Josh McCown didn’t waste any time, hopping on a flight a couple hours after he was signed by the Bears and practicing with his new team today at Halas Hall.
“For whatever reason, last night, it wasn’t too bad,” McCown said. “We went to the airport in Charlotte, and it wasn’t too busy. It was pretty easy.”
Of course, the hardest part was leaving his family.
“But that’s the nature of this business,” he said. “They understand that.”
McCown spent part of training camp with the San Francisco 49ers, and he completed all four preseason pass attempts for 51 yards. But he was released, and he has been coaching high school football in the Charlotte area since.
“I’m just thankful to have a job,” he said.
His high school team got knocked out of the playoffs last week.
Asked if that helped him, McCown said, “I think so.
“We’ll see. But I think so. I would think, as opposed to not doing anything, football related, I think it’s got to be better.
“You always think you know what coaches are thinking. But until you’re on that side, in that capacity, you have a new respect for it. So it’ll be good.”
McCown said offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s playbook isn’t all that different from the one he had when he played under him in 2006, in Detroit.
“A lot of stuff is very similar. It’s just getting back up to speed,” McCown said. “There are little wrinkles here and there. Over the years, things change. Mike is always pushing the envelope, and creating new things. It’s just getting used to those, and getting acclimated to timing and speed.”
McCown said he felt bad that Jay Cutler was injured, but he realized that was the way he was going to get an NFL job this season.
“I knew my situation, wanting to play again, I knew it was going to come on the heels of someone getting hurt. You hate to see that happen, but at the same time, you know with it being here, and having the familiarity with Mike’s offense, I knew that was a possibility that I’d get a call,” he said.
McCown pulled out his Martz playbook from Detroit Monday, and he started flipping through it.
“I was getting excited, then it started dragging out. I was thinking, ‘This might not happen.’ I said, ‘I need to put this up, because it’s going to be a big let down.’ You start to look at the plays in his system, and you get excited as a quarterback,” McCown said. “So thankfully got the call and I’m here.”
Currently, rookie Nate Enderle is the backup to Caleb Hanie. Asked if he can move up, McCown said, “Kind of coming in late like this, it would be hard to hop in there and be the two right now.
“But we’ll see how that goes. I just want to be here and help these guys, whatever spot they put me at. And be a sounding board for Caleb and Nate.”
In the meantime, McCown wasn’t entirely certain where he would spend his Thanksgiving, since the Bears ended practice early so everyone could have the afternoon and evening with their families.
“Hey, if anyone has a spot at their table, I’ll take it,” he jokingly said.
But McCown said several new teammates already invited him to their homes. He said he wanted to study his playbook and that he may end up at the home of his Chicago-based agent, Mike McCartney of Priority Sports.