BEREA— Prior to Tuesday morning, Browns starting quarterback Josh McCown was generally unaware of the existence of TMZ.
“I had to ask,” McCown said. “I don't follow that stuff too much.”
Of course, TMZ is the media outlet that recently quoted three anonymous Browns players that voiced their frustration at McCown starting over Johnny Manziel, who led Cleveland to victory over the Tennessee Titans two weeks ago.
After being introduced to the outlet through which the “news” was reported, McCown joked that he secretly called the medium and offered the quotes himself.
“It was all me,” McCown said, with a grin on his face. “I didn’t know what TMZ was, but I reached out to ‘em.”
After the laughs were through, McCown seriously discussed the report, which he didn’t feel warranted much of his time.
“I don’t think it was anything that I need to waste my time on,” McCown said. “I don’t really worry about stuff like that.”
In addition to not wasting his own time on the story, McCown believes that his teammates didn’t waste time thinking about the story and, instead, were focusing on practicing and preparing for the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
“That stuff’s outside of here and I think the guys in here, we know what we’ve got going,” McCown said. “We’re all on the same page with that.”
In feeling as though he and his teammates are on the same page on the field, McCown also feels that the Browns are on the same page in the locker room, though he wouldn’t divulge exactly what’s been said inside the building.
“I like to leave that for us, and like I said, a lot of that is outside noise that a lot of guys don’t pay attention to,” McCown said. “There’s guys that are into that and that’ll read that and stuff like that, but for the most part, it’s just not an issue. It’s not something we talk about.”
As McCown referenced, there are guys that read and guys that don’t, just as there are guys who believe more so in the veteran than in the rookie and vice versa.
No matter the difference in opinions, McCown said there’s a common goal and a common desire to stick together, which is far more impactful than any story.
“This is a diverse group of guys in here and so there are definitely people that will fall on of any issue that you talk about, there will people that will have different opinions on anything,” McCown said. “That’s fine, but at the end of the day, it’s do I question whether or not we’re going to be on the same page when we step out there Sunday? Absolutely not. That’s the thing, whether you’re for one guy or the other, you think one guy gives us the better chance to win or not, it doesn’t matter, because when we get out there Sunday everybody’s giving their best.”
With the Browns needing a West-Coast win on Sunday in San Diego to get back to 2-2 on the season, McCown is confident that the rest of the team has put this story behind them, just as he had in the moments after reading it.
“I think we all put the same jersey on and go out there and play, and we’re all in each other’s corner,” McCown said. “I think that’s the way it’s going to be, and that’s the way it’s been as long as I’ve been here, so I don’t see that changing for any reason.”
For all of your Browns news, updates and analysis from Berea, follow Hayden Grove on Twitter: @H_Grove.