The race for the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback was always a two-man race between Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel. Hoyer ultimately won the gig, but neither he or Manziel was very impressive throughout the preseason. In Cleveland’s last game, Hoyer was 2-6 for 16 yards and Manziel was 7-16 for 65 yards.
But a Browns quarterback did perform well that night and his name is Connor Shaw, the former South Carolina standout. He was 8-9 for 123 yards and a touchdown (155.8 passer rating).
That performance was enough for Shaw’s college coach, Steve Spurrier, to suggest the Browns should consider the 22-year-old for the starting gig.
From Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com:
“I thought Connor played pretty well,” Steve Spurrier told 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.”
Despite Spurrier’s desires or Shaw’s strong play, the former Gamecock never had a chance. Manziel is Cleveland’s future and Hoyer is the veteran, leaving little room for an undrafted player to make a push for the starting job.
Perhaps if Hoyer and Manziel’s struggles continue into the regular season, Shaw will get a chance to prove himself at some point.