Josh McCown

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Josh McCown
refer to caption
McCown in 2015
No. 13 Cleveland Browns
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1979-07-04) July 4, 1979 (age 37)
Place of birth: Jacksonville, Texas
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 218 lb (99 kg)
Career information
High school: Jacksonville (TX)
College: SMU, Sam Houston State
NFL draft: 2002 / Round: 3 / Pick: 81
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2015
Passing attempts: 1,956
Passing completions: 1,164
Percentage: 59.5
TDINT: 73–63
Passing yards: 13,142
Passer rating: 78.7
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Joshua Treadwell McCown (born July 4, 1979) is an American football quarterback for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at SMU and Sam Houston State.

McCown has also played for the Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, Hartford Colonials, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is the older brother of fellow NFL quarterback Luke McCown and younger brother of former Texas A&M quarterback Randy McCown.

Early years[edit]

McCown attended Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville, Texas. He was not a starter until his senior year, when he was the East Texas Player of the Year, District 17-4A offensive player of the Year, and an all-state honorable mention.[2] He completed 153 out of 231 passes (66.23 completion percentage) for 30 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He also played basketball, and won All-District second team honors as a senior. The Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce inducted him into their Wall of Fame in 2013.[3]

College career[edit]

McCown played three collegiate seasons for the SMU Mustangs of Southern Methodist University from 1998 to 2000, passing for 4,022 yards and 27 touchdowns, but also threw 34 interceptions.[4][2][5] He started 25 total games for the Mustangs.[5] He played in nine games, starting five, for the Mustangs his freshman season in 1998, completing 46 of 99 passes for 619 yards and seven touchdowns with eight interceptions.[6][7] McCown split time with sophomore Chris Sanders in 1998.[8][9] Josh was the first freshman to start at quarterback for the team since 1989.[6] He started in ten games for the Mustangs in 1999, completing 125 of 234 passes for 1,434 yards and 11 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.[4][6] He set a school record for consecutive completions when he completed 19 passes in a row against Tulsa in 1999.[10][6] McCown started nine games for the Mustangs his junior year in 2000, completing 169 of 331 passes for 1,969 yards and nine touchdowns with sixteen interceptions.[11][12] He threw for 420 yards against Texas-El Paso in 2000, which was the third-highest total in SMU history.[6] He started the first six games of the 2000 season before being replaced by David Page for three games. McCown then started the final three games for the Mustangs.[11]

He left the SMU program to prove that he could lead an aerial attack and did so, surpassing his three-year SMU touchdown total in just one season for the Sam Houston State Bearkats of Sam Houston State University, completing 259 of 429 passes for 3,481 yards and 32 touchdowns with 12 interceptions as a senior in 2001.[6][13] The Bearkats finished with a 10-3 record and were Southland Football League co-champions with McNeese State. Sam Houston State defeated Northern Arizona in the first round of the Division I-AA national playoffs to reach the I-AA quarterfinals where the Bearkats lost to eventual national champion Montana.[14] He set single-season school records in pass completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns.[6] McCown's 3,481 passing yards ranked eighth on the school's career list.[15] He also rushed for 351 yards and six touchdowns on 112 attempts.[6] He threw for 404 yards and tied a school single-game record with five touchdowns against Western Illinois in 2001.[6] McCown was named the SFL Player of the Year and earned First Team All-SFL honors in 2001.[6][16][17] He was also named a Third Team Division I-AA All-American by the The Sports Network.[18] Following his senior season, he was one of 16 players considered for the Walter Payton Award, given to the top performer in NCAA Division 1-AA football.[19] McCown finished seventh in the Walter Payton Award voting.[20] He played in the 2002 Senior Bowl.[21][22][23] He majored in history at Sam Houston State.[6] McCown was inducted into the Sam Houston Athletic Hall of Honor in 2013.[24]

College stats[edit]

Year Team Pass att. Pass comp. Completion % Yards TDs INT Rush att. Yards Avg TDs
1998 SMU 99 46 46.5% 619 7 8 51 35 0.7 0
1999 SMU 234 125 53.4% 1,434 11 10 69 -9 -0.1 1
2000 SMU 331 169 51.1% 1,969 9 16 78 175 2.2 3
2001 Sam Houston State 429 259 60.4% 3,481 32 12 112 351 3.1 6
College totals 1,093 599 54.8% 7,503 59 46 310 552 1.7 10

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 4 in 222 lb 4.57 s 1.64 s 2.60 s 3.90 s 6.85 s 38.5 in 10 ft  in N/A reps 30
All values from 2002 NFL Scouting Combine.[25]

Arizona Cardinals[edit]

McCown shot up the draft charts after an outstanding performance at the NFL Combine, which saw him post a 4.57 40-yard dash, a 10-foot long jump, and a 38½-inch vertical jump. After being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round of the 2002 NFL Draft, future Cardinals coach Dennis Green said of McCown, "I think he's going to be a great one, when I buy into a quarterback, I really do." McCown played for the Cardinals from 2002 until 2005.

In his first season at Arizona, he played in two games, debuting against the Kansas City Chiefs when he entered into the game for starter Jake Plummer. In 2003 he played in eight games with three starts, and completed 95 of 166 passes for 1,018 yards with five TDs and six INTs and also rushed for a career-high 158 yards and a TD on 28 carries. McCown was notable for hitting receiver Nate Poole for the game-winning touchdown to knock the Vikings and-coincidentally-future offensive coordinator and coach with the Bears Mike Tice out of the playoffs 18-17.[26] His best season for the Cardinals was in 2004 when he played in 14 games and passed for 2,511 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 112 yards and two TDs on 36 attempts. In his career he has rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit for a victory on four occasions, all of them in 2004. He connected on a career-high 76.9 percent of his passes, 20 of 26 at Atlanta. He started for the Cardinals at the first regular season game outside the United States, played at Estadio Azteca on October 2, 2005 against the San Francisco 49ers,[27] but McCown relinquished the starting role to Kurt Warner in 2005. The Cardinals were 10-12 in games that McCown started during his tenure with the team.[28]

Detroit Lions[edit]

In the 2006 offseason, McCown was released by the Arizona Cardinals and became a free agent. He signed a two-year contract with the Detroit Lions on March 16, 2006. He was the backup quarterback to Jon Kitna, and was occasionally used in as the Y (slot receiver),[29] passing Corey Bradford and Mike Williams on the depth chart as the third wide receiver. McCown caught 2 passes for 15 yards when playing wide receiver in 2006 against the New England Patriots. After the Lions drafted Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton in the 2007 NFL Draft, McCown was traded along with Williams to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick, A. J. Davis.[30]

Oakland Raiders[edit]

McCown's first regular season start for the Raiders was the 2007 season opener against his former team, the Lions. He was impressive, completing 30 of 40 passes for 313 yards with two touchdowns in a 36-21 loss to the Lions. Unfortunately, he also threw two interceptions and fumbled late in the game to end the Raiders' attempt at a comeback. McCown had played through the second half of the game against the Lions with a right foot injury. McCown had struggled that season with injuries, and in 16 games McCown had only played in 9. Veteran quarterback Daunte Culpepper was signed by the Raiders prior to the start of the 2007 season,[31] and was used as a back-up quarterback to McCown when McCown was active. But when McCown was unable to play, Culpepper was the starting quarterback for the Raiders. Culpepper played in 7 games, starting 6, and had a 2-4 record as starter. Culpepper was questionable for the Raiders game against the Denver Broncos on December 2 after missing practice on November 30 with sore quadriceps. However, McCown's status was listed as probable and ended up being the starting quarterback against the Broncos. Along with running back Justin Fargas, McCown led the Raiders to a 34-20 victory over the Denver Broncos, improving the Raiders record to 4-8. In the game, McCown completed 14 of 21 passes for 141 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, and a 125.2 passer rating, the highest of his career.[32] The next week, McCown left the game against the Green Bay Packers with an injury and the Raiders lost, eliminating them from playoff contention.

McCown completed 111 of 190 passes for 1,151 yards and ten touchdowns with eleven interceptions while also rushing for 143 yards in nine games in 2007.[28] The Raiders finished the year with a 4-12 record and were 2-7 in games that McCown started.[28][33] In 2007, he was the final winner of the NFL Quarterback Challenge.[34]

Miami Dolphins[edit]

On February 29, 2008, McCown signed a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins.[35] Prior to training camp in July, McCown needed six stitches in his throwing hand's index finger. He suffered the injury holding firewood as his brother Luke chopped it.[36]

Coming into the preseason, McCown was listed on the Dolphins depth chart as their starting quarterback over John Beck. Following the signing of free agent quarterback Chad Pennington,[37] McCown failed to appear in the team's final three preseason games. He was traded to the Carolina Panthers on August 29.[38]

Carolina Panthers[edit]

On August 29, 2008, the Carolina Panthers acquired McCown from the Dolphins for a 7th round pick (#237 overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft. The move came a day after Panthers quarterback Matt Moore suffered a leg injury.[39][40] He made his debut as a Panthers player when he entered the field against the Atlanta Falcons only for the end-game kneeldowns that drained the last 73 seconds from the clock. He had the same role against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Hartford Colonials[edit]

McCown was signed by the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League (UFL) on August 3, 2010.[41][42] He received an offer from the Chicago Bears shortly after signing with the Colonials but stated that "It just didn't sit well with me" and that he felt it would be a bad example to his kids to say "Give your word to somebody until something better comes along and then break that."[2] McCown threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener 27-10 victory over the Sacramento Mountain Lions.[43] He was named the offensive player of the week for week 1.[44] In Week 2, he had another solid performance with 264 yards passing and two touchdowns. In Week 4 of the UFL, McCown threw for 223 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. McCown passed for 1,463 yards and 10 touchdowns with eight interceptions in eight games during the 2010 season.[2] His 79.3 passer rating was the highest in the UFL in 2010.[45] The Colonials finished the year with a 3-5 record.[46]

San Francisco 49ers[edit]

On August 17, 2011, McCown signed with the San Francisco 49ers.[47] He was released by the 49ers on September 3, 2011.[48] McCown eventually served as an assistant coach at Marvin Ridge High School.[49]

Chicago Bears[edit]

McCown (15) lines up against the Green Bay Packers in 2011

On November 23, 2011, McCown signed with the Chicago Bears, as a backup to Caleb Hanie, after an injury to starting quarterback Jay Cutler.[50] On December 18, 2011, McCown came in for Hanie during a 38-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field. McCown threw 2 times, one of his throws for a 12-yard gain, and the other was intercepted. On December 21, 2011, the Bears announced that McCown would start on the Christmas Day game against the defending champion Green Bay Packers, due to Caleb Hanie's struggles since taking over for the injured Jay Cutler. Despite a 35-21 loss, McCown had a somewhat decent game, throwing for a touchdown and 2 interceptions, with a passer rating of 78.5. In Week 17 against the Minnesota Vikings, McCown completed 15 for 20 for 160 yards with a touchdown and a pick with a 75.4 passer rating, but was sacked 7 times, and Jared Allen nearly broke the NFL record for sacks in a season, but fell .5 sacks short of the record. The Bears won 17-13.[51]

McCown in 2011.

In 2012, McCown was re-signed to a 1-year deal by the Bears, and was reassigned a new number from 15 to 12 after Brandon Marshall joined the team before McCown was re-signed.[52] On August 31, McCown was waived by the team.[53] On November 12, McCown was again re-signed by the Bears after starting quarterback Jay Cutler sustained a concussion.[54]

Despite becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2013, on March 29, McCown signed a one-year deal with the Bears.[55] McCown played in the second half of week 7 against the Washington Redskins after Cutler hurt his groin in the first half.[56] McCown completed 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown to Martellus Bennett, but the Bears lost 45-41.[57] On November 4, McCown led the Bears to a victory over the rival Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. McCown threw for 272 yards and 2 touchdowns en route to a 27-20 victory.[58] Cutler started the week ten game against the Detroit Lions, but was replaced by McCown on the final drive due to an ankle injury. McCown guided the Bears to a 74-yard touchdown drive, completing 6 of 9 passes for 62 yards and an 11-yard touchdown to Brandon Marshall. However, the Bears lost 21-19.[59] On November 11, Bears head coach Marc Trestman stated that Cutler is not expected to play the following week against the Baltimore Ravens, and McCown will most likely get the start.[60] McCown started his second game against the Ravens, completing 19 of 31 passes for 216 yards with one touchdown and a 92.9 passer rating in a 23-20 victory. In the last four games, McCown had thrown for 754 yards with five touchdowns, no interceptions and a 100.0 passer rating. From week 6 to week 12 in the 2013 NFL season, McCown had the highest passer rating of any quarterback in the league. McCown started week 12 against St. Louis.[61] Against St. Louis, McCown completed a franchise-record 36 passes for 352 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.[62] The next week against the Minnesota Vikings, McCown threw for a season-high 355 yards, completing 23 of 36 passes for two touchdowns and a 114.9 rating. In week 14 against the Dallas Cowboys, McCown threw for four touchdowns and ran for another while completing 27 of 36 passes for 348 yards and a career-high 141.9 passer rating en route to a 45-28 victory. McCown became the first Bears quarterback to pass for five touchdowns since Jack Concannon in 1972. McCown was eventually named NFC Offensive Player of the Week.[63] McCown ended the 2013 season completing 66.8 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards with 13 touchdowns, one interception and a 109.0 passer rating, the third highest behind Peyton Manning and Nick Foles[64] and the best in Bears history.[65] On January 24, 2014, McCown was named to the USA Today All-Joe Team.[66] He was awarded the Brian Piccolo Award by the Bears in May 2014[67]

McCown vs. the Redskins in 2014.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]

On March 12, 2014, McCown signed a two-year, $10 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[68][69] Another $5 million was available based on playoff appearances and playing time. He was immediately named the starter by new Buccaneers head coach and his former head coach in Chicago, Lovie Smith.[70] In week 3, he was replaced by Mike Glennon after suffering a thumb injury during a 56-14 blowout by the Atlanta Falcons. Glennon took over as the starter and led the Bucs to a 27-24 win over the Steelers but after four straight losses, McCown was again named the starter.[71] He threw for 2,206 yards, eleven touchdowns and fourteen interceptions while also rushing for 127 yards and three touchdowns in eleven games during the 2014 season.[72] The Buccaneers finished the year with a 2-14 record and were 1-10 in games that McCown started.[72][73]

On February 11, 2015, after underperforming, he was released after just one season with the Buccaneers.[74]

Cleveland Browns[edit]

McCown with the Cleveland Browns.

On March 2, 2015, McCown signed a three-year contract worth $14 million with the Cleveland Browns and was named their starter.[75][76][77]

At the end of his first drive as a Brown against the New York Jets, he made a 13 yard run and tried to jump into the endzone, but he fumbled inches away from the goal line and was taken out of the game due to a concussion. McCown returned in a week 3 matchup against the Oakland Raiders, where he threw for 341 yards, followed by a 356 yard performance against the San Diego Chargers, with a 4–1 TD–INT ratio between the two games, but they were both losses. In a 33–30 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens in week 5, he set a new career high and he set the Browns record for passing yards in a regular season game with 457 as the Browns moved to 2–3 while McCown was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week.[78][79] This was the Browns' first victory in Baltimore since the 2007 season.[79] McCown also became the first player in NFL history to record more than 450 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, a rushing touchdown and no interceptions in one game. He was also the first player in Browns history to pass for more than 300 yards in three straight games. The jerseys that McCown and teammate Gary Barnidge wore during the week 5 Ravens game were sent to, and displayed, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[80]

McCown suffered a number of injuries during the year, including a concussion in week 1,[81] a shoulder injury in week 8,[82] and a rib injury in week 9.[83] On November 17, Johnny Manziel was announced as the starter for the rest of the season,[84] but McCown was promoted to starter again after a video surfaced online of Manziel partying.[85] In the ensuing week 12 rematch against the Ravens, McCown suffered a collarbone injury that ended his season.[86] On December 2, 2015, he was placed on injured reserve.[87] He threw for 2,109 yards, twelve touchdowns and four interceptions while also rushing for 98 yards and one touchdown in eight games during the 2015 season.[88] The Browns finished the year with a 3–13 record and were 1–7 in games that McCown started, despite him posting a passer rating of 93.3 on the season.[88][89][28] He was the Browns nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award in 2015.[90]

Career professional statistics[edit]

McCown in 2015

NFL regular season[edit]

    Passing   Rushing
Season Team GP GS Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Rate Att Yds TD
2002 Arizona 2 0 7 18 38.9 66 0 2 10.2 1 20 0
2003 Arizona 8 3 95 166 57.2 1,018 5 6 70.3 28 158 1
2004 Arizona 14 13 233 408 57.1 2,511 11 10 74.1 36 112 2
2005 Arizona 9 6 163 270 60.4 1,838 9 11 74.9 29 139 0
2006 Detroit 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2007 Oakland 9 9 111 190 58.4 1,151 10 11 69.4 29 143 0
2008 Carolina 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 4 -3 0
2009 Carolina 1 0 1 6 16.7 2 0 0 39.6 0 0 0
2011 Chicago 3 2 35 55 63.6 414 2 4 68.3 12 68 0
2012 Chicago 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2013 Chicago 8 5 149 224 66.5 1,829 13 1 109.0 13 69 1
2014 Tampa Bay 11 11 184 327 56.3 2,206 11 14 70.5 25 127 3
2015 Cleveland 8 8 186 292 67.3 2,109 12 4 93.3 20 98 1
Regular season totals 77 57 1,164 1,956 59.5 13,142 73 63 78.7 197 931 8

UFL regular season[edit]

    Passing   Rushing
Season Team GP GS Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Rate Att Yds TD
2010 Hartford 8 - 114 202 56.4 1,463 10 8 79.3 10 35 0

Source:[91]

Personal life[edit]

McCown and his wife Natalie currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina with their four children.[92] McCown is a Christian.[93]

References[edit]

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