McNown, who had dropped to fourth on the Bears' depth chart, had been the subject of trade rumors for the past several days, but he said he was preparing himself all along as though he would spend the 2001 season in Chicago.
But that doesn't he was disappointed about being traded. On the contrary.
"I'm really looking forward to this opportunity," McNown said. "It's certainly a great opportunity to come and be a part of a great organization with great tradition and great fans. I'm looking forward to just helping this team in any way I possibly can and starting off on the right foot."
Coach Dave Wannstedt said Wednesday McNown was brought in to compete for the No. 3 quarterback job. For his part, McNown is only concerned right now with learning the Dolphins offense.
McNown will not play in Saturday night's game at Green Bay, and might not play in the preseason finale against Minnesota on Aug. 31, either.
"Coming here I'm not too worried because I know I've got a lot of catching up to do," McNown said. "So the most important thing right now is learning the offense and getting familiar with the guys here. I understand we've got some great players here. Obviously Miami won the division last year, and so there is a great team in place and I just need to kind of learn right now."
As for his problems in Chicago, which have been well documented, McNown says he has learned from them and also has done some growing up.
"I think there have been some things that I've said and some mistakes that I've made. There are some things that have been documented, and I accept responsibility for those things, and at the same time I've learned from them," McNown said. "I'm a little older, a little wiser, a little more mature and I feel I've gained experience from that. I feel I'm going to be better because of it."
As for what the future holds for him in Miami, McNown says he just wants to take things one step at a time.
"Trying not to look too far ahead into the future," he said. "I just want to get into this offense and understand it as quickly as I can, so I can start to help the team in any way they want me. But that's about it right now. I don't want to get too far down in the distant future."