What to expect from Shaw at QB vs. the Ravens
Note: On NNR today Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports & I preview the Browns Ravens game including my advice picking against Week 17 point spreads. The podcast is on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
For the 7th time in the last dozen years, the Browns will start their 3rd string QB in the final weeks of the season. This time it is Connor Shaw, undrafted rookie from South Carolina. He will become the 22nd QB to start a game for the Browns since the team was reborn.
Shaw has an arm roughly equal to that of Brian Hoyer. It is not particularly strong. But unlike in recent games, Shaw’s mechanics are good. He is accurate in the short and medium game even against a blitz or serious pressure. He can throw long but those passes hang in the air for too long to be effective in the NFL.
He has the courage to stand in against a hit and make an accurate throw. He will run if he can’t find an open receiver but is small and is not able to survive big hits. He lost the last few games at SC last year due to an injury. He can move in the pocket to avoid rushers and has good pocket awareness.
He is not NFL ready and took very few snaps under center. His pre-snap reads were made by coaches on the sideline. He also does not show much ability to anticipate receivers coming open. The SC offense was based on the QB working half the field with a couple of simple predetermined reads. He has little experience in reading defenses particularly complex defenses that combine man and zone concepts.
He has some background in read option and that will likely be a part of the Browns offense with Shaw. But the O line will have to make a better effort to block it if the read option is going to work.
A big question is what will we see when the Browns take the field against the Ravens? Perhaps a bigger question is what happens if Shaw moves the ball better than Johnny Manziel? It is quite likely that Shaw will play better than Manziel because his mechanics are better. The most likely result of Shaw looking better will be more questions about the 2014 Browns draft. Given the play of both 1st round picks in 14, those questions will only add to the pile that already exists.
That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.
NOTE: News, Notes and Rumors podcast are BACK. Check out our thoughts on Fridays about the games coming up and Monday on the results of the weekend. My co-host is Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports. Podcasts can be heard on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Thanks for your support.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.