McCown Says All the Right Things

Jaguars backup quarterback Luke McCown has had an up-and down start to his career as he's played for three teams and four head coaches in his NFL career after being selected by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth-round of the 2004 draft.

Being a former fourth-round pick, McCown was never "the guy" in any of his three stops and has been mostly thought of a solid young developmental quarterback. Now that McCown is 28 years old and will be 29 prior to the start of training camp, the young label has been removed and it's time for him to step up and realize his potential.

"I try to go out and complete some balls," McCown said following Saturday's mini-camp practice. "Try to get the ball to guys in the right spot at the right time."

McCown was in a tough spot last season with the Jags as they completed a trade with Tampa Bay to acquire his services right before the season opener at Indianapolis.

"Being traded right before the season during week one it was difficult," McCown explained. "It was difficult to learn the game plan every week, not necessarily to learn the system."

This weekend was the first time that the Jacksonville public and media got to see "The McCown Experience," and the results have been overwhelmingly good. The 6'4", 217 pound gunslinger from Louisiana Tech, the same place which produced Steelers great Terry Bradshaw, showed a very strong arm with a good over-the-top release. During his time in Tampa, McCown was one of the best athletes on the team and he looks the part of a potential starting quarterback.

"I'm really enjoying and looking forward to really getting into the rest of the offseason, really diving into the nuances of this system," an energetic McCown said. "It's different than any system I've been in, run first, play action down the field and I feel like I can be good at it.

Before you think McCown is actively pursuing David Garrard's starting quarterback position, think again and McCown knows his role with the team.

"David's the starter," McCown said when asked about his short-term goals. "He's the starter and that means I've got to be ready to play if called upon one way or the other."

Still, McCown is looking to get better each and every day for the good of the team.

"Just because David's the starter, that doesn't keep me from competing," McCown explained. "When I get a rep or when I get on the field, I go out there like I'm the starter. That's the way I've always prepared and I've always said if I don't prepare that way then I'm doing a disservice to my teammates. They deserve if something happened to David (Garrard) they deserve to have someone go out there and is ready to come in and play and help them win ball games. That's always my focus."

As of today there is no quarterback controversy in Jacksonville.

"David's the starter but that doesn't keep me from pushing and competing in itself," McCown reiterated.

If McCown continues to impress and David Garrard continues to struggle it will be tough for the Jaguars to pay Garrard roughly $5.5 million more than McCown. Salary is in Luke's favor and age is in Luke's favor. Those are two very important factors.

There was no quarterback controversy in 2007 either.


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