The Browns have trotted out 22 different starting quarterbacks since 1999.
It soon could be 23.
“It’s obviously a tall order and my reaction is that’s the past,” McCown said on a conference call with local media Monday. “My mentality is to come in and play good football and to win football games.
“I’m sure everybody comes in with same mindset, but what I’m excited about the people that are here currently and that I’ll be playing with,” he said. “(If it’s been) 22 guys or whatever have been here before, you can’t just say ‘Let’s just pack up and go home because it is pointless’. That’s not my mindset.”
McCown said his mentality is to be the Browns starting quarterback.
“That’s my expectation right now,“ McCown said on ESPN Radio’s on Monday. ”We’ll see, as things unfold, what their plan is, but that’s my expectation. I’m going to compete as such to do that."
The Browns paid McCown to be more than a backup as they signed him to a three-year contract of nearly $14 million, including $6.25 million guaranteed. His contract for 2015 is $5.25 million with incentives that could add another $2 million if the Browns made the playoffs and his playing time incentives are reached.
McCown is being paid similarly to what other veteran quarterbacks have been paid that are expected to bridge the gap between starting and finding the team’s franchise quarterback.
However, McCown said being the starter wasn’t his top priority when picking the Browns.
“For me, it was what’s the right fit and if I go there can we win football games and be productive.”
McCown is 17–32 in his career feels last season in Tampa Bay fell apart for him when then new offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford left the team for good in September after undergoing a coronary angioplasty. McCown was 1–10 as the starter with Tampa Bay.
“There’s not a whole lot to say about it,” McCown said. “I don’t shy away from it. I wasn’t good enough. We lost the offensive coordinator a week before the season and we just weren’t’ good enough (to overcome that).
“I own my part of it,” he said. “It’s not the way I would’ve hoped the season would go. Lord willing, I don’t want to be in that situation again.”
Tedford came to the Bucs from Cal, where he was head coach, and brought quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo with him from the college ranks. When Tedford left, Arroyo was thrust into the role of interim coordinator and McCown was involved in helping set up the game plan.
McCown signed a two-year contract worth $10 million with Tampa Bay after throwing 13 touchdowns to just one interception with the Bears in 2013. He was released by Tampa Bay on Feb. 11 and had been sought after by quarterback hungry teams, including the Browns, Bills, Jets and Bears.
With Tampa Bay, McCown threw just 11 touchdowns, while throwing 14 interceptions.
McCown was a third-round draft pick of the Cardinals in 2002. He has thrown 61 touchdowns and 59 interceptions with a 76.1 rating. McCown’s younger brother, Luke, was drafted by the Browns in 2004.
One of the reasons the Browns signed McCown was for his reputation as being willing to help work with younger quarterbacks, such as Johnny Manziel, Connor Shaw or a quarterback the Browns might draft.
“I think it’s easy,” he said. “You prepare and you have to lead by example first and foremost. You have to do what it takes to be ready to play.
“For me, it’s just to come in and with anybody on the team,” he said. “(We play the same position), but I want to serve my team teammates as best I can. Whatever I’m able to do, will be willing to do that.”
McCown wouldn’t divulge what other plans the Browns might have had, in terms of adding quarterbacks, either through free agency or the draft.
“I’ll leave that between me and the Browns, but I am excited with what were’ doing moving forward.”
McCown did say that he believes in what the Browns are doing, despite the recent negative publicity surrounding the team.
“I had a good feeling with Browns coach (Mike) Pettine,” he said. “I like the offensive line and the ability to run the ball. Those were big factors in the decision.
“(The visit) really solidified with me that everything was going in the right direction.”