When I looked at Josh McCown's bio Tuesday night, I saw Rodney Peete.
I’m talking circa 2002 when Peete quietly landed with the Carolina Panthers and ended up as the starter. In my eyes, the McCown of today and the Peete of more than a decade ago are the same guy -- smart, experienced and not prone to mistakes.
But, just like Peete was for the Panthers, McCown is at absolute best a short-term answer. McCown turns 35 in July.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have to keep that in mind as McCown makes a free-agent visit that started Tuesday night. McCown isn’t going to come in and be the franchise guy for the next five or 10 years. Besides, if McCown was all that great, he would have started more than the 38 games he has in a career that dates to 2002.
At the absolute best, McCown is a "bridge quarterback" in that he could serve as a bridge until the Bucs find their quarterback for the long term. McCown is the kind of guy that can get you by as long as the rest of the team is good. But he’s not going to do anything special.
Peete was the ultimate bridge quarterback. He beat out Chris Weinke and started for a year until the Panthers found the guy they were looking for in Jake Delhomme, who took them to a Super Bowl in his first season.
At worst, McCown is a backup. That would be a good thing, because it would mean that Mike Glennon, who started 13 games as a rookie, emerges out of training camp and the preseason as the starter. In a perfect world, Glennon never lets go of the job and the Bucs remain happy with him. With Glennon, there is upside and the chance to play more than another decade.
With McCown as the starter, the Bucs would be just buying time.