Josh McCown already is gearing up for a “full competition” with his young Jets counterparts, Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty. With that said, the veteran quarterback fully expects to win — and keep — the starting job for the entire season.
“That is my mindset. I think that is everybody’s mindset. You do that until it changes,” McCown said on a Wednesday conference call, his first introduction to the New York media. “Absolutely, that is the goal and I hope that is Hack’s goal and Bryce’s goal as well. You go in to compete and win the job and if it changes, it changes.
“ . . . Obviously, as a competitor you don’t expect that to change. You don’t want that to change, because I plan to go out there and play well. That is my mindset. As far as their expectations, that is really a question for them and how they see it. But for me as a player, I just have to do my job and focus on learning this offense and those things I said and just getting ready to go.”
Who ultimately gets to be under center in Week 1 will be head coach Todd Bowles’ call. But until a decision is made, McCown said he plans to push and help prepare his two pupils as best he can.
After moving on from fellow journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick earlier offseason, the Jets signed McCown to a one-year, $6-million deal. McCown, entering his 15th NFL season, isn’t a long-term solution, but his reputation as a mentor and locker room leader have already made an impression on his new teammates.
“He’s a great dude. Great leader, came in and took leadership right away,” right guard Brian Winters said on a separate call. “Every team he’s been on has nothing but good things to say about him . . . He was just vocal, wasn’t quiet, wasn’t sitting in the back, [he was] trying to lead us from the beginning. Doing things with the offense and just trying to get us in the right position early on.”
His on-field production, however, leaves much to be desired.
McCown, who is now on his eighth NFL team, is 18-42 as a starter. Over the last three seasons, he’s 2-20, 1-10 with the Bucs in 2014 and 1-10 from 2015-16 with the Browns. In those 22 starts, he threw 29 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.
Said McCown, “I don’t like those numbers either.”