For USC cornerback Josh Shaw, the focus is football


Josh Shaw was a standout at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Shaw is one of the prospects that the Baltimore Ravens had their eye on last week. He was clearly one of the better corners this week. He did exactly what he needed to do after the tough season that he experienced this year. He had an off field incident that may cause some teams to be hesitant.

His performance in front of the NFL teams will help to minimize the emphasis that may have been placed on his suspension. Many people who haven’t spoken to Shaw before came away surprised at how well spoken he is and how much of an understanding he has of the position.

Shaw showed that he can be a versatile player. Some teams talked to him about playing safety. In his mind, he offers a variety of ways to help a team.

“I think I bring multiple things. First off, I am a guy that can play on special teams and help whatever organization in that regard.” Shaw said. “I am also a guy that can line up at any position in the backfield on the defensive side, at a high level.”

His confidence shows when talking to him. That is the reason he has the mental makeup to be a very good press cornerback, which he says is his preference.

“It’s where I am most comfortable at. I think I have the most upside at that position.” Shaw said.

The Baltimore Ravens have shown interest in Shaw because his press coverage ability matches their defensive scheme. He is an aggressive defensive back that has all of the ability to “Play Like a Raven.”

Shaw went into detail about what it takes to excel at the position.

“You have to trust in your preparation, how your coaches are coaching you but most of all, it’s about confidence. Playing corner, if you’re not confident, you’re no good. You have to go out there with a great deal of confidence,” Shaw said. “I think I am a match up nightmare for a lot of receivers. I know when I line up across from them, they probably don’t want to deal with me. My mindset is to have a plan when I get to the line of scrimmage, I will make them have to deal with me.”

Shaw plays the position almost like a cat and mouse game.

“I always come to the line of scrimmage with a plan. If you don’t, that’s when you get in trouble. Sometimes, I like to switch up my techniques. I don’t want to give the receivers the same picture every time. I don’t want to give the quarterback the same thing every time. “ Shaw said. “I want to be able to mix things up. Of course you always want to make them feel you but there will be times when they may not feel you. That’s when you just mirror them, turn and run with them. That’s how you change it up.”

Playing corner, especially a press corner requires having an extremely competitive edge. Shaw definitely checks that box on the football field.

“My mindset is that I am so competitive that when the defense is in the huddle, I hope the coach calls cover one or cover zero. That way, it’s me versus the receiver.”

While press coverage is something that he prefers, Shaw says that he has seen a lot from the five coaches that he had while he was at USC.

“In the end, it all comes back to being confident with who you are.” He feels that he can adapt very quickly. He said that he’s had to play his share of off man in college also. The thing that he likes about it is that at some point, it becomes just man.

His reasoning is that he isn’t one to hurry into his backpedal because he trusts his speed. He will allow the receiver to make their move and act accordingly. Some corners tend to lunge at the receiver because they have to get a hand on him to redirect them.

Shaw said that he likes Patrick Peterson and Aqib Talib because they are long corners. From a technical standpoint he studies Darrelle Revis. The same guys who trained Revis in the off-season are training him now. He knows the value of watching film but understands that each player is unique.

“I watch a lot of his film [Revis] but every guy is different. What works for him might not work for me,” Shaw said.