Does McCown fit NFC QB hierarchy with Brees, Ryan, Newton?
The NFC South has been an arms race, with Pro Bowl passers such as the Saints' Drew Brees, the Panthers' Cam Newton and the Falcons' Matt Ryan.
So will the Bucs be a little out-gunned in the division next season with Bears free agent Josh McCown at quarterback?
"It’s not Josh McCown against Drew Brees, it’s those guys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,'' McCown said Tuesday. "It’s the Saints against the Bucs or the Falcons against the Bucs. I’m thankful as a team we’re going to have a good team together.''
McCown, 34, said while he respects those players, they will have to contend with the Bucs defense. But he is looking forward to competing in the star-studded division.
“I respect those guys’ game, so, obviously, to have my name mentioned with those guys, in the same sentence, at the end of the day, would be a real cool honor because I respect the heck out of their games,'' McCown said.
“They’re all good leaders, first and foremost. And they play the position well. Everybody a little different, a little unique, but they all lead their teams and that’s what’s cool. At the end of the day, that’s what you want to have said about you as a quarterback. But the best thing I can say when I talk about those three guys is to talk about Lavonte David and Dashon Goldson and Gerald McCoy. That’s who they’ve got to worry about and I’m thankful those guys are on my team. So, we’ll see. You don’t really compete with other quarterbacks.''
McCown, who has been a career backup, signed a 2-year, $10-million deal with the Bucs in March. He's coming off his best performance as a pro, going 3-2 in five starts with the Bears last season with 13 touchdowns and one interception.