Not Sold on Josh McCown

May 24th, 2014
eye-Rah! Kaufman is not sold on Bucs QB Josh McCown.

eye-Rah! Kaufman is not sold on Bucs QB Josh McCown.

Few members of the local chapter 813 of the Tampa Bay pen and mic club have as colorful and powerful opinions as the Custodian of Canton, eye-RAH! Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune. Ask him a question and you won’t get a fence-sitting answer.

A groggy Kaufman appeared on the “Kirk and Dinger Show” found on WHFS-FM 98.7 this week. Given the show is broadcast before most people consume their required morning dose of caffeine, it was understandable that Kaufman took much longer than usual to get revved up. What awakened eye-RAH! for good was a question about Bucs starting quarterback Josh McCown.

In short, you won’t find Kaufman running around Pasco County waving pom-pons over McCown as the Bucs’ signalcaller.

“It is tough for me to get excited about McCown at this point, because, guys, let’s be honest: before that five-game stretch last year he was the epitome of a journeyman,” Kaufman said. “I mean he was the definition of a journeyman quarterback and I am not willing to change that based on five games yet.”

It’s hard to argue with Kaufman and it is the great question entering the 2014 season, much more so in Joe’s eyes than the offensive line. Was McCown’s five-game success filling in for an injured bratty Jay Cutler in Chicago a sign of the future, or a fluke?

Remember, McCown bounced around so often in the NFL that he took a year off, basically because he couldn’t find work.

A lot has been made of Lovie Smith taking a year off and studying all things football after he was bounced from Chicago? In many ways, that was a good thing. Was McCown’s year off also a good thing, or was last season just a blip on the radar?

Kaufman also stated backup quarterback Mike Glennon played well enough last year to make the starting job a competition, not an anointing by Lovie.

45 Responses to “Not Sold on Josh McCown”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    “Not sold” is perfectly OK….McCown has to prove himself both in order to win the starting job….and then to keep it. As I’ve said before…we don’t have a QB controversy is McCown performs.
    All we can do is trust Lovie & Licht…
    I don’t think there is anything wrong with a “journeyman” QB…and if our defense really steps up…our QB play doesn’t have to be spectacular for us to win. We needed an experienced QB/Backup or starter anyway….Dan O wasn’t it.
    I’m happy to let things play out.

  2. kaput Says:

    The people that are in his “camp” are thinking he’s the next Rich Gannon.

    Everyone else is thinking he’s going to be average at best.

    Scott Mitchell, anyone?

  3. kaput Says:

    What the hell is, “all we can do is trust?”

    No, we don’t have to trust. We have to watch and see. There is no trust with a brand new GM, a coach with varying degrees of success and a roster made up of a bunch of new guys that have never played together.

    There is no trust. Have we trusted the managmeent of this team over the last decade? No.

    Let it unfold, and then make judgments.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ kaput

    You choose not to trust & wait and see…
    I choose to trust & wait and see….
    Frankly, there is no difference… is what I choose to do….not fdrcing anyone else…When I say we….it only includes fans who have the same outlook.
    I was in the seats at our first game in 1976. So I know the bitter disappointment you speak of…yet, for me, it still feels better to trust those paid to make the decisions until they are proven wrong.

  5. Bobby Says:

    Well of course there are questions about McCown. I will say this though, the guy is an athlete and from everything I’m hearing from rookie training camp his passes are laser sharp so far and the past history on this guy is that when he gets chances he usually performs well. His downfall in the past has been that he throws a lot of picks but that wasn’t the case last year. I believe he will do very well with the receivers we have. I think that’s why he did well in Chicago, he actually had weapons to work with. Time will tell but I feel good about him and I feel that if he stumbles Glennon can do as well or better. I wish we could put McCown’s legs on Glennon because if Glennon were a little bit more mobile I don’t think the QB competition would be close.

  6. Thomas2.2 Says:

    I respect and totally support Lovie.

    However, if there is 1 glaring question remaining from Lovie’s Chicago tenure it is decision making at QB.

    With a great D you rely on Rex Grossman etc? I agree with Ira – McCown was not very god for anyone before a small sample last year – Is a bad decade outweighed by 1 decent month?

    The Bears chose Cutler who has not been Tom Brady over McCown. I hope McCown can be Brad Johnson-ish but who really knows.

  7. dick2111 Says:

    I’m really hoping that Josh McCown makes all the naysayers eat their words this year. Gets really tiring hearing folks like ‘The Custodian of Canton’ do their best to fan the flames of doubt about the coming season.

    Fact is, Ira Kaufman has no more idea how Josh is going to do this year than anyone else does. It’s a whole new situation for Josh, for his teammates, and for the Bucs coaching staff. Ira has no clue what Jeff Tedford’s offensive strategy will be; all he can do is speculate, just like everyone else. And all he can do is speculate how well Josh can function in Tedford’s system.

    The pieces appear to be coming together, but we’re not there yet. Lots of time to pull it altogether. But if patience is a virtue, then the talking heads around Tampa don’t seem to have much.

  8. Bill Byrne Says:

    It is easy to argue with Kaufman….[Sorry, Ira is one of the nicest guys you will get meet. And no, he was not a Johnny Football fan. — Joe]… the third string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. What quarterback was available in free agency that was better than McCown? Build around him and the BUCS become contenders.

    Who do you think knows more about football: Lovie Smith or Ira Kaufman? Enough said.

  9. Tnew Says:

    The thing about blips in performance. Young men that perform well over short periods, often become flashes in the pan. They rely on a very few attributes that works great until they get taken away then they are revealed. Older guys, and I know josh is being compared a lot to Gannon, but you can put this comparison with Warner or even a jim plunket with the raiders, usually search for the keys of sucess, and once the light turns on, they can have great success.. Until their body betrays them. That is the race we have with josh. How long do we get this level before his body starts pushing back.

  10. Luther Says:

    Bill, being a jerk and making a point are two different things. It doesn’t matter if he’s a jerk if he’s right and I happen to agree with him. Personally, I don’t care who starts as long as they “light it up”.

  11. DallasBuc Says:

    Completely agree with Kaufman here and have been saying the exact same thing since FA started. McCown has a few good games as the backup QB after an uneventful, if not bad career in the pros and we are supposed to fully trust it is all going to work out? Lovie does not have a glowing record for placing quality talent at the starting QB position and Licht is a rookie GM that is subordinate to the HC in personel decisions. Don’t be surprised if the lack of talent at the QB position kills our season. Go bucs

  12. joe$sucsfan Says:

    the EYE has a point but it would give him more credibility if he offered an alternative as to who else the Bucs could have brought to try to make an immediate impact. He is supposed to be in the know, let him show it.

  13. Macabee Says:

    Everybody is going into this year with eyes wide open. Unless you’ve not been paying attention, the current administration offered Josh McCown a 2 year/10mil contract, which is about what a journeyman or experienced back-up QB (Matt Cassel, Kyle Orton) would be paid. No one is expecting Tom Brady here!

    I am under no illusions that McCown is “that” QB anymore than I feel assured that Glennon is “that” QB of the future. I’ve been following the Bucs for 37 years and we’ve never had (or kept) that QB. We won a Superbowl with a “not that” QB and it’s possible that it could be done again. It is quite possible that McCown can be that bridge to the QB that we’ve all been waiting for and/or Glennon could continue his development and become the QB of the Present. All bets are off and at this point, nothing is assured!

    But, nobody should have unwavering faith in anybody on a team that has not been to the playoffs in 6 seasons. Kaufman is simply voicing the healthy skepticism that everyone should have until we see something different on the field!

  14. Jim Says:

    NO worries! We have ‘cement shoes’ aka Mike Glennon as our QB of the future to step in.

  15. Destinjohnny Says:

    Ya they finally gAve him weapons and walla.

  16. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I agree with Kaufman also, though I won’t critisize McCown, because of the experience factor. I hope to see him excel in his ability to lead the team for however long he is successful. I feel rest assured MG will be more than a capable backup when needed.

  17. OB Says:

    Joe you could say that Steve Young was a crappy QB while at the Bucs and ask what changed when he went to the 49ers?

    Somehow it always boils down to learning, coaching and teammates that are playing as a team.

    From what you and others seem to be reporting, the Bucs have coaching, there is learning going on, and they are jelling as a team. No one knows until the whistle blows on the first game and we see what happens, but I just can’t believe that most of the 813 chapter of the Pen and Mic club ( I will use 813 PMC from now on) have their head up and locked.

    What say you if you are not muffled.

    I also ask everyone to remember the Fallen on this Memorial Day Weekend.

  18. Patrick in VA Says:

    What gives me hope with McCown starting was the interview he did where he talked about what he did with his time when he wasn’t playing. He said that he coached a hs football team and, while teaching the game to people that didn’t understand it the way he does he was forced to look at it from different angles so he could explain it in ways that would be relatable and, in the process, was able to understand the game better himself. I’ve experienced this first hand and it’s a pretty powerful thing when you have that kind of epiphany. Judging by his performance when he came back, it seems that’s what happened with him.

  19. Meh Says:

    I’m not sold on our Qbs or our offensive line.

  20. JoeBucsFanToo Says:

    I think the comparisons to Gannon are off. McCown’s sabbatical and return to football might be better compared to Kurt Warner. Remember he wAs throwing rolls of toilet paper in a supermarket before getting the chance of a lifetime. The Greatest Show on Turf was a highly innovative passing offense that showcased his skills.Could Tedford’s offense do for McCown what Martz did for Warner?

  21. biff barker Says:

    OB, well said, let’s remember those who have sacrificed defending our freedoms.
    On to Ira, no issues because he wasn’t running down McCown , but merely pointing out his body of work is thin. Truth bomb.
    In addition, being laser sharp is much easier while wearing underwear.
    I like the guy, think he’s a team first cat. He has displayed a calm maturity that we’ve not seen in years here.
    All said, I’m hopeful he can be a solid if not flashy starter for us with the new weapons and scheme.

  22. Danati74 Says:

    Stats are great, but In that short span, the Bears went 3-2. That really doesn’t say much. MG8 had pretty good stats too, but was good enough for dead last in the league for total offense. However I will put trust in L&L because they did attack free agency and draft all offensive players.

  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Was McCown’s five-game success filling in for an injured bratty Jay Cutler in Chicago a sign of the future, or a fluke?”

    Danati74 pretty much stole my thunder when he mentioned the 3-2 record for McCown during that 5 games.

    That’s not success.

    I am soooo tired of people talking like Josh McCown is a good QB. He isn’t. He never was.

    The Bears have a very good set of weapons. We’re building up to that, but our offensive line is too far away at present.

    I predict McCown will miss most of the season due to injury.

  24. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    You know what felt good just past 8 pm last night?

    NFL Total Access saying that the Bucs are the “Chiefs” of 2014…or most likely to be. They had plenty of good things to say about the team.

    (and Sapp wasn’t on last night either)

    That said, after the last half decade, I can’t help to feel cautious about saying such expectations. I don’t want to jinx things.

  25. Nybucsfan Says:

    Great we have to backups

  26. buc4lyfe Says:

    Oh no here we go again with this brilliant analysis….not sold on mccown, that’s more of an indictment on Glennon than anything. No he’s no the but but atleast we not getting suckered on a matt Flynn deal. Who was out there to be had? Giving the franchise to a rookie has never worked out well for the bucs and the reason i like what’s going on it doesn’t resemble Josh Freeman era, mccown is a stop gap, Glennon has to prove he’s the guy. I don’t want to pay another qb until we’re certain he’s a franchise guy, tired hearing a guy flashed potential, i want production everyone knows what mccown is but thanks captain obvious, in the media across the nfl is sold on mccown derrrrrr

  27. Barry Says:

    Bucs 1st Franchise QB, MG8.

  28. lurch Says:

    All these comments about McCown never having had any success are right, but then again, who the hell was Kurt Warner before getting with the Rams? Oh yea, he was a nobody. Even Dilfer was able to win a Superbowl with a great defense. I mean we are talking about a coach who took freaking Rex Grossman to Superbowl. I think he knows more about football than any of us. So my advice is for everyone of you armchair coaches is to STFU.

  29. lightningbuc Says:

    [Sorry, Ira is one of the nicest guys you will get meet. And no, he was not a Johnny Football fan. — Joe]


    Joe, for once I agree. I sat by him at an ’06 Lightning playoff game (not sure why he wasn’t in press box) and razzed him for picking the Lightning to lose in the ’04 Stanley Cup. he admitted he blew it, but said predictions from media don’t mean much anyway. Very nice guy!

  30. biff barker Says:

    It’s nice to see us get some love from the National media after last year’s shellacking.

  31. passthebuc Says:

    early speculations

  32. William Says:

    @Bobby I’m with you.

    I think we should see a different MG8 this preseason. I’m eager to see him play after good coaching and more liberty to play smart. The Schiano chains are off. We should be pleasantly surprise this preseason.

    If MG8 would have McCown’s legs I would join the MGM. But not for now…

  33. Tampamac Says:

    I’m content to let the chips fall where they may and let the QB situation sort itself out on the field. And for those harping on Lovie as a QB evaluator, hell this entire FRANCHISE has been bad at evaluating QB’s in their nearly 40 years of existence.

  34. William Says:

    There is never certainty about a prediction. So many things can change. We are all guessing. Even if the past shows tendencies it does not mean it will happen. This could be the one time is different. Specially when the people involve & mindset (focus) this year are different from the past. i.e., coaches, new players, attitudes

    But is fun to share our own opinions.

    Don’t forget the last time we change uniforms we went 9-7!
    9-7 this year? Maybe…

  35. White Tiger Says:

    I don’t know, although I’ve never thought of myself as a fan of his, but it could be that McCown is another Jim Plunket, Rich Gannon, Jeff Garcia or Jim Harbaugh…all of whom either needed more development, or needed the NFL game to evolve to appreciate their skills, or finally get to a team that appreciated an aspect of his game, and got him the support to make him successful.

    After seeing the guy play last year – watching every talking head give him back-handed compliments each week – but never failing to ask if the “Cinderella Season” would end due to him coming back to reality.

    I don’t think Lovie had an offensive epiphany – I just think he was fired for being too rigid and uninspiring on offense, regardless of the QB he drafted or signed. I don’t really think that will change. He got a system guy to run his offense. Looks like he has the talent to make his system work – but it’s lretty clear to those of us who have been watching this team and these same characters for a LONG time: Lovie’s not really taking the chance you think he’s taking – on offense.

    Lovie still isn’t looking for a world-beater QB – he’s looking for a “win the field position battle in order to win games” QB – and he’s got an offensive coordinator of the opinion that surrounding a mobile QB with moderate skills – with playmakers of a specific skill-set – he won’t have to find the next Manning, Brady, (insert your favorite QB if choice)….

    And regarding Glennon – I don’t hate the kid – I just do NOT get the fascination with with him? Comparing the two – he actually won games against teams that mattered and more than those 6 games he started – it was clear that if they had brought him in sooner in some of those earlier games – he fought back for touchdowns and made the Bears a MUCH more competitive team when he was on the field.

    I think what you’ll find is – eye-RAH? doesn’t share the same agent as Josh McCown this time…so he doesn’t have as much insight. Maybe McCown didn’t kiss is feet and give him an intervie.

    I can tell you that Lovie didn’t bring Josh McCown in to push Glennon – he brought him in as the starter. He said so.

    Glennon has a lot to learn – he ran a stripped-down offense and was competent – but has some serious drawbacks that need to be overcome.

    That’s called development.

    …and that requires time, and perhaps a change of scenery…

  36. joe$sucsfan Says:

    Can someone tell us what else the Bucs could have done to improve the QB situation for this season other than drafting a rookie when there was no one of the caliber of a true franchise QB. Only speculation as to what each rookie could become. Does anyone think we could do better with one of the rookies this year instead of JMc or MG. Every one is just speculating or fantasizing that one of the rookies would be the ‘Franchise” guy. I want a franchise guy for the team. Didn’t see one this year, my opinion.

  37. Surf Buc Says:

    I’m no McCown-er, but if he blows away everyone’s expectations and surprises the NFL world with good performance-despite-his-history this season, that would be cool. Not holding my breath tho.

  38. Boomer33 Says:

    Don’t forget that Lovie took the Bears to a Super Bowl with a QB named Rex Grossman. If our defense is as good as I think it’s going to be, and our new weapons on offense, I’d say McCown and/or MG8 should be at least good enough to get us to above .500.

  39. Kevin Says:

    It’s all about the offense. I don’t care if he never took off before last year in chicago…he probably was never part of a good offensive game plan. Probably had a vanilla OC and supporting cast. What teams did he play for, who was the OC, who were the targets he had to work with. I am not 100% sold on McCown, but I think bringing him here was still a good idea given Tedford will likely have a fast paced, up tempo offense with creativity and he has a legit cast of options to throw the ball to. If you put Aarron Rodgers or drew brees on the raiders or bills would they have the same success??? Or would it be different with different play calling, coaching and targets. It’s more than just about the one guy it’s a combined effort players and coached included. I think no matter WHO our QB ends up being Tedfords offense will be unpredictable and create matchup problems for defenses. GO BUCS!!!

  40. Joe Says:


    Joe you could say that Steve Young was a crappy QB while at the Bucs and ask what changed when he went to the 49ers?

    Hard for Joe to consider Jeff Tedford the next Bill Walsh when Tedford’s never stood on an NFL sideline yet. The “worst” quarterback coach Steve Young had was either Mike Holmgren or Mike Shanahan, take your pick. Not sure Tedford’s in those two guys’ class either (yet).

    Let’s tap the brakes, shall we?

  41. owlykat Says:

    Don’t forget the Saints with Brees were only average when they went a year without their excellent Coach. Lovie with Tedford will make a huge difference this year. Realize also that the Chief’s QB last year was just an average experienced NFL QB, but with great coaching took their team to the playoffs last year. The NFLN knows what they are talking about and know a lot more than Kaufman. Josh not only has a lot of NFL knowledge, like Johnson did and with brilliant coaching won the SB. The difference is that Josh is a lot more mobile than Johnson was. I told PR last year if the Bucs got a Coach with a lot of NFL experience and added an experienced NFL QB the Bucs would be like the Chiefs this year–ask Macabee, he knows. ENJOY THE RIDE THIS SEASON.

  42. Joe Says:


    Joe, for once I agree. I sat by him at an ’06 Lightning playoff game (not sure why he wasn’t in press box) and razzed him for picking the Lightning to lose in the ’04 Stanley Cup. he admitted he blew it, but said predictions from media don’t mean much anyway. Very nice guy!

    That’s a cool story!

  43. Arealbucsfan Says:

    Lets hope Glennon can prove that he can be great. I dont rhink McCown is gonna get the job done. I think we’ll hand Glennon the keys half thru the season.

  44. White Tiger Says:

    I think if you’re of the belief that Glennon is going to be handed the keys of the offense mid-season – you probably are having trouble distinguishing dreams from reality…

    Nothing Glennon did was spectacular, he played just like the guy he replaced, at worst we have two back-ups, and one has more mobility and more experience than the other. At best we have built a team around a pretty good QB…

    ..what’s great about that? Well, there are a lot more “pretty good” QB’s that can be coached to another level – if you surround them with an excellent supporting caste.

    Since he’s on the roster – I hope Glennon DOES get the chance to develop – because as a starter, he’s just not ready yet.

  45. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    lurch Says
    “All these comments about McCown never having had any success are right, but then again, who the hell was Kurt Warner before getting with the Rams?”

    McCown is older than Warner was. Much older. Also, Warner played in other leagues so his exposure in the NFL was minimal.

    McCown has had exposure in the NFL for over a decade. Never got better. Never earned a starting role. Never played 16 games in a season (or 14 games for that matter).