesn’t have the best bona fides when it comes to picking professional quarterbacks — see Danny Wuerrfel, Patrick Ramsey and Shane Matthews of the 2002 and 2003 Redskins– but that hasn’t stopped him from┬ápromoting Shaw for a while now. Spurrier even┬ácompared him to Russell Wilson during the days leading up to the draft, but none of the league’s 32 teams thought he was worth selecting.

If Hoyer and Manziel both continue to sputter and he plays well in his remaining preseason action, Shaw might get a chance to prove the Ol’ Ball Coach right.

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55 Responses to “Steve Spurrier to Browns: Why not Connor Shaw”
  1. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 22, 2014 4:50 PM

    I wouldn’t mind watching him play, this team has a lot of interesting QBs.

  2. brownoholic says: Aug 22, 2014 4:53 PM

    Shaw is still better than Grossman. And being low on the totem pole, I’m sure PLENTY of my fellow knucklehead Brown fans will be lobbying for him. It’s the Cleveland way!

  3. Bill Belitext says: Aug 22, 2014 4:55 PM

    They made a trade on draft day in order to draft Manziel, and they are going to sit him in favor of Shaw? I dont see that happening. You might as well fire yourself if you make that move

  4. bassplucker says: Aug 22, 2014 4:55 PM

    Spurrier isn’t the only one asking that question by now.

  5. vanmorrissey says: Aug 22, 2014 4:55 PM

    Agree completely, ball coach! Shaw deserves more than just a nod.

  6. jerruhjones says: Aug 22, 2014 4:58 PM

    Spurrier is the last guy I want picking my QB!

  7. papacrick says: Aug 22, 2014 4:59 PM

    He may not be great but he looks a hell of a lot better than the two guys ahead of him on the depth chart

  8. tski13 says: Aug 22, 2014 5:02 PM

    Not 6th round, not seventh round, undrafted.. How many of those do you see opening day. His college stats were great, but he needs time

  9. phuzzball says: Aug 22, 2014 5:04 PM

    From a Clemson alum….give Shaw a shot, he’s much better than Manziel.

  10. rayjay9393 says: Aug 22, 2014 5:04 PM

    because he played against 3rd stringers, coach…

  11. skawh says: Aug 22, 2014 5:07 PM

    Well, Shaw did play against the 2nd and 3rd teams. But I’d be for giving him a shot…someone must be looking for a 3rd QB on their roster. Cleveland signed Rex to mentor, so Shaw is even man out.

    He’ll make a practice squad somewhere, or hey, there’s always Canada. Don’t pull a Tebow and think you’re too good for Canada.

  12. chad504boy says: Aug 22, 2014 5:11 PM

    Hard to argue that Shaw is really a step down from what we’ve seen of Hoyer and Manziel.

  13. td40 says: Aug 22, 2014 5:14 PM

    He’s absolutely right. Every time someone starts to crow about how well Shaw played against the Redskins, there are always “smart” people who like to point out that Shaw was playing against 3rd stringers… but so was Manziel. Manziel played until the 4th quarter and, for a good bit of time before he left the game, most of the guys he was playing against were 3rd string… and he struggled mightily against them. Then Shaw comes in and plays lights out against many of the same defenders that were getting the best of Johnny Sandlot.

    …and that is the key information. It’s not that Shaw played lesser players than Manziel did, it’s that he played many of the same players and excelled against them where Johnny failed miserably. Shaw was far more poised, dealt with the pressure much better, and even managed to stay in the pocket and go through his WR progression, where scared Johnny gives up on his WRs and runs immediately. Bottom line: Shaw outplayed Manziel by miles against many of the same defenders.

    At very least, Shaw should be considered for the #2 QB.

  14. gofor2with3pointlead says: Aug 22, 2014 5:14 PM

    A busted clock is right twice a day.

  15. geezohman says: Aug 22, 2014 5:16 PM

    I called Sport Radio KNR Tuesday late afternoon, asked the same question…

    SO… if a guy plays 2nd, 3rd string against 2nd third string… and does WELL… then he is better than 2nd/3rd string… and what is better than 2nd string… BUT first string.

    LEt me ask… did he have the same play book, did Shanahan, give him special plays… did Shanahan go into the locker room and just let him play ? NO.. .same plays.. same play book and how much time did he have to learn… same as Hoyer and Johnny ? oh yes.

    I think Tom Brady was a 6 th round…

    Look how lousy Laundry Jones 3 rd string is for Steelers, etc etc.

    Fools, Tell me the data when you let him do a few series with first string… duh.. same playbook.

  16. bubbybrisket says: Aug 22, 2014 5:20 PM

    Steve was a terrible NFL QB.

  17. brownsmakemecrazy says: Aug 22, 2014 5:20 PM

    Love the OBC. Him and Rex Ryan are never dull in their pressers

  18. vols84 says: Aug 22, 2014 5:23 PM

    I agree with him. Why not? The other two are junk.

  19. gbatap says: Aug 22, 2014 5:25 PM

    Not saying shaw I’d Brady but if you look at the reasons the patriots took him they resemble Shaw’s strengths. Great leader, amazing competitor, winner, and is incredible in the 4th quarter when the games on the line. Might not be a great physical specimen, but neither was Brady.

    He was the best browns qb the other day and while he was up against 3rd stringers he was also playing with 3rd stringers and not getting half the reps in preparation.

  20. realitycheckbaby says: Aug 22, 2014 5:27 PM

    This is why Seattle is the best organization on the league.

    Hawks believe in competing, not worrying about appearances or what others think.

    Started an undrafted rookie at MLB out of Montana the first two games and he played well.

    The team is full of late picks who now are the best.

  21. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 22, 2014 5:28 PM

    Shaw was playing against 4th teamers that aren’t going to make an NFL squad. Good for him that he was able to take advantage. But lets be serious OBC…

  22. gbatap says: Aug 22, 2014 5:29 PM

    And you want character? this guy has already come out and said it the nfl doesn’t work out he’s off to join the army. The US armed forces could only he so lucky.

  23. kd75 says: Aug 22, 2014 5:31 PM

    Says the guy who picked Shane Matthews to be his starting QB in the NFL…

  24. rayjay9393 says: Aug 22, 2014 5:38 PM

    well so throw Shaw into the Fangio’s starters and see what happens smarty.

    Knowing the playbook as a rookie ( btw. we don’t know how much of his playbook knowledge ) doesnt guarantee the succes..

    Last time I checked Tom Brady wasn’t the starter from week one coming from as a rookie.

  25. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Aug 22, 2014 5:39 PM

    Shaw was the best QB on the field for either team Monday night so why not throw him in the mix? All Shaw did in college was win.

  26. billybone says: Aug 22, 2014 5:40 PM

    Too much stock is put into where a player is drafted. Most GM’s let their ego get in the way. Granted, it doesn’t always work out (yes, it’s a homer example) but what if Seattle let their ego get in the way and chose to start Matt Flynn over 3rd rounder, 5’10” Wilson just because they had just paid Flynn a bunch of money? Let the best man win regardless of draft order.

  27. rayjay9393 says: Aug 22, 2014 5:50 PM

    Sanchez is the MVP of the League with that foolish logic

  28. thelastwordyaheard says: Aug 22, 2014 5:53 PM

    the kid has never gotten much respect, despite a great record as a starter in the best conference in the country.. the politics will keep him from getting a fair shake in Cleveland, which is a shame.. Manziel doesn’t have half the maturity, poise or dedication

  29. classyjacklambert says: Aug 22, 2014 5:54 PM

    Shaw’s not talented but he works hard and might be a decent journeyman, might as well at least give him a shot when no one else is showing anything good.

  30. jtm12180 says: Aug 22, 2014 5:54 PM

    As I’ve said before…shaw was playing against a third string defense with ten third string teammates…

  31. shatho1 says: Aug 22, 2014 5:56 PM

    the browns won’t do this because their owner and front office are idiots. Shaw was way better and should be given a shot

  32. nawlinssaints1956 says: Aug 22, 2014 5:59 PM

    The Ole Ball Coach saw my post on this earlier in the week and figured it made sense…

  33. joker65 says: Aug 22, 2014 6:01 PM

    He may have been playing against 3rd stringers, but was also playing with his teams third stringers. That argument is bogus.

  34. corkspop says: Aug 22, 2014 6:04 PM

    I hope he gets a chance somewhere in the NFL. We already know who the #1 and #2 are in Cleveland. Maybe he will catch on somewhere and get to learn behind a good vet. He’s a winner.

  35. wisbadgfan says: Aug 22, 2014 6:28 PM

    I like Connor Shaw—-a very tough and gritty kid. He is a fiery competitor and leader.

    He is mobile and he is an accurate passer. I am not sure on his arm strength, but some fine qbs in the nfl have not always had cannon arms.

    I think Shaw does have an nfl future—-learn for a couple of years and than have an opportunity.

  36. mogogo1 says: Aug 22, 2014 6:38 PM

    Spurrier must hate Shaw. His best shot at NFL success will be if he NEVER plays for the Browns and somehow manages to get out of there and onto another roster. Cleveland is a career killer for QBs.

  37. JackedUpSports says: Aug 22, 2014 6:39 PM

    Shaw is the closest thing to Russell Wilson that there is in this league. He’s much smarter than most quarterbacks and he’s a true field general. I did not go to South Carolina but I’ve seen plenty of their games on TV and Shaw is far and away the most under-appreciated quarterback in the football world and he should be starting in the NFL

  38. facebook.com/joesimmonscomic AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Aug 22, 2014 6:49 PM

    Shaw was really impressive, but on his one incompletion I saw his weakness: arm strength. He was trying to hit a deep out, and he just didn’t have the arm for it.

    I think he could be a good backup, ala Matt Flynn, if he sticks around the league.

  39. juliusanonymous says: Aug 22, 2014 6:53 PM

    None of the 31 other teams thought Russell Wilson was worth selecting, either. And if you listen to them now, they still don’t.

    But that sure didn’t stop Wilson from beating them all into submission on his way into the elite circle of QBs to win a Superbowl ring in only their 2nd season.

    Who’s laughing now?

    #RussellMania
    #2014WorldChampionSeahawks

  40. 49erstim says: Aug 22, 2014 7:10 PM

    Journeyman Hoyer or Johnny Draftbust?…….. hmmmmm….. I think I’d at least give the third guy a shot at some first string PT.

  41. godofwine330 says: Aug 22, 2014 7:25 PM

    I can’t see a reason why he couldn’t be our Gus Frerotte. Frerotte was drafted in the 7th round when Heath Shuler was drafted 4th overall. Shuler ended up playing a mere 4 years, when Frerotte played 15 years and had more than 5 time Shuler’s yards. If this happens, let’s hope he plays better than either Shuler or Frerotte.

  42. drtracer says: Aug 22, 2014 7:26 PM

    I for the life of me understand why there is so much hype on Jonny . I personally think he won’t win 5 games in the nfl. Conner shaw is the best qb. On there roster . Give him first team reps from now till beg. Of the season and this kid will do special things. But it’s the Browns and there egos will not let the man do his buisness. I bet they will not even let him play any more this presentation season . Cause then he will show the front office he is the man. And they want the hype with manzel. Not wins and losses. And they cannot make Nike eat there million dollar boy

  43. mrfrostyj says: Aug 22, 2014 7:36 PM

    current QB ratings

    Connor Shaw (Browns) – 155.5

    Derek Anderson (Panthers) – 140.6

    Colt McCoy (Redskins) – 118.1

    Curtis Painter (Giants) – 108.4

    It’s amazing what playing against defensive players guaranteed to not be playing in the fall can do for a QB’s numbers. If you enter a pre season game in the fourth quarter and can’t produce you’re career is done because it should be automatic. Just ask Tyler Thigpin.

  44. boys3rsk says: Aug 22, 2014 8:03 PM

    I thought this was supposed to be a COMPETIION between the THREE Q.B.’s?? Not who was drafted in the 1st. round and got all the money. Shaw looked better than BOTH Hoyer and Manzial. Let him compete. Not in Cleveland. Cleveland is bad for a reason. They don’t know what they are doing.

  45. drtracer says: Aug 22, 2014 8:37 PM

    I totally agree with you. I just saw on the bottom of the screen on ESPN that they have a special 2 qb. Package on the table for Jonny boy. And it’s helarious how no one on ESPN has even talked about conner shaw this week . And no one has questioned if Jonny will not make the final cut to make the team this year . Note to the Jonny lovers . He is going to get hurt playing a grown man’s game . I’ll bet the farm . He looks so small out there . I think the kicker on there squad is bigger than him. Lol gl. Conner shaw should be the #2 qb. On there roster .period.

  46. drtracer says: Aug 22, 2014 8:49 PM

    1 more comment then I won’t post any more . Has any one looked at how much conner shaw has been looked up on the Internet this week. I think it’s because he’s a good steal for the Browns that got him undrafted. Wow yes UNDRAFTED. How in the heck did all the teams pass on this kid . He wins football games . Sec last year only 1 int. How in the heck does every one pass on this kid. I’m a st Louis boy. And the rams are my team . And I would love for this kid to be ready behind Sam Bradford. … please coach go get this boy we would win. PS this kid is undefeated in all his bowl games

  47. selliott504 says: Aug 22, 2014 9:25 PM

    Glad Shaw’s performance is getting some attention. It was obvious in watching the game that he was by far the best QB of the group!

  48. ytownjoe says: Aug 22, 2014 10:18 PM

    Shaw is on the right team. 20 quarterbacks in 15 years. Hoyer, Manziel, maybe Grossman makes Shaw number 23. His time will come.

  49. djshnooks says: Aug 22, 2014 10:45 PM

    Steve Spurrier has been a big-time coach a long time now…whereas Mike Pettine was a high school JV coach 10 years ago. Lol.

    Good luck with that, Cleveland.

  50. jfkresearcher says: Aug 22, 2014 11:23 PM

    Personally I hope that Connor Shaw wins the Browns starting quarterback job at some point this season. Johnny Manziel has done nothing but disappoint the fan base so far. I do not think that Brian Hoyer will last the entire season coming off ACL surgery.

  51. eric6446 says: Aug 23, 2014 12:25 AM

    i do not care if he was playing 3rd stringers or with 3rd stringers bottom line is he found the open guys he hit them with accuracy and you could tell he was in charge he should be giving a shot to earn the spot at the very i wouldn’t mind trading hoyer or JFF and moving him up the depth chart i would trade JFF before hoyer he just rubs me the wrong way and even if hes great if hes going to act the way he acts im not sure i would be able to get behind him

  52. coachbeck says: Aug 23, 2014 12:48 AM

    Can’t blame spurrier for Washington they got overruled many times on personnel

  53. coltzfan166 says: Aug 23, 2014 3:56 AM

    I’m honestly surprised Shaw didn’t get any attention in the combine and draft. I thought he played pretty well at South Carolina. I’m curious to see how well he would translate into the NFL. Although that’s going to be hard for anyone who’s stuck at 4th string on the depth chart.

  54. holeinone09 says: Aug 23, 2014 7:56 AM

    I would like to see the Steelers claim Connor when the Browns try to move him to the practice squad. Landrey Jones has showed me nothing.

  55. muencht says: Aug 26, 2014 12:08 PM

    Cleveland is pathetic w/ their revolving door for coaches and quarterbacks. As to quarterbacks in 2014:

    Hoyer will never be a top QB; he has no real skills.

    Manziel has been horrible except for the first exhibition game where he found a big hole and made a nice run. His priority is fun, not football.

    Grossman? A has-been.

    Shaw was very impressive: 8/9 140 yards and a TD. By far the best performance by a Browns QB this preseason.

    Here’s what I think will happen: Hoyer will start the regular season w/ Johnny Football replacing him periodically after he (Hoyer) throws many interceptions and is sacked many times. JF will be a dud. In desperation, the coach will play Grossman. Finally, Shaw will get his chance.

    But of course coaches seldom do the right thing. Pettine will not want to admit he made the wrong choice in Hoyer. Think Rex Ryan refusing to pull Mr Butt Fumble (Mark Sanchez) after bad performance after …

    Sorry Browns fans but Cleveland is pathetic.

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