MINNEAPOLIS -- Josh McCown wasn't guaranteed a roster spot next season by Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, but the veteran made a case the last two weeks that he should be considered for a spot on the 2012 depth chart at the quarterback position.
Although McCown finished the season with a passer rating of 68.3 in two starts, he breathed some life into an offense that stalled badly after Jay Cutler suffered a broken right thumb on Nov. 20.
"I definitely think he can hold his head up," Smith said. "He came here and helped our football team. He gave us a spark, energy, and he did not hurt his chances at all by what he has done during his brief time with us."
While the coaches and front office have the final say, starting center and team captain Roberto Garza believes McCown accomplished enough in limited time to earn a place on the team in 2012.
"He brings a lot of energy and experience in there," Garza said. "I think he did a great job and deserves to be around."
McCown threw for just 160 yards in the Bears' 17-13 victory over the Vikings, but he did toss a 22-yard touchdown to Roy Williams and showcased his ability to scramble when he ran 28 yards to pick up a key first down in the first half.
"It feels great, it feels really, really cool [to get the win]," McCown said. "For me, I'm just so thankful to go to battle with these guys. What a great group of guys. It's just an honor to play for the coaches and to play for the guys who were on the field today."
The Bears could certainly pursue a higher-profile No. 2 quarterback such as Kyle Orton in the offseason, but McCown appears to have a legitimate shot to somehow be in the mix when the team opens training camp next summer.