The chemistry between Josh McCown and teammates is unabashedly positive. McCown finds his way to the weekly offensive line dinner, and the guys usually give him a pass on picking up the tab, him being an old guy with four kids’n all.
McCown makes an effort to reciprocate. They take care of him, he takes care of them.
Offensive lines are typically critiqued on how their team runs the football, but even more so by how many times their quarterback is hit and sacked, given the NFL’s tilt toward passing.
Against the Green Bay Packers, McCown took a sack. It was for one yard, and part of the reason was not just McCown trying to get away, but trying to get away to keep a blot off the resume of his offensive line.
“When [the offensive linemen] turn the film on and they see the quarterback get hit, it bothers them,” McCown said Thursday. “It’s not just something where they go, ‘Oh, well.’ It gets under their skin. It refocuses them to work hard, and they want it to be clean all the time.
“From our standpoint as quarterbacks, we really appreciate that. We appreciate the attention from their side to want to get that done. As the quarterback, there was a little scramble that I had in the Green Bay game. I think it was the only sack, and I was trying to get back to the line of scrimmage because I didn’t want to give up a sack. I felt like things were covered and I had to move, but I know how hard those guys work to not give up sacks.
“I know it’s not a big deal, I don’t care about statistics, but I just didn’t want them to have a sack on their record because I know how hard they work. I appreciate the way that they go about their jobs. I think they get after it and they work really hard.”
McCown also does not suffer from what coach Marc Trestman has termed “success flu,” a malady that sets in when a player starts paying attention to his press clippings and public accolades.
“When the H1N1 [virus] was going on and the flu bug hits, you get vaccinated so you don’t get sick, right?” Trestman explained. “So what we try do in the times when we’re having success and people are telling you how good you are and how good we are, it kind of stabilizes you. So we vaccine these guys so they don’t make it about themselves.”
McCown has been inoculated, or at least is resistant to the strain.
“I know myself as a man,” McCown said. “I get prideful – “Oh, that feels good” – so I have to be careful with staying present and just wanting to stay in today and worry about the next thing and not get ahead of myself and not go, Look at this, I’m playing pretty good,’ because they say so.”
And the obvious component in the overall relationship with the locker room is simple: success. You like people who win and make you win.
“Josh doesn’t have a [captain’s] C on his chest, but he’s definitely one of our captains, especially from an emotional standpoint, the way he gets guys going,” said wide receiver Brandon Marshall. “The way he rallies the guys in practice, the way he prepares, it’s contagious, a trickle-down effect. He affects our coaching staff, he affects players on offense and defense, he’s just that type of guy.”