Eagles Create Innovative New Role for Veteran Journeyman QB

Getty Josh McCown

Not only is Josh McCown returning to the Eagles’ nest, he’s getting the most creative role in football.

Philadelphia will use the 41-year-old as their emergency and “quarantine” quarterback on the 16-member practice squad. He’ll earn $12,000 in salary, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, and reside in Texas where he’ll serve as player-coach. Since McCown will be away from the team, not in Philadelphia — he should be able to step right in on a moment’s notice if an outbreak occurs in the Eagles’ quarterbacks room due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many coaches have talked about keeping an extra quarterback for “quarantine” purposes but the Eagles are the first to actually do it. Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians was one of the first coaches to propose the idea, then Doug Pederson claimed Philly was having “ongoing conversations” about it.

“That is definitely something to consider as you move forward to protect the quarterback position, but at the same time you have to think about the entire roster, as well,” Pederson told reporters back in July. “A lot of different scenarios and a lot of possibilities we’ll think about here in the next few weeks.”

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McCown’s Coaching Future, Mentoring Young Players

Meanwhile, McCown has talked at length about a future in coaching. Last January, the Eagles reportedly offered McCown an assistant coaching position but he turned it down at the time because he still wanted to play.

Interestingly, McCown told Heavy.com last summer that the idea of coaching had crossed his mind. (Remember, the quarterback was coaching high school football in North Carolina). He even rattled off all the great men who had taught him over his 17 years of experience in the NFL.

“Yeah, I mean, anything is possible. I say that all the time. Anything is possible,” McCown told Mike Greger. “In the early part of my career it was kind of not something I thought about doing but then I coached high school football when I was out of the league and I realized I liked it and it got me back in.”

“Ever since then I’ve had the good fortune of crossing paths in Chicago with men like Rod Marinelli and Lovie Smith and men that have just encouraged me toward that goal and just did my best to try to watch guys, guys like Doug [Pederson] who have played a long time, similar type of career [to me] and now he’s coaching. So we’ll see … we’ll see what the future holds but certainly I love the game enough to do it. Maybe one day, we’ll see.”

It’s something Carson Wentz alluded to when he described the way he mentors the younger guys in the Eagles’ locker room.

“Having Josh around last year was huge for me, but really for this entire building,” Wentz said. “He had a lot of insight, a lot of intelligence, kind of a mentor to a lot of guys.”

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