The Cleveland Browns may be looking to select a quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft and Josh McCown is ready and willing to serve as a mentor to that player.
If the Cleveland Browns do as many experts predict and select a quarterback with the No. 2 overall selection in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft, the pressure to get that player ready for the season opener will begin as soon as they finish their first television interview.
There are two problems with that line of thinking, though. The first is that if the Browns decide to draft a quarterback they need to focus on a player who can lead the team for the next 10 to 12 years, not just someone who can take the field on opening weekend in September.
That leads into the second issue, which is that the three quarterbacks who are presumed to be the top picks – Cal’s Jared Goff, Memphis’ Paxton Lynch and North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz – may all need a bit of extra seasoning before they are ready to take over the starting role.
“Whatever my role is, I’m all in. I just want to help.” – Josh McCown
Luckily for the Browns, that is where quarterback Josh McCown comes in.
A 13-year veteran that has pretty much seen it all in the NFL, McCown was brought to town in 2015 to serve as a bridge quarterback and help turn quarterback Johnny Manziel into a viable NFL quarterback. While Manziel had no interest in doing that, McCown is still ready to give it a go if the Browns bring in a rookie quarterback via the draft.
“My expectation is to come into work and be available and be ready to do whatever’s asked of me,” McCown told PFT Live. “If that’s to bring along a draft pick and to start until that guy’s ready, then I’m willing to do that. If that’s to go the full 16, I’m excited about doing that. If that’s to help that guy as he takes over, whatever my role, whatever’s asked of me, I’m just here to win football games.
“Whatever my role is, I’m all in. I just want to help.”
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In some ways McCown was the team’s Most Valuable Player in 2015. While obviously not the longterm answer at quarterback, McCown battled through injuries to keep the Browns in most of the games he started. In addition, he brought a much-needed calm and professionalism to a quarterback group, helping to minimize the impact of the Manziel circus on the Browns.
While too much emphasis is placed on McCown’s “won-loss record” as a starting quarterback, he’s not a bad quarterback. More importantly, he is the type of veteran presence who can teach a young quarterback how to prepare during the week so that they can find success on Sundays.
That is a vital role that has been missing on the Browns since the team returned in 1999, and has helped to contribute to the string of young quarterbacks that have seen their careers die in Cleveland. Players like Trent Dilfer, Seneca Wallace, Derek Anderson, Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer were either unable or unwilling to fill that role and Browns fans have seen the results.