Connor Shaw is hoping as hard as he can that he won’t be able to watch South Carolina’s season-opener against Texas A&M on Aug. 28.
The former Gamecocks quarterback wants to be playing in Cleveland’s final preseason game that night, which would mean he survived the Browns’ first round of roster cuts and had one more chance to prove he deserves a spot on the team in the 2014 season.
“I feel pretty confident that I will make it through the first round of cuts, and, hopefully, be able to play a little bit in the fourth preseason game,” Shaw told The State on Thursday evening. “We will just see from there. I know they’ve got a tough job trimming the roster down, but I feel like, the way I performed, I put myself in a good position.”
Shaw was the Browns most statistically successful quarterback on Monday night in the team’s second preseason game, completing 8-of-9 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. He isn’t sure he will play Saturday in the third preseason game of the year because Rex Grossman, the other candidate for the third-string quarterback job, is scheduled to play the latter stages of that game.
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“I’ll be ready for anything,” said Shaw, who along with wife Molly is expecting his first child in two-and-a-half weeks. “I think I made a lot of strides since OTAs. I have definitely learned a lot and improved a lot, and I’m just trying to continue that day by day.”
The Browns’ first cuts will come early next week, and final rosters must be submitted to the NFL by Aug. 30. Shaw’s Monday night performance was all the more impressive because he received limited snaps during practice, which is the norm for a third-string quarterback.
“That’s how it is in this business,” he said. “I wish I could have topped (the game) off with a victory, but other than that, I thought I played pretty solid.”
The outpouring of support he got from Cleveland fans and South Carolina fans after the game was touching, Shaw said.
“I knew I had a great deal of support from the Gamecock family, but I was really overwhelmed by the Browns fans as well,” he said. “I feel very fortunate to have so many people supporting me.”