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
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. As a senior, he was the East Texas Player of the Year, District 17-4A offensive player of the Year, and an all-state honorable mention. 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.

College career[edit]

McCown played three collegiate seasons at Southern Methodist University, passing for 4,022 yards and 24 touchdowns, but also threw 34 interceptions. McCown left the SMU program to prove that he could lead an aerial attack and did so, surpassing his three-year SMU TD total in just one season at Sam Houston State, passing for 3,481 yards and 32 touchdowns (and 12 interceptions) as a senior. His passing yardage total was the best in Sam Houston history and ranks him eighth all-time in career passing yards. 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.

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 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.[2]

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 as a quarterback 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.[3] 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,[4] but McCown relinquished the starting role to Kurt Warner in 2005.

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),[5] passing Corey Bradford and Mike Williams on the depth chart as the third WR. McCown caught 2 passes for 15 yards when playing wide receiver in 2006 making his career total 3 catches for 10 yards 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.[6]

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 13 games McCown had only played in 7, losing 5 games and winning 2. In the 7 games that McCown played in, he completed 85 of 143 passes for 901 yards with 9 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Veteran quarterback Daunte Culpepper was signed by the Raiders prior to the start of the 2007 season,[7] 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, playing in 7 games, winning 3 games, and losing 4 games. 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.[8] The next week, McCown left the game against the Green Bay Packers with an injury and the Raiders lost, eliminating them from playoff contention.

Miami Dolphins[edit]

On February 29, 2008, McCown signed a two-year contract with the Miami Dolphins.[9] 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.[10]

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,[11] McCown failed to appear in the team's final three preseason games. He was traded to the Carolina Panthers on August 29.[12]

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.[13][14] 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 on August 3, 2010.[15][16] McCown threw for 265 yards and three touchdowns in the season opener 27-10 victory over the Sacramento Mountain Lions.[17] He was then named the player of the week. 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. By the end of the season, McCown finished off with over 1,000 yards passing, as well as the highest ranked passer in the league.

San Francisco 49ers[edit]

On August 17, 2011, McCown signed with the San Francisco 49ers.[18] He was released by the 49ers on September 3, 2011.[19] McCown eventually served as an assistant coach at Marvin Ridge High School.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23] On August 31, McCown was waived by the team.[24] On November 12, McCown was again re-signed by the Bears after starting quarterback Jay Cutler sustained a concussion.[25]

Despite becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2013, on March 29, McCown signed a one-year deal with the Bears.[26] McCown played in the second half of week 7 against the Washington Redskins after Cutler hurt his groin in the first half.[27] McCown completed 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown to Martellus Bennett, but the Bears lost 45-41.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32] Against St. Louis, McCown completed a franchise-record 36 passes for 352 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.[33] 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 Player of the Week.[34] McCown ended the 2013 season completing 66.8 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[35] and the best in Bears history.[36] On January 24, 2014, McCown was named to the USA Today All-Joe Team.[37]

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.[38][39] 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.[40] 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.[41]

On February 11, 2015, after underperforming, he was released after just one season with the Buccaneers.[42]

Cleveland Browns[edit]

McCown with the Cleveland Browns.

On March 2, 2015, McCown signed a three year contract with the Cleveland Browns[43] and was named their starter. 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.[44] This was the Browns' first victory in Baltimore since the 2007 season. McCown was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in week 5 against the Ravens.[45]

McCown suffered a number of injuries during the year, including a concussion in week 1,[46] a shoulder injury in week 8,[47] and a rib injury in week 9.[48] On November 17, McCown was announced as a backup behind Johnny Manziel,[49] but was promoted to starter again after a video surfaced online of Manziel partying.[50] In the ensuing week 12 rematch against the Ravens, McCown suffered a collarbone injury that ended his season.[51] On December 2, 2015, he was placed on injured reserve.

Career NFL statistics[edit]

Regular season

    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
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

Personal life[edit]

McCown and his wife Natalie currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina with their four children.[52] McCown is a Christian.[53]


  1. ^ Mayer, Larry (2014-05-06). "Mills, McCown win Piccolo Awards". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "McCown knocked Tice out of playoffs". 2011-12-31. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  4. ^ Weir, Tom (2005-10-03). "Cardinals deep-six 49ers in historic tilt in Mexico". Usatoday.Com. Retrieved 2012-08-17 The Cardinals-49ers game at Mexico City's Azteca Stadium had the largest attendance for a regular-season game in NFL history - 103,467..  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ "McCown's agent looking for trade from Lions - NFL - ESPN". 2007-04-11. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  6. ^ "Raiders acquire Lions' Mike Williams, McCown - NFL- NBC Sports". 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  7. ^ "QB Daunte Culpepper signs with the Oakland Raiders » OTB Sports". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  8. ^ Mayer, Larry (2013-10-30). "McCown had best career game versus Cutler". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2013-10-31. 
  9. ^ Marvez, Alex (2008-03-01), Dolphins reach deal with QB McCown, Fox Sports, retrieved 2008-03-01 
  10. ^ The Miami Herald. "Josh McCown hurts finger on throwing hand | Miami Dolphins In Depth". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  11. ^ Associated, The (2008-08-09). "Seahawks | NFL | Dolphins sign ex-Jet Chad Pennington | Seattle Times Newspaper". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  12. ^ Pat Yasinskas (2008-08-29). "McCown traded to Panthers; Dolphins to get draft pick - NFL - ESPN". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  13. ^ Mason's Minutes: A QB's new home
  14. ^ Cramming for the exam
  15. ^ "Josh McCown jumps to the UFL | ProFootballTalk". Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  16. ^ "QB Josh McCown agrees to deal with UFL team - ESPN". 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  17. ^ "Josh McCown, Hartford Colonials Rip Sacramento in UFL Opener". 2010-09-18. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  18. ^ "49ers sign third-string QB McCown from UFL". 2011-08-17. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  19. ^ Price, Taylor (2011-09-03). "49ers Trim Roster to 53". Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  20. ^ Mayer, Larry (2013-08-08). "Josh McCown enjoying rebirth of his NFL career". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  21. ^ Alper, Josh (2011-11-23). "Bears sign Josh McCown". Retrieved 2013-02-22. 
  22. ^ "Bears beat Vikings 17-13 despite Allen's rush - NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN". 2012-01-02. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  23. ^ "Bears agree to deal with Josh McCown". 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-03-22. 
  24. ^ "Bears release QB Josh McCown". Yahoo! Sports. 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2012-11-12. 
  25. ^ Tribune, Chicago. "Bears re-sign backup QB McCown". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  26. ^ McClure, Vaughn (2013-03-29). "Bears and QB McCown agree to one-year deal". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-03-29. 
  27. ^ Elholm, Eric (2013-10-20). "Jay Cutler knocked out against Washington Redskins with groin injury". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  28. ^ Mitchell, Fred (2013-10-20). "Bears lose Cutler to injury, fall 45-41 to Redskins". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  29. ^ Wright, Michael (2013-10-21). "Jay Cutler tears muscle in groin". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-10-21. 
  30. ^ "Postgame notes - Bears vs. Lions week 10". Chicago Bears. 2013-11-10. Retrieved 2013-11-10. 
  31. ^ Mayer, Larry (2013-11-11). "Cutler expected to be sidelined with ankle injury". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2013-11-11. 
  32. ^ Mayer, Larry (2013-11-18). "Josh McCown to start Sunday on road against Rams". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  33. ^ Mayer, Larry (2013-11-25). "McCown expected to start again Sunday in Minnesota". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2013-11-25. 
  34. ^ Mayer, Larry (2013-12-11). "McCown wins player of week honors". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  35. ^ Mayer, Larry (2014-01-14). "Bears QBs had unprecedented success". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2014-01-14. 
  36. ^ Mayer, Larry (2014-01-29). "McCown wants to remain with Bears". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  37. ^ Mayer, Larry (2014-01-24). "McCown, Slauson on 'All-Joe' team". Chicago Bears. Retrieved 2014-01-24. 
  38. ^ QB Josh McCown joins Bucs
  39. ^ [1]
  40. ^
  41. ^ Yasinskas, Pat (November 5, 2014). "Josh McCown to start for Bucs". Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  42. ^ Sessler, Marc (February 11, 2015). "Buccaneers release quarterback Josh McCown". Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  43. ^ "Browns sign Josh McCown". NBCsports. February 27, 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-27. 
  44. ^ "Josh McCown etches names in Browns' record book". Fox Sports. October 11, 2015. Retrieved 2015-10-11. 
  45. ^ "Browns QB Josh McCown named AFC Offensive Player of the Week". Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  46. ^ "Johnny Manziel relieves Josh McCown after concussion, but Cleveland Browns bow to New York Jets, 31-10". Retrieved 2015-01-12.  External link in |website= (help)
  47. ^ "Josh McCown leaves 24-6 loss to Rams with shoulder injury, checked for concussion but insists 'I'll be all right'". = 2015-1-02.  External link in |website= (help)
  48. ^ "Johnny Manziel replaces Josh McCown after rib injury vs. Cardinals". 2015-1-12. 
  49. ^ Weitzman, Yaron. "Johnny Manziel named Browns starter for remainder of the season". SB Nation. Vox Media. Retrieved 25 November 2015. 
  50. ^ news services. "Browns to start Josh McCown over Johnny Manziel at quarterback". ESPN. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  51. ^ "Josh McCown out for season with broken collarbone". Retrieved 2015-12-02. 
  52. ^ Strazzante, Scott (2014-03-02). "just josh-ing with you". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  53. ^ "Religious devotion prevalent in NFL". Retrieved 30 October 2015. 

External links[edit]