Thursday, September 15, 2016

Krunch Time With Katelin: What should the Browns expect from Josh McCown?

By Katelin Marshall, @KatelinKnowsCLE

Robert Griffin III is out for the foreseeable so Josh McCown is taking over at quarterback (good thing we didn't trade him). Now on paper McCown isn't anything to write home about, but he might be able to put up some really good numbers for a few reasons. First off lets recap his stats from last year. McCown threw for 2109 yards 12 TDs to four interceptions. He also had a QBR of 53.92 and a quarterback rating of 93.3. Unfortunately it only resulted in a 1-7 record but he really didn't lose any games.

The main reason McCown will do better is the weapons he has. Guys like Gary Barnidge and Duke Johnson had really good stats with McCown at QB. Barnidge caught 43 passes on 64 targets, 626 yards and six touchdowns. Barnidge also had 29 first downs which means 81% of his catches resulted in either a touchdown or first down. With Duke Johnson, McCown targeted him 43 times resulting in 37 catches, (86% catch percentage) and 363 yards plus one touchdown.

Now Josh doesn't have any experience with Terrelle Pryor, Corey Coleman, or Josh Gordon, but the way McCown can fling it down the field and his willingness to check the ball down to the tight end or halfback could really open up the down field pass. Pryor is a really interesting player with his size and speed so the only comparison I could think of is someone like Alshon Jeffery. In 2013, McCown threw Jeffery's way 59 times resulting in 38 catches and 640 yards plus four touchdowns. Now I understand comparing Pryor to Jeffery is a stretch but both similar in size and speed which is the only reason for the comparison.

The next reason is head coach Hue Jackson who is also the play caller compared to last year former offensive John DeFilippo called plays, which was the first time in his career. Jackson is has a lot of experience calling plays so with McCown under center will be able to call plays similar to the ones he called with the Bengals for Andy Dalton and AJ McCarron. McCown and Andy Dalton have similar skill sets. They have above average arms and they know how to manage a game/offense. I'd expect Hue Jackson to call more conservative plays at least to start out. If the Browns are serious about winning and developing young players they need Josh to stay upright and healthy. Hue Jackson's offense might consist of more swing passes and short routes.

The last reason is Josh McCown. This could be his last chance as a starter. Liked he stated in interviews he is going to make the most of this opportunity. McCown is still a really solid quarterback and athletic. His ceiling isn't high but the basement isn't as low as RGIII. If Josh can continue manage the game like he did last year he there is a chance he can win some games from the Browns in 2016. And as long as he doesn't do anything stupid like last year when he drove into the end zone, there is still a chance he can play the majority of the games and potentially take over the starting job for the remainder of the year.

Josh McCown is going to make the young receivers look better and help them develop faster. No McCown isn't the franchise quarterback we all strive for, but for this team, he might be exactly what they need. They need the savoy veteran in McCown to keep them in games, help gain confidence in these players, and be the team leader we all know he his. The one thing everyone says about McCown is how good he is with his fellow teammates and in a year that could be painful win-loss wise its good to have someone like McCown helping to keep the locker room afloat.

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