Connor Shaw to start for Browns

ByJeremy Fowler ESPN logo
Saturday, December 27, 2014

BEREA, Ohio -- Connor Shaw, who was on the practice squad for 16 weeks, will start at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday after the undrafted rookie agreed Friday to a multiyear deal.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer didn't practice all week after suffering a deep bruise to his right shoulder/bicep area last weekend at Carolina. Johnny Manziel is on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

The Browns like Shaw's toughness and players respect him, but coach Mike Pettine isn't exactly expecting a shootout.

"You're starting an undrafted rookie quarterback -- I don't think we're going to look to go down there and win one 41-38," Pettine said. "We need to be along the lines of 3-2."

Shaw will be the 22nd starting quarterback in the past 16 years for the Browns, who will play a third-stringer for the third straight year.

Shaw tweeted out the No. 22, which appeared to be a reference to his contribution to the number of Browns starters at the quarterback position.

Shaw's only action on the year was an 8-of-9 passing preseason performance for 123 yards and a touchdown against Washington.

"I'm just going to go play," said Shaw, who signed with the Browns out of South Carolina. "With my capability and my style of play, nothing's going to change. I'm not in garnet and black anymore; I'm in white and brown and orange."

The Browns eased Shaw into the game plan this week, installing the offense Tuesday and Wednesday before transitioning to red zone work Friday.

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said he likes to joke with the quarterback room that Shaw's 4.66-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine was slightly faster than Manziel's 4.68, though Shanahan admits Manziel is a bit quicker.

The point is the quarterbacks are similar in mobility.

"One thing I can say for sure, is he'll be prepared and he'll compete as hard as anybody," Shanahan said of Shaw.

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