Josh McCown: the Next Rich Gannon or Benchwarmer?

NFL NEWS: Josh McCown

Journeyman Josh McCown has a lot of pressure to succeed with his new team after being compared to former MVP Rich Gannon by his former coach.

While McCown was with the Chicago Bears, head coach Marc Trestman compared him another journeyman quarterback in Gannon, whom he coached while he was with the Oakland Raiders.

When McCown signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on March 12, head coach Lovie Smith declared him the starter. After signing the two-year, $10 million contract with incentives for playing time and playoff appearances, it appeared incumbent Mike Glennon‘s time with the team might be up. Despite an all-offensive draft, the first in franchise history, none of the picks were quarterbacks. Smith said Glennon was the future of the franchise.

When and if that happens depends on McCown’s play. Despite having played for eight different franchises including one in the UFL, McCown had a career season replacing the injured Jay Cutler finishing the remainder of the 2013 season with career bests in completion percentage (66.5), touchdowns (13) and only one interception in an eight-game span.

Pretty impressive considering he never completed a whole season as a starter and the closest he came was in 2003 with the Arizona Cardinals in his third year with 14 games.

A career passer rating of 77.5, what impressed Smith on McCown? Would you believe his commitment on finishing his 2010 out with the Hartford Colonials of the UFL in lieu of an NFL return with the Smith-run Bears?

McCown will be entering his 13th year. What was Gannon doing his 13th year?

After playing for three teams, Gannon played his first full season as Raiders starting quarterback in 1999 and achieving personal bests topping 3,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, a feat he would repeat three more times consecutively. In 2002, he threw for 4,689 passing yards on his way to Super Bowl XXXVII. During that same four-year span, he threw for a combined 105 touchdowns with an average rating of 92.93.

That’s some huge shoes to fill. Can McCown succeed without Trestman? Offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford has had a long history of mentoring NFL-ready quarterbacks. Those quarterbacks? Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Akili Smith, Joey Harrington, Kyle Boller, Billy Volek, A.J. Feeley, and some fellow named Aaron Rodgers. Of those names only Dilfer and Rodgers are considered NFL successes and I’m coining the term “success” loosely on Dilfer since he may be the only starting QB to be deposed following his team’s Super Bowl win.

I don’t believe in making projections this early in the season and I don’t wish to jinx the guy, but I suspect there’s a better chance of McCown playing like post-New England Patriots Matt Cassel and Matt Flynn, after his first stint with the Green Bay Packers than him turning to Gannon.


About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News,, and Tampa Tribune.
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