Steve Spurrier to Browns: Why not Connor Shaw

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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 promoting Shaw for a while now. Spurrier even compared 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.

56 responses to “Steve Spurrier to Browns: Why not Connor Shaw

  1. 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!

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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?


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

  22. 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.

  23. 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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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!

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

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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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