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.