Josh McCown: Bucs New Starter Speaks Out

Josh McCown

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held a press conference today to introduce new starting quarterback Josh McCown and offensive tackle Anthony Collins. Here’s what was said:

(Opening Statement)

(Jason Licht) “Welcome again. It’s another exciting day here at One Buc. I’m proud to introduce two new players of our team. First guy to my left is Josh McCown. We’re excited about Josh on several levels. One is his experience with Lovie. It goes a long way. Two is leadership; on and off the field. We’re not signing Josh for just those things, we’re signing him to be a performer on the field and we’re excited about that opportunity. From day one we’ve been transparent about getting a veteran season quarterback on this roster that’s playing at his best and that’s Josh McCown.

Sitting to his left, which we’re getting him used to right now, protecting his blind side is Anthony Collins. Anthony is a veteran tackle that’s played and started left, he’s had some experience at guard, but he is a natural left tackle and we’re very excited to introduce him as the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting left tackle. I’m going to let Coach Lovie Smith have a few words here.”

(Lovie Smith) “Can’t say a whole lot more than what Jason said, but I do have a relationship with Josh but I have a relationship with a lot of people but I don’t ask them to come down here and play football.We need good football players, ad Josh is exactly what you’re looking for in a leader to get that 4-12 taste out of our mouth. As Jason said, there’s nothing like a good left tackle and I really enjoyed getting a chance to know Anthony. He’s going to bring a lot of energy and of course good play and I can’t wait to get started. We talked a lot about defense yesterday, but it’s about scoring points and the game is more about the offense nowadays and we feel like we made strides with it. Without anything else I’m going to pass it over to Josh.”

(Josh McCown) “First and foremost thanks to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization and to Jason and Lovie for having me here. I’m very thankful to be here, it’s a great opportunity for me and our family to come and be part of this community, to come be a part of this organization and we look forward to what’s to come as both Jason and Lovie said. There are things that you want to accomplish as a leader on and off the field but the number one thing is to come play good football and I feel like for myself with what we were able to accomplish last year on the field, I’m going to keep building on that. We’re excited about this opportunity and I’ll let my left tackle say something.”

(Anthony Collins) “I’m not going to talk too much. I’m happy to be here, I love it, I love the coaches and met everybody, the GM, Coach Smith, I loved everything about it. I have to protect this man right here with all my might. With all my might I have to protect this man right here. Nothing else said.”

(Q&A):

(McCown on what made Tampa the right fit for him)

“All things, It’s kind of all encompassing, but no doubt the relationship with Lovie had a lot to do with it because there is familiarity there and because I understood the direction and the way he wants to build this team, the guys he’s looking for, not only myself but the pieces that he wants to put around and allow you to be in with the locker room. it’s my kind of environment and that was a big draw for me.”

(McCown on having an opportunity to start this late on his career)

“Well I’ve learned throughout my life that, as a person of faith there’s a scripture that says tomorrow is not promised and all those things, that’s kid of how I’ve tried to view the world is that things change very quickly. My whole career has kind of been that way. I had the privilege a few years ago to coach high school football and then at the end of that season, play on Christmas night in Lambeau Field with Lovie. I kind of started thinking then that you never know and for me to be sitting here I understand why people would say this kind of surprising but in our world and my family’s world this is kid of part for the course to have something relatively unusual happen. We’re excited about this opportunity and really feel like for me I am at a time where I’m — like I said I played my best ball last year and look forward to building on that.”

(McCown on if he feels like this is the best offense for him)

“Absolutely, that was a big – when I came on my visit there was kind of a fact finding mission. I needed to sit with (offensive coordinator) Jeff (Tedford) and (quarterbacks coach) Marcus (Arroyo) and spend my time with them and see what they were putting in place offensively and see the direction they were headed. That couldn’t have gone better.When you really sit with those guys, I’m so impressed and after two days and spending time with (offensive line coach) George Warhop all of those things are important because for me you find a level and a standard performance you want to play at and there are things that need to line up to do so. I feel like coming in here and during the visit I was really able to check those boxes off and go, you know what, this is going to give me a chance to be successful because I know that’s what they’re bringing me in here for, it’s to play good football. I believe Coach Smith has put the things in place for me to do that.”

(McCown on if his lack of playing makes his body feel younger)

“Those four kids over there will keep you young. I’m thankful for them and thankful for my wife Natalie being here. My course, my journey has been different and so other starting quarterbacks in their 30s, they’ve played a lot more games and taken a lot more hits. My body feels great. I feel like when I look at the tape and just by the way I feel, I think I can continue to do the things I’ve always doe and what excites me is to be able to – I can do the things athletically that I did early in my career, but have the mental capacity and the experience that I have now to put those things together, I feel like I can put my best foot forward.”

(Collins on if he’s ready to be a full time starter)

“I’m very ready. I’ve been waiting for six years. I got my chance this year and coming over here to a whole other family and it feels like a family; it’s going to make my stride that much easier.”

(McCown on what he credits his recent success)

“I think there a lot of things that I could point to. I go back to probably the number one thing, coaching high school football. The years I was doing that, I started learning the game differently. As a coach, you stop at the stripe and the players have to go out there and do it. So the way that you teach them, the way that you learn it is different. It gave me a great perspective, so the opportunity to then get back into ball and play, I took that perspective to the game. I was fortunate to have (Chicago Bears Head) Coach (Marc) Trestman and those guys up there and the players around me that, when that plan was laid out, I was able to study and put to work those things ┬áthat I had learned from coaching and it allowed me to go out and play good ball. So there are a lot of things (to credit), but that time coaching, I really look at that and think ‘Man that was a huge impact on me.'”

(Licht on what made Collins an attractive left tackle)

“The fact that, watching all the tackles this year, he’s the one that jumped out to me, because it was such a surprise to see a guy thrown into the starting lineup and to actually see their team perform better. And that’s not a knock on any player. (Collins) has great feet, he’s got great athleticism, and he plays very hard. I don’t want to say he came out of nowhere, because everyone has been aware of Anthony for a long time, but, when he got his opportunity, he performed exceptionally, so we feel very lucky to get him. And I don’t thin he’s hit his prime yet.”

(McCown on replicating success from 2013 and becoming a starter)

“Well, the good thing is that I’ve gone through an offseason as a starter when I was in Arizona, so I understand what comes with all those things. So it’s being able to couple those experiences with what I’m going to do now. Time will tell, but what I’ve learned over the last 12 months, the things I brought to the table in Chicago and the systems and processes that I learned, the ways to study and the things that we did to help that offense go from where it was to where it is now, those are the things that I have in my mind that I want to bring with me that I want to do and replicate. I believe that will give us a chance to be successful.”

(McCown on what Lovie expects from him as a quarterback)

“I think first and foremost, protect the football. If I’ve learned anything from Coach it’s protect the football. Obviously 13 touchdowns and one interception is a good way to get that done, and that will be a premium that we put on us offensively, that we’re going to protect the football. And that’s not just from my position, but (for) ball carriers and those alike; we’re going to protect the football and be smart. Because we know – I’ve been around (Smith), I’ve played for him and I’ve watched it – that (the defense) is giong to get the football back. They’re going to get it out; it’s going to happen. So we understand the ratios and percentages of winning and how important that is. So I think that’s the number one thing Smith is expecting.”

(Collins on being pressured into Tampa)

“I’m comfortable. A lot of people don’t do well under pressure but I’m comfortable.”

(Collins on the type of player he is at OT)

“Gotta man up. Gotta eat, sleep football at all times so I gotta man up and protect my quarterback.”

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