The Josh McCown Era Begins: Things that Make you Scratch your Head
I’ve got to admit, I was pretty disappointed to hear about the signing of the thirty-five year old journeyman quarterback by the Cleveland Browns. I understand he’s probably a nice guy and all – but the upside is really difficult to find for the elder McCown. Let’s review a few things that some in the media feels he can bring to the table.
Mentor Capabilities: I believe I have heard the word “mentor” about a billion times since the Browns acquired Josh McCown. I get that some of the best coaches are mediocre athletes (Phil Jackson, Terry Francona, Vince Lombardi – to name a few), but I would be floored if the newly signed quarterback can help Johnny Manziel turn into an All-Pro.
Clearly McCown has not shown an ability to avoid giving the football to opposing defenses (outside of a few nice games in 2013), but hopefully he can communicate that better than he can actually perform that task. At least with McCown, there is a pronounced student-teacher relationship with he and Manziel, something that was not present in Cleveland last season.
Reliability: This is another point I tend to hold my breath about, how trustworthy is the veteran once under center. Whether he is the opening day starter or a reserve that fills following an injury to the starter, he is likely going to see playing time in 2015 for the Cleveland Browns.
I fully expect John DeFilippo and the offense to tailor game plans similar to what we saw Kyle Shanahan do the year prior. This includes heavy on running plays and shorter throws to minimize potential turnovers. If this is to see any sort of success, there must be several teammates who can take pressure off the man under center. If the Browns pick up Cecil Shorts and draft DeVante Parker – I’ll feel better about this passing offense but am still not confident that McCown can throw multiple touchdowns in a game.
Willingness to Accept Role: Here is the part that I actually buy into. Josh is perfectly fine with playing or holding a clipboard and will refrain from making a stink if he is benched at any point during the campaign. The opposite was the case last year, and rightfully so, as Brian Hoyer felt he earned the job and was the better quarterback.
Unless the team goes with a Brett Hundley, Garrett Grayson, or Bryce Petty during the NFL Draft, they will likely hedging their bets that Johnny Manziel is the face of the franchise for now and the future. If that’s the case, he and McCown should get well acquainted and soon – as a positive relationship and understanding of their roles is imperative if the team wants any form of success next season.
Conclusion: While I do not believe Josh McCown is a viable NFL quarterback, and will be scared during every drop back with the Browns, I can (somewhat) understand what the team was thinking in signing him. There is a clear hierarchy now in the quarterback position, and there should be much more camaraderie between the starter and the back up. However, I hate hoping for the best of this duo, but that’s where we are at – sigh…