CLEVELAND -- When reports emerged that Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo suffered another back injury in a preseason game and would significant time, rumors began surfacing that Dallas front-office staffers called the Cleveland Browns with interest in backup signal-caller Josh McCown.
No matter if those calls were made or not, McCown remained with the Browns, and just one week into the regular season, he is the new starting quarterback after Robert Griffin III suffered a broken coracoid bone in his non-throwing shoulder in a 29-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday.
“My plan was to be here because you can’t get into that game because you do not know,” McCown said Wednesday. “Coming out of the spring, I just gave all of my energy to this team and trying to learn Coach (Hue) Jackson’s and Coach (Pep) Hamilton’s offense, and then, get ready to go.
“I did not want it to change. I did not anticipate it changing. My mind was to be present and on this team for just this reason. The adverse effect is if you think you are leaving, think you are leaving, and now, you are the Week 2 starter and you are not ready to go. For me, it was just to be present and be in the moment day to day so we could prepare for a moment like this.”
Although McCown admitted that he and Griffin have different skill sets on the football field, he does not envision a difficultly for the offense undergoing a change at quarterback.
“It is on the play calling and the way Coach Jackson sees the game,” McCown said. “For us, it is learning the game plan and going out and executing it. My plan is to go out and execute it at a high level. That is the mindset.
“That was Robert’s mindset going into last week. That is where we go as a quarterback room. Whoever is up, you play. For me, my mindset is to go out and execute and play at a high level.”
In the Browns’ offense, McCown takes over a side of the football with only two experienced pass-catching targets in tight end Gary Barnidge and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins. However, as the Browns continue their preparations to play the Baltimore Ravens in their home opener, McCown understands the responsibility of leading a young offense against a vaunted defense.
“It is just about continuing to carry the energy and the belief,” McCown said. “We want to be a high-level offense. We want to play at a high level. You have to behave that way and think in that mindset even before that happens.
“It is just everybody on the same page and thinking that way that this is what we are going to do. We are going to go out and execute at a high level. It is a standard that we hold ourselves to in the walk-throughs, practice, and then, ultimately on Sunday.”