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I want to get into what he said, and lend some perspective based on what I witnessed throughout the spring.
Josh McCown was ESPN Radio this morning and made a number of comments worth commenting on.
He was asked about the theory that he is a “bridge quarterback.”
“As a competitor, your first reaction is, ‘Well, I’m not a bridge and, if that’s the case, I’m gonna be a dang good bridge,'” McCown said.
He doesn’t view himself as a “bridge quarterback” and he shouldn’t. That is terrible mindset to play that position, thinking you are going to pulled potentially after every game, quarter or play, and replaced by the youngster.
And based on what I saw this spring, he can be a solid game-manager for the Jets this year. He had good field vision and did a nice job of spreading the ball around to different targets. Mentally, he’s at his zenith as a quarterback. Playing NFL QB is so hard, and takes many years to master, and he’s at the point where he’s in a great place mentally.
I know a lot of people are dismissive of him, but I really do think he can be a smart, efficient signal-caller for the Jets in 2017.
I think the plan is for him to play until the Jets fall from contention, and then go to Christian Hackenberg. Look, I’m just talking about wildcard contention, which means being 3-4 or 4-3 or something like that – hanging around. 1-6, you go to Hackenberg.
That is how Todd Bowles handled the situation last year with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryce Petty, and I think that is how he will handle McCown-Hackenberg.
Hackenberg needs some more time. He’s is only 22, and is in his second offense in two years. I think sitting for an extra month or two (or the entire season is McCown plays really well), is not the end of the world, though many reporters and fans will lead you to believe that. It’s not.
McCown is nearing the end of his career, and he’s highly-motivated to go out not being viewed as just a journeyman, but somebody who did something special on his way out.
“I’m going to go out and play the best ball I’ve ever played in my career and as a team we’re going to come together and maybe buck a lot of people’s expectations,” McCown told ESPN.
And let’s not forget the guy is a hell of a leader (will likely be a head coach one day) and the Jets need this kind of guy on the field, especially early in the season after the rutterless ship the Jets were last year.
Obviously he isn’t into the whole tanking thing and believes the Jets have more talent than people give them credit for.
“There’s still some guys there that are pros,” McCown said on ESPN. “When you watch how a guy like Matt Forte comes in and does his job every day, Mo Wilkerson had a great spring, came in and worked hard, and our rookies coming along, Jamal Adams so impressive coming in as a rookie out of LSU, a high draft pick.”
I think Forte could have a huge season catching the ball in the Jets’ new system – he’s one of the best receiving backs in NFL history, and was prolific catching the ball in the spring. Wilkerson seems poised to have a monster season – he’s now healthy again and has a massive chip on his shoulder with all the cheap shot directed at him (Daily News called him a “Goodyear Blimp”) and the team. Adams instincts and leadership are rare. You could see that already in the spring.
As far as I’m concerned, McCown should be the QB at the beginning of the year.
And should not embrace a “bridge QB” mentality. That is unhealthy.
July 20, 2017
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