Saints QB Luke McCown an unlikely commercial star

METAIRIE, La. -- Career backup Luke McCown finally got his turn in the spotlight Thursday night. And he nailed it.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback was chosen to star in a pair of national Verizon commercials that debuted during Thursday night’s NFL opener -- as a clever way to advertise their backup generators.

McCown looked wistfully off in the distance in one of the commercials as he pondered, “I wonder why they save those backups and not just put them in the regular rotation. I bet if they just had the chance, some of those backups would really shine.”

McCown, a 34-year-old veteran who has started a total of nine games in a 12-year career spent with five different teams, described the experience as “kind of cool.” He explained that he was approached since Saints starter Drew Brees is a Verizon spokesman.

“They sent me the scripts and the board and I knew what they were going for. It was good. I was trying to play it up a little bit,” said McCown, who had done a few local commercials before but nothing to this level.

Of course, the razzing from teammates came flooding in immediately after the commercials aired. One text came from tight end Benjamin Watson, whom McCown always calls “NFL Network” because of his budding career as a TV analyst. Watson said if he is “NFL Network,” then McCown is “Hollywood.”

“He did great,” said offensive tackle Zach Strief, one of many Saints teammates who said they didn’t know what was coming until McCown surprised them by popping up on the screen. “I thought it was really funny. More than anything, it was so unexpected. I was cracking up.”