NFL veteran and Eagles’ backup quarterback Josh McCown spoke to the media following the team’s elimination from the postseason and talked about making his first playoff appearance, his future in the league, and about Carson Wentz’s injury.
McCown — the consummate professional — never blamed his teammates for any of the missteps in the game, and instead put things like the delay of game and failed 4th-down attempts on his shoulders.
Here’s what the quarterback had to say:
On his first playoff appearance
McCown said he felt good when he took the field, and that procedurally there are some differences in an advanced game week, compared to the preseason. He noted that head coach Doug Pederson is “always excellent in the headset” and helping with different things.
The QB said that obviously you don’t want to be on the field under those circumstances — the injury to Carson Wentz — but then you’ve got to get going. He talked about getting off to a slow start, and wishing it had been faster, but the guys around him, and Pederson, helped him settle in.
Josh McCown was choked up at the podium explaining what it meant to him and his family to play his first playoff game.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 6, 2020
Gave it everything he had pic.twitter.com/5ivIFxpJcI
He had also talked about being emotional after the game because they put so much into winning the game and to making the run, and then to fall short, hurts. McCown said that you begin replaying what you could’ve done better and feel like you let down the people in the building.
On the injury to Wentz
The quarterback was asked when he knew something was up with Carson Wentz and that he’d be going into the game.
“Right, well we talked on the bench and obviously he expressed concern and told me to stay ready. When you are dealing with these things as a player, it’s tough. Carson Wentz has put a ton into this season and to get to this moment, especially the things that he’s gone through. It’s a tough call. But he is sitting there not feeling right and obviously knew he needed to get checked. I think for the state of our game and the questions that come around those types of injuries, I think it’s a step forward, its progress because it’s the right thing. He was smart by getting checked and doing those things and making sure he was alright.”
McCown noted that he hadn’t seen the video of the hit by Jadeveon Clowney and that you hope in those situations that there was no ill-intent.
On the 4th down plays
McCown took responsibility for the incomplete 4th down pass to Miles Sanders, and acknowledged he has to make a better throw. He also had a lot of praise to heap on the rookie running back and his potential.
“Miles is a heck of a player. He is going to be a special player in this league. I love that kid. Just have to give him a better ball and give him a chance to run and I didn’t do that. We nailed the protection call and everything about it. Just didn’t get the ball on him and that’s on me.”
The QB also talked about the final 4th down play to end the game, and explained they had an audible on the play and alerted it. McCown once again took ownership of the mishap and said if it didn’t get communicated clear enough, that’s on him.
“We didn’t get it done. They did a good job of covering the guys we wanted, and I tried to step up to buy a little time and hopefully get something open. We just didn’t get that done.”
On his future in the NFL
“I’ve had the time of my life. I told those guys [in the locker room], I’m so thankful. I’m so thankful that they called me. Alshon [Jeffery], and other guys that hit me up and coaxed me to come out. I’ve chased this my whole career.”
McCown explained that he had been in moments like they were five weeks ago, coming home feeling like all is lost, but then realizing that they still have a chance to make a run.
“I’ve been in those moments a few times in my career, and didn’t get it done. What an honor it was to be in that group and watch Doug [Pederson] lead this team; watch the veterans in the locker room lead this team; watch Carson [Wentz] play the way he did down the stretch. That’s special. More than anything, it solidifies in all of those moments when I thought if the belief in the group can rise to a certain level, we can run the table. We did that and we got in. This year has been nothing short of special for me. I’ve really enjoyed it and have learned so much from so many people. I’m thankful to be a part of it. As far as the future goes, we’ll see. I haven’t made any decisions yet. I’ll get with my family and talk with them. I retired once, so I know how to do that. We’ll just see. I don’t know yet.”