From now through training camp, Metro will roll out a regular series of the most influential players on the New York Jets roster.
The countdown begins at No. 10 with a familiar name at quarterback.
10. Josh McCown – Top 10 New York Jets
If push came to shove, it is highly unlikely that McCown will be the Jets starting quarterback come Week 17 of the NFL season. Barring an injury or actual playoff contention, the plan is likely for McCown to give way at some point to Sam Darnold, the No. 3 pick in the draft and the quarterback of the future for this franchise.
But McCown’s role isn’t simply to roll over and Darnold won’t be handed the keys to the offense immediately. Instead, McCown will likely be the starter when the season opens, this assuming that Teddy Bridgewater is actually traded as rumors seem to point to.
With McCown as the starter, the pressure is off Darnold who can learn the playbook, understand the nuances of quarterback play in the NFL and simply mature. The tools are all there for the USC product, but he needs time.
This is where McCown, the veteran of all 32 NFL teams (kidding, but he has bounced around a lot) comes into play. His presence will be key in mentoring the rookie but his play on the field, as shown last year, will be important in pushing Darnold to win the job and not just bide his time.
McCown showed last year that he is an effective quarterback and worthy of the starting job – for now. A similar performance in 2018 will be important to give time for Darnold not to be rushed along into being a starter.
McCown starting (and playing well) is also important for head coach Todd Bowles, often mentioned as being on the hot seat to start the year. A few wins can take the pressure off Bowles and let him focus on developing this young team. No one expects the playoffs, simply progress.
Turns out that McCown, an afterthought as a free agent signing last year, might just have a prominent role again with the Jets.