Lovie Wasn’t “Sold” On McCown?

July 8th, 2015
National NFL columnist reveals a private chat he had with Bucs coach Lovie Smith last summer.

National NFL columnist reveals a private chat he had with Bucs coach Lovie Smith last summer.

What the hell did Bucs coach Lovie Smith see in turnover-prone Josh McClown? (You could ask the same question of about five players the Bucs acquired last year, but Joe digresses.)

When the Bucs signed McClown to lead the team out of darkness, Lovie spoke of McClown as if the skies had opened up and sunlight shown brightly upon One Buc Palace, with the voices of angels singing in chorus.

Funny, Lovie talked up McClown this way after Lovie, in a previous life in Chicago, cut McClown to make room for Jason Campbell.

In an episode of the Peter Schrager Podcast, Schrager, of FOX Sports, hosted prickly Pete Prisco of CBS Sports, who hinted Lovie wasn’t sold on the journeyman neverbeen, during a discussion of why bad teams seem infatuated with devout loser quarterbacks, such as Chad Henne, Ryan Fitzpatrick and McClown.

Prickly Pete Prisco: Look, [the Browns] got McCown. Did anybody watch McCown play last year? He was awful!

Peter Schrager: (Laughs) It was so funny.

Prisco: He was terrible!

Schrager: McCown gets signed for $6 million a year and everyone says he is the perfect quarterback to groom Manziel. As if McCown had won a Lombardi Trophy five years ago. Josh McCown? A nice guy. He’s a great person…

Prisco: One of the nicest.

Schrager: He. Was. TERRIBLE last year. He was so bad that the Buccaneers, the worst team in football, released him out of his contract when he was a model citizen, perfect for [Jameis] Winston. And [the Bucs] said it isn’t even worth the [money] they would give [him].

Prisco: Last summer I was in a hallway with Lovie Smith in training camp in Tampa and I told him, “I’m just not sold on your quarterback.” And he said, “You don’t have to be.” Well, I guess he wasn’t [sold] either.

McClown is the most perplexing mess from last year. It was clear that quarterback of the past and quarterback of the future and perhaps quarterback of the present Mike Glennon was so much better than McClown, but Lovie stayed with McClown to the ugly, bitter end, saying week after week the reason he wouldn’t pull him was because McClown gave the Bucs the best chance to win.

Yet what felt like hours after the 2014 season, McClown was jettisoned to the streets and the unemployment line.

Oh, if Joe was only a fly on the wall at One Buc Palace to tap into the classified discussions on McClown (and Glennon). Man.

38 Responses to “Lovie Wasn’t “Sold” On McCown?”

  1. Tony Says:

    I think you are completely missing the point of what Lovie said. It was a ‘it doesn’t matter what you think’ statement. How you could completely misinterpret that is beyond me.

  2. TouchDownTampaBay Says:

    I really don’t think Glennon was clearly the better player. They both played poorly. With no o-line, no running game and no o-coordinator there was no way any QB was going to succeed. However, to act like we started McCown while a future hall of famer rode the pine is simply not true. Glennon got his chance when McCown got hurt and he stunk up the joint as well. McCown made his share of mistakes but he also helped two receivers catch for over 1k yards each.

  3. Joe Says:


    Those are prickly Pete Prisco’s words, not Joe’s. Feel free to listen to the podcast.

  4. Luther Says:

    McCown helped us get Jameis…End of story

  5. Champ Says:

    I know “Joe” gets super defensive when readers challenge them in the comments section, but I completely agree with Tony on this. Not only are you misinterpreting what Lovie said, you are misinterpreting what Prisco said.

    Prisco was not saying Lovie was not sold on McCown at the time, he was saying that Lovie wasn’t sold on him by the time they released him. It was more of a throw-away line at the end of a thought. Lovie very clearly meant it in terms of “the team’s opinion is all that matters.” There isn’t even a gray area on this one.

  6. Buc-A-New Says:

    How in the H.E. double hockey sticks did that girl on this morning’s page make it onto a Hooter’s Calendar????????????
    She must give some really good…………………….nevermind I don’t want to be banned again

  7. Joe Says:

    Somehow, (a few) readers can’t see who Joe is quoting despite it being crystal clear. Those are Prisco’s words not Joe’s. smh.

    Please listen to the podcast and point out specifically where Joe is misquoting Prisco.

    Yeah, Joe gets “defensive” when folks are dead wrong.

  8. DooshLaRue Says:

    The question mark at the end of the headline ultimately saves Joe from being wrong.
    It’s a savvy move…..I think the National Inquirer does this all the time.

  9. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    @ Tony

    Totally agree on your take, as noted though it’s Brisco who is somehow taking Lovie’s quote and coming up with that conclusion

    @ Buc-a-New

    Totally disagree…that chick has a smokin body. No complaints of her being in the Hooters calendar 🙂

  10. rayjay1122 Says:

    It was tough to endure last season but if it was the necessary evil to get Winston as well as picks at the top of each round where we had not already traded prior to the draft plus the added gravy of first dibs on the waiver wire, then it was worth it. This team as previously mentioned above was doomed from the start when you consider we had no OC, the worst OL in the league, a journeyman QB with marginal talent at best when surrounded by better talent, no rushing attack, a defense in the first year of a new system and no consistent pressure on opposing QB’s as well as an inexplicable inability to cover TE’s. All of that being said, we were destined for winning the race for Jameis and thankfully we at least did not screw that up!!

  11. buc4life1979 Says:

    Why do you keep hounding Lovie about mclown?? He repeatedly explained his position b4 and after every game last year…Remember?? You cited it in the story above. “Josh gives us the best chance to win.” He just neglected to state that he was referring to winning the chase for Jameis.

  12. Buc-A-New Says:

    Wow Toes…………you consider her body “smokin hot”?
    You would fit in nicely in some of the smaller towns here in Montana.

  13. Buc1987 Says:

    Come on Joe. We know you’re just getting antsy like the rest of us.

  14. Buc-A-New Says:

    Mariota still not signing his contract based on whether or not he is allowed to Surf on his off-time. That is One plus for the kid as far as Im concerned.

  15. Joe Says:



  16. Buc1987 Says:

    Buc this is from the NY Post.

    “As for a report that Mariota’s deal was being held up because Tennessee was demanding the Hawaiian native stopped surfing, well, that wasn’t much of an issue, considering Mariota doesn’t surf.”

  17. Anthony Says:


    Maybe “folks are dead wrong” or missing whats “crystal clear” because you named the freaking article “Lovie Wasn’t “Sold” On McCown?”. This is you completely trying to stir the pot, drawing conclusions that are not there. No where in this podcast can you justify the title of your article.
    Also, who cares about McCown these days? You always get upset with your readers about getting hung up on to past players, yet you cant let go of McCown. Maybe stop bashing the guy every chance you get.


  18. Buc1987 Says:

    “This is you completely trying to stir the pot, drawing conclusions that are not there.”

    Joe stirring the pot? Never! lol

  19. WyldKat Says:

    The best chance to win… next season.

  20. Buccfan37 Says:

    Stirring the pot is better than not having a pot to piss in.

  21. Tom S. Says:

    The posters are right. Why on earth is the title of an article asking whether Lovie was sold on McCown, when Prisco was the person who explicitly said he wasn’t and Lovie was, if anything defensive about it.

    It’s like me saying I’m not sold on Joe’s imaginary girlfriend, Joe telling me I don’t have to be sold on her, then me titling an article “Joe isn’t sold on his imaginary girlfriend?” Which btw, I’m sure she’s very nice, probably a great listener 😉

  22. Joe Says:

    @Anthony – Joe doesn’t care if readers are fired up about former players, especially if they provide windows into the current regime. No clue where you came up with that silliness

  23. Eric Says:

    Last year was miserable no doubt, and Lovie has to take some of the blame.

    However, Id still like to know what the alternative was at the QB position. The only other free agent of note was Vick.

    Think that would have worked?

    Draft Bridgewater? I’m not seeing elite out of him, and then we don’t get Evans.

    Easy to criticize. But IMO the more appropriate question is what did the rock star see in that rag tag excuse of a team he put together over five years?

  24. Mike10 Says:

    (I’m not talking directly to you Joe) but there is no way Lovie wasn’t sold on McCown. He “hand picked” the QB “prize of free agency” (national syndicate words, not mine) who he used to coach. Then didn’t even spark a competition in camp as he recruited McCown by offering him the starting gig. Good thing Lovie learned his lesson (cough)

  25. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    It’s clear to me that the statement is a matter of timing…..”I guess Lovie wasn’t sold on him either” refers to Lovie letting McCown go right after the season….

  26. LargoBuc Says:

    Ccown was Lovies biggest crime last year. No chance to be anything but mediocre with Mc under center. He could be a good back up but nothing more. Cleveland should’ve kept Hoyer. Mccown is a down grade.

  27. ToesOnTheLine! Says:

    @ Buc-a-New

    “You would fit in nicely in some of the smaller towns here in Montana”

    Montana is a beautiful state, but is slender young bikini clad chicks are running around in the small towns I’m rethinking my next move out of NY. Now tell me they dig middle aged married dudes (and I can still catch Bucs games w/ the NFL package), and I’m on my way to big sky country! 🙂

  28. Buc-A-New Says:

    LOL Toes……..Actually the older women here are in really good shape. The great outdoors and all. I am married to a woman that is 15 yrs younger than me and much hotter than the girl in the photo. Maybe that is my bias. You should DEFINITELY get out of the NY before it is too late tho. 🙂

  29. Señor Mofo Says:

    @TouchDownTampaBay said:

    I really don’t think Glennon was clearly the better player.


    Glennon averaged more passing yards per game than McCown, had a better completion percentage, better YPA, better passer rating on the season, and a much better TD-to-INT ratio.

    Glennon tossed 10 TDs in six games while McCown produced 11 TDs in 11 games. Glennon only had one game with more than one pick, while McCown had four. Glennon had zero games with a passer rating below 70, while McCown treated us to six such games. Also, the Bucs averaged six more points per game with Glennon at the helm than with McCown.

    How was Glennon not clearly the better player?

  30. Idontwannahearitanymore Says:

    Tony, Champ, Anthony, Mike10, etc. You can’t call out “Joe” when he;s wrong because he’s just rolling the crowd to stir up business…..and it’s working!

  31. Buc-A-New Says:

    KEEP keeping it Real Senior MO FO.

  32. Joe Says:

    @Idontwannhearit — Actually, Joe is simply writing about what Joe finds interesting. It’s the same process Joe has engaged in for seven years. Prisco’s comments about a private conversation with Lovie were interesting. And be confident that you don’t know much about Joe’s business operation.

  33. CLW JB Says:

    Like L&L are going to come out and say they tanked the season for Americas QB….common sense says they showed just how much they thought about him when they terminated his contract…and drafted Winston and kept Glennon….just like I tell my kids, ignore the words, study the behavior

  34. Tony Says:

    Sorry guys…Prisco really goofed on this one, not Joe. My apologies.

  35. Buc1987 Says:

    Hey McClown…

    “I know you got more tears to share, babe,
    So come on, come on, come on, come on, come on,
    And cry, cry baby, cry baby, cry baby.” – Janis Joplin

  36. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Prisco twisted the meaning of what Lovie intended.

  37. Señor Mofo Says:

    @CLW JB said:

    just like I tell my kids, ignore the words, study the behavior


    That’s exactly right. Everybody has two reasons for doing anything: the reason they tell you, and the real reason.

  38. tampa2bucsforever Says:

    After last years horrendous performance Josh McClown parlays his 2-year, $10M, 4.75M guaranteed deal with the Buccaneers to a 3 year, $14M, 6.25M guaranteed contract with the Browns. Who are the clowns now?