Josh McCown looking for better completion percentage

TAMPA, Fla. -- Josh McCown was brought in to be the quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because he had shown he can be accurate and take care of the football.

So what’s going on with McCown, who has thrown 12 interceptions and four lost fumbles? And why is he completing about only 50 percent of his passes in recent weeks?

“Not what you want,’’ quarterbacks coach Marcus Arroyo said. “It’s something that he did not do last year at all. He was as good as it gets in the league. A lot of them were in the pocket this year. A lot of them were ball security things. He knows that. It’s one of the things he’s beating himself up over is taking care of the football because he knows it. The key to victory No. 1 is taking care of the football.’’

McCown was masterful at taking care of the football last year when he was playing for an injured Jay Cutler in Chicago. He had 13 touchdown passes and just one interception while completing a career-high 66.5 percent of his passes.

McCown’s completion percentage hasn’t been above 52 percent in the last four games and it was only 46.4 percent in Sunday’s loss to Carolina. McCown said he has to be more accurate.

“I look at the ones where I feel like you complete a throwing motion and things are clean, you ought to hit those,’’ McCown said. “That’s the standard I hold myself to. There have been a few misses with that situation. At any rate, I want to get [the completion percentage] up. It’s got to be up. We’ve got to do things to make that get better. I’ve got to hit those, can’t miss those at all. And that will help out a lot.’’

Arroyo and McCown are on the same page about being allowed to complete a throwing motion. That’s something Arroyo said he picked up from studying legendary coach Bill Walsh.

“If a quarterback is allowed to complete a throwing motion, you should complete a high percentage of balls,’’ Arroyo said. “That’s a Walsh-ism that I’ve believed in for a long, long time. If you can complete the motion, you should be able to complete 70 percent of your balls.’’

McCown has completed just 56.8 percent of his passes on the season. That’s a big part of the reason the Bucs have struggled on offense and McCown, who missed five games with a thumb injury, isn’t happy with how his season has gone.

“I don’t know anybody that can say they feel great about a 2-12 season when you’re a part of it,’’ McCown said. “I don’t feel great about it. I carry a lot of responsibility for this situation. I think, as a competitor, you always go, 'What can I do to make it better?' Obviously, we went through an unfortunate thing with losing our offensive coordinator [Jeff Tedford]. But you want to try to find a way to pull everything out of it and rise above it. Not being able to get that done is hard. It’s very frustrating and puts a damper on things when you deal with it daily. I’m disappointed with how this year has gone.’’