Josh McCown was happy in retirement, slowly coming to grips with transitioning from NFL veteran quarterback into his role as an ESPN analyst this fall.
Mostly, though, he was helping coach the quarterbacks Myers Park High School in hometown of Charlotte, N.C. Especially, he enjoyed coaching up his two sons, one in ninth grade, the other in tenth.
“It was a lot of fun,” said McCown (wearing No. 18 in photo). “We logged a lot of hours this offseason working together. It was a lot of fun. It was cool when this opportunity came up and we started to talk about it as a family. They were excited, and they were like, ‘Man, you gotta go.’
So when the Eagles called and said they needed a quarterback, McCown couldn’t say no. He reported for his first practice with his new team on Sunday.
VIDEO: Hear from veteran QB Josh McCown before his first practice on Sunday
“Throughout my career, for the most part, it’s kind of been start up situations with a new head coach or they’re rebuilding and it’s kind of been my job to go in kind of help with that type of stuff, so to have an opportunity to come to a place where they’ve had success, obviously recent success winning a championship and be a part of that, it was hard to stay away from,” said McCown.
“To be with people that have won, and won recently and won championships, that’s something I think we all want to be a part of. So for me, looking over the course of my career, and only having had a couple situations like that, as I’m learning, and it’s still early, but probably none as solid as this one. It was intriguing and obviously enticing. Good enough to get me to come out.”
Head coach Doug Pederson said that there was a chance McCown may have been added to the roster even if the team didn’t actually need another quarterback after injuries struck down Nate Sudfeld (broken bone near left wrist) and Cody Kessler (concussion) in back-to-back exhibition games.
“There's a good chance, yeah,” said the coach. “I mean, if Nate is healthy, there's a good chance. Obviously, this is a little bit injury related, a little bit adding value, adding depth, and seeing where we're at. You've seen us make roster moves a lot this training camp. This is no different.”
Pederson did not want to commit how much, if any, McCown will play in Thursday night’s preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens. He joked that one of the things he likes about his new quarterback is that, at 40 years-old, McCown is close to Pederson age of 48.
There’s still the matter of McCown getting caught up on the offense and the conditioning.
You might think getting the offense down wouldn’t be so difficult, because, after all, this will be his 18th season.
The Eagles’ offense, though, has some different nuances, and that was something else that appealed compelled him to return.
“Tere are things that carry over for sure, a lot of the concepts are the same, but one of the reasons I ended up coming here is because what they’ve been able to do with some of the concepts that we’ve had in the league throughout the course of my career and some of the new twists they put on things, it was interesting to, and I wanted to learn it,” said McCown.
“They’ve done a good job moving the football and the quarterbacks playing well here, so as a player that’s exciting to come and be part of that. I’m looking forward to that part, the challenge of learning that. Talked about it today, it is a bit different. It’s a little new. Do this for 18 years you kind of have seen everything, but there are some new things and some wrinkles that I’m looking forward to working with.”
McCown will wear the No. 18. He said it’s partly because that will be the number of seasons he has played professional, but also for another reason, and for that reason he took a jab at Alshon Jeffery.
McCown and Jeffery are close from their days together with the Chicago Bears.
“I also want to look could in the team photo, nest to Alshon,” said McCown about also selecting No. 18.
Added Jeffery: “Josh is awesome. I don’t know one person that can say something bad about him. He’s a great father, he’s a great human being, he’s just a guy you love being around. Just come in a room and everyone gravitates towards him.”
As for the conditioning, well, McCown may have to work on that.
“No I feel good,” he said. “I was coaching high school football on the field and playing hoops and trying to stay active. I’m not really somebody who likes to sit still, so hopefully it won’t be too big of a transition. Obviously playing professional football is different. I wasn’t necessarily training for hat but at the same time I was pretty acti