Sports Medley: NFL Alert Connor Shaw 28 Dec 14
by Tony Medley
it’s 8 AM on Sunday morning and I just learned that Connor Shaw is going
to start at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns today. Shaw is an
undrafted quarterback from the University of South Carolina who was
signed in preseason by the Browns. Because of Johnny Manziel and Brian
Hoyer, he did not get much playing time. However he did come in near the
end of one preseason game and drove the Browns downfield to a touchdown,
the only touchdown they scored in the game. One drive does not a career
make, but I saw the game and was deeply impressed by Shaw and mourned
for him that he did not get much of a chance. From what I saw, he was
clearly a better quarterback than either Manziel or Hoyer. He was an
accurate passer with a strong arm and a capable runner. After the season
started, I heard nothing further about Shaw and assumed that he had been
cut by the Browns. I’m pleased that they kept him on their practice
squad and that he is going to finally get his chance.
At South Carolina he was a three-year starter and led the team to a 27 –
5 three year record. In his senior year he threw 24 TD passes with only
one interception. This guy is the real deal.
Remember that Tom Brady was a sixth round draft choice who came in when
the Patriots’ starting quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, was injured and he
became one of the greats of the game. Johnny Unitas was cut by the
Steelers and signed with the Colts in 1956 as a backup to George Shaw,
who had led the nation in Total Offense as a senior at Oregon in 1955. I
remember watching the Rams’ play in Baltimore in 1956 and Unitas started
because Shaw had broken his leg. After the game I thought, “How could
Shaw be as good as this guy?” He wasn’t.
I’m not going to be surprised if Connor Shaw shows the same kind of
talent. He has a huge disadvantage, however, because he has been playing
on the practice squad all year and has not had a chance to work with the
regular players with whom he will be playing today. As a result, timing
might be a problem.
This is obviously a longshot, but I’m betting that Connor Shaw will
solve the Browns’ quarterback problem and will relegate Hoyer and
Manziel to trivia questions.