Josh McCown may have a problem getting respect in some places, but not from the Ravens.
The Browns’ journeyman quarterback has beaten the Ravens the last two times he has faced them. McCown torched the Ravens in Week 5 at M&T Bank Stadium, throwing for a franchise record 457 yards, while completing 36 of 51 passes during a 33-30 Browns victory. He also beat the Ravens in 2013, starting at quarterback for the Bears in place of an injured Jay Cutler.
McCown will try to do it again Monday night, when the Browns (2-8) host the Ravens (3-7). A national TV audience would likely prefer to see Johnny Manziel playing quarterback for the Browns and Joe Flacco playing quarterback for the Ravens. However, Flacco is out with a season-ending knee injury, meaning Matt Schaub will start for the Ravens. Meanwhile, Manziel was demoted to third string after his latest off-the-field controversy involving his apparent weekend of partying.
Seeing Manziel get in trouble again was not the way McCown wanted to reclaim the starting job. But as a 36-year-old veteran playing for his ninth NFL team, McCown won’t be fazed by the situation.
“It’s unfortunate,” McCown said during a conference call. “You understand that you have a job to do, and the coaches make the decisions and tell you you’re playing, and you move forward accordingly. I’m in the room with that guy (Manziel) every day, and we’ve built a relationship. You don’t want anybody on my team to have to deal with circumstances like that.”
McCown doesn’t have the strongest arm, but gets rid of the football quickly and accurately when given time to throw.
The Ravens also helped McCown in Week 5 by missing assignments in the secondary and leaving Browns receivers wide open. The Ravens believe their defense has improved since then. But they also know McCown is capable of beating them.
“He played really well against us the last game,” said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. “We didn’t play very well in the back end, and we gave up way too many passing yards, too many big plays…He’s a guy that we have tons of respect for.”
And a guy the Ravens have been unable to beat.