Peeking Into McCown’s Future

March 18th, 2014
Bill Polian is bullish on Bucs starting QB Josh McCown.

Bill Polian is bullish on Bucs starting QB Josh McCown.

The biggest guessing game for Bucs fans is what the heck the team will do on offense. Yes, Lovie Smith says he wants to run the ball. Yet to date, the guys slotted to start on the offensive line are more adept at pass blocking.

The key to the unknown is the Jeff Tedford mystery. The Bucs’ offensive coordinator has never coached on an NFL sideline, never participated in an NFL practice as an NFL coach. There’s very little to go by unless you delve into his college background, and even that evokes questions.

Former NFL general manager Bill Polian, who was as successful as an NFL front office executive as it gets, believes there is one piece to the puzzle Bucs fans should not lose a wink of sleep over, and that is Bucs starting quarterback Josh McCown.

Speaking with Booger McFarland yesterday on WHFS-FM 98.7, Polian raved about McCown.

“I think he can still make all the throws and he doesn’t have a lot of mileage on him,” Polian said of McCown. “Second of all, he is very bright, very resourceful and is a great competitor. I happen to be friends with Chris Palmer who coached him in the UFL. Chris coached Eli Manning among other great quarterbacks in his long career. And he said that Josh McCown has everything you would want in a quarterback and the best thing about him is that he is not a swashbuckler. He realizes at this stage of his career he should make the high-percentage throw, that he shouldn’t turn the ball over, that you can win games by playing good, solid, sound football and not try to hit the big play all the time.

“And I think that with the running attack that the Bucs have, with the people they have to run the ball — there is a stable of them — I think they will have a good, solid attack and Josh will do just what he did in Chicago.”

Again, time will tell, but the way Polian described McCown, it is almost like the Bucs will try to hide their quarterback. When will people learn hiding a quarterback in today’s NFL will, at best, get you to spin your wheels?

And, yes, Polian trotted out the analogy that is really beginning to annoy Joe: the tripe about how you don’t need an offense to win the Super Bowl. At best, that is misleading. Yes, a defense sure helps, but at some point you need to score points. Russell Wilson isn’t exactly Seattle’s version of Blaine Gabbert.

47 Responses to “Peeking Into McCown’s Future”

  1. al121976 Says:

    For you Joe –

  2. Dennis Says:

    Tedford is known for running up the score, and I even believe that was mentioned in the interview with him. Should be interesting to see how Lovie plays it out

  3. zam Says:

    says the guy who thought Curtis Painter was an NFL player…

  4. ryan Says:

    I like that fact that we brought in Josh McCown but I hope this pushes mike Glennon to be even better. And show everyone he can win this league.

  5. T in Orlando Says:

    Picture it if you will, a college level, offensive guru comes to the NFL, and has on his roster 1) a veteran QB who’s apparently custom made for the coach’s offense (which no one knows how it will translate to the NFL), and 2) a young QB, drafted in the 3rd round a year earlier by the previous regime, that was forced to play as a rookie, and while didn’t he didn’t flash Superstar to anyone, played OK on team that ultimately finished 4-12 (and was likely considered 4th best QB in the division at the time).

    Throw in a Pro-Bowl RB, and 2 very good WRs (not great) for good measure.

    Sound familiar?

    The Offensive parallels between the Bucs in 2014 and the Eagles 2013 are somewhat striking. I’m not saying Glennon will be the next Foles, I’m just saying there’s recent evidence to not throw away a player, who’s shown promise, just because he’s not “your guy”.

  6. rayray1 Says:

    Hate to say it but looks like a hoo hum conservative offense.

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    How can it be a hoo hum offense when its being built to be a pass heavy offense????

    The offense has been loaded with nothing but pass-friendly players. The Offensive Line guys are pass blockers. The TEs are pass catchers. The run-friendly blockers are being lost in free agency.

    I thought it would be more run than pass in the beginning, seeing as how Lovie is a conservative coach and Tedford comes from college where running is heavy.

    But that’s NOT what they’re putting together so far.

    And McCown will not do well in a pass-happy offense. His arm is too weak. Glennon is at best 40%/60% in potential. Lovie is gambling a LOT if he doesn’t draft another Q in the high rounds.

    And, T in Orlando, I see nothing like what Chip Kelly has. And even if I did, I’m not sold on his scheme. It did okay considering there was no film on it, but as teams got film they smacked the Eagles around.

  8. StPeteBucsFan Says:

    As Forrest Gump said….again! Josh McCown doesn’t need to be Brees or Newton or Matty Ice. He needs to be Brad Johnson.

    Yes the league has changed since Brad won a Super Bowl for us. But not that much. There are more ways to skin a cat than just having an explosive QB.

    Russell Wilson is a solid Q.B. but he’s totally different than Brees. And so who would you take in a draft…Brees at his peak or Wilson at his?

  9. Joe Says:

    Russell Wilson is a solid Q.B. but he’s totally different than Brees. And so who would you take in a draft…Brees at his peak or Wilson at his?

    You really have to ask that question??? smh

  10. Bucsqb12 Says:

    As a 4-12 team, playing McCown is a waste of time. He is not a starter for a reason. He is not a playoff caliber QB much less a Super Bowl caliber QB. He might get us to 8-8, 9-7 record and keep us from getting a higher draft pick for a franchise QB.

  11. SAMCRO Says:

    I think Tedford is going to employ a run and shoot type offense. Not signing Lorig pretty much summed it up for me, especially since the run and shoot utilizes only the half back. I imagine Tedfords offense to be similar to that of Wayne Fontes/Barry Sanders old offense of the 90’s. There will be a lot of short to intermediate timing throws, with a steady diet of TE and RB bubble screens. They will ask our RB’s to read and react rather than follow a specified run route behind a FB. All the receivers will be asked to find the soft spots relatively close to the line of scrimmage. Most yardage will count on yards after the catch. A somewhat safe type offense as far as passing but does rely heavily on moving the ball in short and precise increments until they lull the defense to sleep and take the occasional passing fly and post routes. J.M.O.

  12. Theodore Says:

    Thank you, Joe, for again pointing out how Lovie, like Schiano, is going nowhere with a not-to-lose offense.

    When Schiano was introduced and described the passing game as “taking shots down field” I knew that was bad news. Passing is vital in today’s game.

  13. Classiefreddieblassie Says:

    Russell Wilson averaged only roughly 210 yards per game in the regular season while the Seahawks #1 ranked defence had a +20 turnover ratio. To me this just goes to show you can win games with an adequate QB and a ball-hawking defence that can create turnovers. And Joe, you are completely right, if the offence can’t score points it doesn’t matter what your defence can do for you. Not saying the Bucs are anywhere near the team Seattle had last year, but on paper it looks like we are on the right track.

  14. The 300's Says:

    Joe I think what Stpetebucsfan is trying to say is Drew Brees is a franchise quarterback you can build your team around, Russell Wilson is not. Wilson is an average quarterback (as indicated by his passing stats) that can run. When you have a creative mind like Tedford, zone blocking (hence our current linemen), and the running backs we have you do not need a scrambling QB. Therefore you only need an average quarterback (aka Brad Johnson / Josh McCown) with a dominant defense to win a Super Bowl. I think Lovie even mentioned it. Just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t make it wrong Joe. SMH

  15. Jordan Says:

    Drew Brees is a sub .500 QB when Sean Payton isn’t his head coach. 34-35 W-L record. Russell Wilson has a much smaller sample size, but I would take the young guy with a 25-8 record and a super bowl ring after just two pro seasons.

  16. Bucsfanman Says:

    Bonzai- I think it’s safe to say that we have no idea of what this offense will look like. The “pass friendly” players you mentioned are upgrades to those positions.
    Based on what I see, this will be a conservative offense that will be more competent. Again, it’s anyone’s guess.

  17. Kaput Says:

    It’s so much harder to win a title with a quarterback that you have to hide. It can be done, but the margin for error is so much smaller if you do it that way.

  18. Kaput Says:

    Wilson over Brees?

    What kind of crack do you smoke?

  19. Buc Weet Says:

    If there were only something we can look up and see how Marshawn, DeSean, Jahvid and Keenan were used at Cal? Love traded for Cutler, Martz was hired the architect of Rams great offenses. Lovie lasted 9 years in Chicago!! Chudzinski lasted 1 year!! You are a good coach if you last that long. Tedford will call the plays.

  20. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    A lot of fans thought Freeman was the answer. So, I’m not worried. Hopeful this is a Gannon type situation. Team Lichtning!

  21. Kalind Says:

    A third quality receiver and a build-a-QB to groom and this offense could be good for awhile….I truly believe that.

  22. Kalind Says:

    Not to mention, where is it written that you can’t have both? I agree it’s difficult, but why are defensive coaches so he’ll bent on tamping down the Offense??! I don’t get it. Score as much as you can, as often as you can as quickly as you can. Then let the defense go nuts after their QB.

  23. TBSwarm Says:


    I think defensive coaches think like this:

    “Keep the offense conservative (no turn overs), so it doesn’t put the defense in trouble and the defense will put the offense in a favorable position by getting turnovers”

  24. dizzle Says:

    Joe is a complete idiot! Blow smoke in all our faces trying to get us to come with him on his crazy man love obsession (Rich privileged brat in johnny manziel). I believe none of these QBs will do anything in the NFL. McCown will do his job and remind you we won the super bowl with Brad Johnson! Defense wins championships, no matter how this game has evolved. So get over your funboy man love joe. We need Watkins or Mack, thank God you are in no position to draft…cuz we be the jaguars.

  25. dizzle Says:

  26. gotbbucs Says:

    “Russell Wilson isn’t exactly Seattle’s version of Blaine Gabbert.”

    He’s never going to be confused with Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, or the Tom Brady of the last five years either.
    Remember when Tom Brady was a game manager and the Patriots won Super Bowls with a great defense and a running game?

  27. William Says:

    McCown is another Brad Johnson maybe with better legs. Game manager no need to hide just don’t loose the game. All this while our drafted QB is taking notes to get ready for 2015. Perfect!

    I’m loving this off-season.

  28. StAugBuc Says:

    ^^^^^^I honestly didn’t count, but 50% success rate looks about right

  29. StAugBuc Says:

    Gabbert, Ponder, Locker Newton. 1 out of 4 ain’t bad.
    Ramsey, Losman and someone near and dear to our hearts screams no Tulane QB. Ever!

  30. Joe Says:

    Joe is a complete idiot! Blow smoke in all our faces trying to get us to come with him on his crazy man love obsession (Rich privileged brat in johnny manziel). I believe none of these QBs will do anything in the NFL. McCown will do his job and remind you we won the super bowl with Brad Johnson! Defense wins championships, no matter how this game has evolved. So get over your funboy man love joe. We need Watkins or Mack, thank God you are in no position to draft…cuz we be the jaguars.

    Just for fun, compare Brad Johnson’s resume to Josh McCown’s.

    Night and day.

    Why is it so many Bucs fans are scared to have good quarterbacks? It’s not 1973 boys.

  31. gotbbucs Says:

    Personally, I hope the Bucs never have a QB that they have to give $20 million a year to. Big offensive numbers are great until you have to pay out the butt for it, At that point the rest of the roster suffers for it.
    Give me defense and a great O-line and I’ll just trade in RB’s every four or five years, that is how to have continued success in the NFL, not by spending every offseason searching for the missing link (franchise QB).

  32. Oil Derrick Brooks Says:

    I’m just afraid of your opinion of what a good quarterback is.

  33. StAugBuc Says:

    Joe Says :
    Why is it so many Bucs fans are scared to have good quarterbacks? It’s not 1973 boys.

    We’re not afraid. Just don’t agree with you about the midget.

    That was pretty sobering.

  34. Pete 422 Says:

    This may be an offense where in pass sets up the run.

  35. Patrick Says:

    I don’t think they’re going to pay McCown $5 million to sit on the bench. Sadly, he’s gonna be our quarterback next year.

  36. Patrick Says:

    Joe was right in 2009 about the Freeman pick!

    So I trust his opinion on Manziel! Who actually had a successful college career unlike crybaby Freeman.

  37. Patrick Says:

    Brad Johnson went to 2 pro bowls, played for 17 seasons and has a Super Bowl ring. He had the best career of any quarterback in Bucs history.

  38. Orca Says:

    I don’t understand how Polian’s comments lead Joe to believe the Bucs will be “hiding” the QB. I think it means he’ll make the plays that are there and avoid big mistakes. If he does that on a consistent basis, that’s winning football. Joe draws a lot of bogus conclusions.

  39. StAugBuc Says:

    Joe wants Manziel and will attempt to will it to happen until the selection is made.

  40. Orca Says:

    @Patrick – we could do worse than McCown. We can win with McCown. He doesn’t prevent us from drafting another QB. If he’s outperformed in training camp, his butt will be on the bench. Having a $5 million backup isn’t that big of a deal if your starter is making rookie contract money. I don’t see the problem. They made the best move for a QB they could have in free agency and that’s not enough?

    Oh, I’m sorry, I thought we were being reasonable… Continue with your complaining…

  41. MichiganBucsFan Says:

    Agree that McCown is going to be like a Brad Johnson. Not trying to compare their careers, just the class of quarterbacks they are. To me their are two types of quarterbacks you can have and still have a successful offense. A playmaker and a game manager. McCown, Brad Johnson are both game manager types. That’s not to say the offense has to be down played or won’t be good. We still have the makings for a great running game imo. If you have a great defense (let’s say top 5), than you don’t have to have a top 5 offense just an above average one (top 15). It also works inversed with a great offense and above average defense. But right now, the foundation of our team leans towards a great defense and a good offense. I don’t understand why people think it has to be both, using Seattle as an example since they’re the most recent and that’s what most people seem to do, yes they had a good offense too but it wasn’t great. Its not one of the elites, nor is Russell Wilson elite. I see nothing wrong with with a game manager and above average offense, assuming we are able to build an elite defense.

  42. Cobraboy Says:

    I don’t see one word from Polian about “hiding” a QB. I did see words about why McCown can be successful.

    Brad Johnson wasn’t sexy at QB, and I do recall him being a fairly solid at the position.

    I don’t think “flash” is necessary to lead a team at QB. Call me Old School, but I like an effective “game manager.” That is not mutually exclusive with a guy who can come from behind when necessary. Hell, the Bucs have been beaten with numerous marginal QB’s in their past.

    And while, yes, Russell Wilson led a team to the SB, I’m pretty sure a particular RB made his life much easier.

    QB is not what is keeping the team from success.

  43. John McKillop Says:

    Orca, I absolutely agree with your comment. I don’t see anything in that interview with Polian that says they will try to hide McCown. He says McCown will look very much like he did last season with the Bears. Didn”t look like the Bears were trying to hide him either. If he looks like that I will be very happy! I think McCown will be grooming Jimmy Garoppolo for a season or two, Go BUCS!

  44. Buc1987 Says:

    I say that Glennon is McCown’s back up in 2014 and L & L won’t draft any of the QB’s in this yrs draft.

  45. Eric Says:

    People always discount Brad Johnson. “Our QB only needs to be as good as Brad Johnson”

    As if that is so easy.

    The man was a damn good QB. And for that playoff and Super Bowl run he was a great QB.

  46. Kaput Says:

    I’d think Steve Young would argue about best careers for former Bucs.

  47. Manzielski Says:

    Picking a franchise QB is like choosing a wife.

    Some men are afraid of going up to the most beautiful, vivacious and incredibly hot woman at a party and claiming her for their own. They actually choose a lesser woman who they feel is good enough.

    I never understood that