Making The LeapJune 9th, 2014
This morning, NFL.com, in an effort to keep eyeballs on the site from now until training camp begins in some six weeks, kicks off a list of 25 players who its various writers believe will “Make the Leap” into stud NFLers.
And in the first installment, Chris Wesseling believes none other than first-year Bucs quarterback and NFL veteran Josh McCown will make the leap from journeyman and backup to a top shelf starter.
When I went back and studied all 224 of McCown’s passes, what first jumped out was his excellent pocket awareness, escapability and willingness to hang in and take hits while still delivering accurate strikes down the field. In his first month under center, McCown made more plays while being hit than Matt Schaub has pulled off in his last 20 games.
Typical of most 11-year veterans, McCown went through his reads and showed impressive ball placement and timing. Atypical of aging quarterbacks, McCown also demonstrated uncanny athleticism, improvisational skills and a willingness to attempt difficult throws in traffic.
As soon as he was within striking distance of the red area, McCown was aggressively attacking the end zone, exploiting mismatches granted by the size and athleticism of Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett.
That is exactly what the Bucs are hoping to duplicate with their Chicago South mentality; have big receivers for McCown and have a Matt Forte-clone (Charles Sims) in the backfield.
And who better to create a Chicago South than Lovie Smith?
Joe just hopes that, as often is the case, with an offseason to study McCown, defensive coordinators have not found his kryptonite.