MP: This is a much different feeling for you this year than last year. Can you put the journey of the last year or so into words (McCown did not play last season due to a knee injury)?
LM: It's been a long time. Last year I think, as I've said before, was good for me. Just to have a chance to be a sponge, sit back and absorb as much as I could. Work on getting better, work on getting back. And having an opportunity now during this preseason to play and do some things. It's been for me a long time coming. It's been a long time since I've played. Every day I feel truly blessed.
MP: Looking back a year ago, being named No. 2 on the depth chart — and I know that doesn't necessarily mean what it says — could you have envisioned that?
LM: That wasn't what my focus was at that point in time last year. It was just, when I get an opportunity make the most of it again. That's how I entered training camp. I didn't have any expectations. Just come in and do what you're supposed to do, be efficient with the offense, show that you understand how to play the position and do what you can with what reps you get. The rest will take care of itself. That's the mindset that I tried to carry this whole time. I don't really have any expectations about anything. Just go out and play as hard as you can every day and let the rest take care of itself.
MP: Are you there now? Physically, mentally, understanding all the plays, the pocket presence? Has everything kind of come together for you now?
LM: I think the one thing that you always have to have is experience and I think that's the only thing that I really don't have is regular-season experience here. So that's the one thing, or one ingredient, that's still coming. It's still not there. As far as physically, I feel great. I'm throwing the ball as well as I've ever thrown it, probably. The knee feels great. I'll never give it a second thought. It's probably better than it was before the injury. My understanding of the offense, our philosophy and how we want to do it, I feel very comfortable with it.
MP: Does it feel like old times with Jeff (Garcia) being the starter and you backing him up (the pair were on the same team in Cleveland in 2004)?
LM: (Laughter) A little bit. We've talked about that a little bit. Who knew four years ago that when we both left Cleveland we'd end up here together at some point. It's neat how the circle of things in this league kind of comes about. I enjoy working with Jeff. He's a great guy. Not only to work with, but he's a great guy to learn from. That's certainly what Bruce (Gradkowski) and I are trying to do — watch him and pick his brain, watch how he works and plays and try to emulate some of those things.