When word first got out that Josh McCown would be joining the Eagles’ practice squad as an emergency quarterback while remaining home in Texas, we all kind of pictured him pocketing those $12,000 weekly paychecks while chilling on the deck wearing a Stetson with a cooler full of beer at his side.
Not quite how it's going to go.
McCown will be in Texas physically, but he’ll be at the NovaCare Complex mentally.
He’s taking this seriously.
“I'll wake up every day and ask myself, ‘How I can bring value to the team from a distance?’” McCown said Tuesday.
McCown has earned nearly $52 million in his 18-year NFL career so he sure isn’t doing this for the money.
He’s doing it because he just likes being part of this football team.
“I think it'd be different if this was a new team that I was doing this for,” he said. “But because I've been with these guys last year and played alongside these guys, I think there's a connection for me at least that makes this a different feeling. And certainly, whether I was doing this or not, would have followed the team along closely and rooted for these guys and been as supportive as possible. I think it's more official now.”
McCown, 41, said he’ll participate in all team, offensive and QB meetings through Zoom, he’ll study videotape of practice as soon as it's uploaded, he’ll study the Eagles’ upcoming opponents and he’ll serve as a sounding board to Carson Wentz, who he’s very close with.
“Thankfully, I have two young quarterbacks in my house,” he said. “So we throw the ball every day, and I'm involved with them all the time. So that stuff is the best way for me to stay sharp. When (the Eagles) go out to practice, I'll probably go out and work out and then I'll come back in and watch the practice and then be able to reconvene with them and and share thoughts and discuss things. I'll be looking at opponent tape so I can better myself to be a resource for these guys. I'll definitely be active and be ready to go.”
McCown won’t officially be a coach. The CBA doesn’t allow player-coaches.
But he’ll most likely do a lot more coaching this fall than playing.
He’ll only travel to Philly and suit up if disaster strikes.
But a huge part of his value is the guidance and mentorship he can provide to Wentz.
“For me, last year was great, just getting to spend every day with a guy and kind of get an idea of who he is as a person, what he's learned about himself, what his leadership style is,” McCown said. “When you're a young player and you're trying to go, ‘OK, what's my style, what's my voice?’ Sometimes you don't know. And I guess for me last year my role was just to affirm him in those areas, maybe help, ‘Hey, think about saying this this way,’ or, ‘Think about talking about this that way.’ So I think the main thing for me is just to be able to go, ‘Man, I've been around. I've gotten the great privilege of being around a lot of great leaders, especially at the quarterback position.’ So to be able to share some of those experiences with him, hopefully help him, it’s always the goal. And to his credit, he's receptive, always wants to learn and grow and get better. And I think the play down the stretch last year reflected that.”
You know it’s a strange year when one of the most notable Eagles signings of the offseason is a guy everybody hopes never plays.