South Carolina’s all-time winningest quarterback is enjoying dad life this offseason while continuing to rehab from a broken leg suffered in August.
Connor Shaw is getting healthier and remains confident he can have success in the NFL, whether that is with the Chicago Bears, his current team, or elsewhere.
“It’s getting back right. I’m getting the strength back. I’m back running and throwing, so taking it day by day and getting better every day,” he said Saturday at his football camp in Greenville. “I’ll be back right by the time OTAs come around in April.”
Chicago quarterbacks Shaw, Jay Cutler and Brian Hoyer ended last season on injured reserve. The Bears’ active quarterbacks at the end of the year were Matt Barkley and David Fales.
Hoyer and Barkley are free agents, and Shaw is unsure which direction the organization will go at the quarterback position.
“They’ve got some decisions to make,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of quarterbacks in the last year of contracts so I’m confident. I remain optimistic. So we’ll just see how it pans out.”
Prior to missing the 2016 season, Shaw sat out all of 2015 as a member of the Cleveland Browns after suffering a thumb injury in a preseason game. He was released by Cleveland last summer before signing with the Bears.
Shaw admitted it was difficult to sit out back-to-back years, but he’s staying positive.
“Any competitor, when you go down and have to watch another season it just kind of felt like déjà vu from being on IR in Cleveland and now Chicago, but it happens and you’ve got to remain confident and don’t be down on yourself and be negative,” Shaw said. “I was around a lot of good people after we caught the injury bug this year in Chicago. I was around a lot of guys that were going through the same thing. It’s all about perseverance and you find out who you are.”
Shaw’s wife, Molly, gave birth to the couple’s second child in November.
Their son, Decker, is about 3 months old, while their daughter, Mila, was born in 2014.
“Two’s a game-changer,” Shaw said with a smile. “My little boy’s still young so it’s some sleepless nights, but it’s a lot of fun. They make it fun. My little girl, Mila, she’s 2 1/2 so they make things interesting.”
A typical day for Shaw consists of a couple of hours of rehab in the morning, followed by a couple of hours of training. After that, he focuses on being a husband and father.
“I come home with open arms of being a dad, so it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “That’s the most fun part about the offseason is hanging out with the family. It’s not very long days in the facility, game planning, but still you have a tight regiment, especially recovering from an injury and rehab, so it’s just taking it day by day.”
Shaw took a break from spending time with his kids Saturday afternoon to work with youngsters at his camp.
About 140 youngsters were on hand to learn from Shaw, former South Carolina wide receiver Nick Jones and other former high school and college players and coaches.
“This is something I look forward to every year,” Shaw said. “We do at least two in the offseason. I’ve got a little bit of coaching in me so it’s always fun.”
Could coaching be in his future?
“We’ll see,” Shaw said. “My dad was a coach. I grew up always wanting to be a coach, but you never know what’s going to happen when it’s all said and done.”