I never thought I would ever say this, but there is an unquestionable hype around Josh McCown.
Lovie Smith’s anointed starting quarterback (for the foreseeable future) has looked sharp at team workouts thus far, and when you combine that with his impressive 13TD-1INT run for Chicago last season, there is a buzz for the pewter pirates’ newest leader of the ship.
He’s done all the right things. Granted, it is easy to look good in workouts when there aren’t pass rushers breathing down your neck, or defensive backs swatting throws away. However, McCown has showcased his reliability by doing exactly what he’s supposed to up to this point.
He’s said all the right things, too. When there were rumors of the Bucs drafting a quarterback, McCown didn’t scoff at that presumption. He didn’t whine or complain. He said he would help get the rookie ready to play.
When you put those two things together, being reliable and a good teammate, you get the makings of what this offense needs: a leader.
Leadership isn’t a quality that most journeymen NFL quarterbacks tend to have, but it is probably the reason Josh McCown has stuck around in this league.
His stats certainly aren’t the reason.
McCown holds a 59% career completion percentage, and that is averaging in his great 2013 campaign, which was easily his best ever.
In 2010, Josh had a stint in the UFL which didn’t go so well, completing only 56% of his passes against inferior competition to their NFL counterparts.
Those are the things that alarm you.
But Josh McCown, whose middle name is “Treadwell”, has managed to bounce back and has treaded well on his way to obtaining a starting job in the NFL once again. He finds himself with a team and coaching staff that is confident in his wisdom, attributes, and leadership qualities.
He also finds himself in a very familiar offense.
With Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans out wide playing the parts of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, and Doug Martin and Charles Sims combining for the role of Matt Forte, McCown is leading an offense that looks pretty close to be the Bears’ offense of year’s past; the one that McCown led through the most successful stint of his long career.
At 34, there is no question that McCown has learned from all of his mistakes. His performance last season was a revelation, as he outgunned starter Jay Cutler in his absence. Their offense thrived with Josh leading the charge, and the Bucs hope that his familiarity with the type of weapons that Tampa Bay has will lead to “Treadwell’s” continued success.
The Buccaneers have made it clear that they expect to be in the fold of team’s vying for a playoff spot this season.
With the defense solidifying as a unit, the offense has needed to play catch up.
Lovie Smith is hoping that McCown can be the reliable gunner that can make that happen. The plan, as he has stated, is to keep future quarterback Mike Glennon on the sidelines this season as Josh becomes the glue that holds the new-look offense together until it evolves into its high-octane potential.
With Lovie’s confidence, comes hype from the media. And they have liked what they have seen thus far.
Fans should be cautiously optimistic, because McCown’s bad has been really bad.
But now, we’ve seen his good, too.
And that’s exactly what the Bucs expect to see in 2014.
Let’s hope “Treadwell” treads well through his upcoming season in red and pewter.