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Darnold or McCown? Josh Awaits Todd Bowles' QB Call

Veteran Has 'Mixed Emotions' About Teddy Bridgewater Trade to the Saints


As head coach Todd Bowles mentioned after the Jets' 10-9 loss to the Eagles in Thursday's final preseason game, the last two preseasons for veteran QB Josh McCown were very similar.

Last year McCown played in the opening drive of the preseason against Tennessee, then didn't play again until the first two drives of the finale vs. Philly, when he orchestrated one field goal drive. This year he played in the first drive of the opener vs. Atlanta, then didn't go again until the first four drives vs. the Eagles, when he engineered one FG drive.

Of course, this year felt a bit different due to all the work with the ones that third pick of the draft Sam Darnold got in practices and games. But despite the reporting at a few media outlets, Bowles has not yet named his starting QB for the season opener at Detroit, and McCown was rolling with that after Thursday's game.

"I don't know. ... That's more for Coach and I don't want to get into speculation about anything like that," he said. "We'll just both be ready to go so that when he makes the decision, I know it'll be in the best interests of the team and we'll get behind that and move forward."

It's "both" QBs now, McCown and Darnold, because Saturday the Jets traded Teddy Bridgewater to New Orleans. The 16th-year veteran repeated his frequent praise of the rookie's progress throughout the offseason and preseason.

"Sam works so hard at it, just spends the extra time," he said. "He's able to take what we've done, the extra work we've put in, and it manifests itself on the field. I think all that time will be well served ... When either one of our numbers is called, we'll be ready to go, and I have no doubt if it goes that way, Sam will be ready."

McCown was asked about the Bridgewater trade for the first time and his emotions came through just a bit in his words.

"You have mixed emotions because last four, five months, the guy's sitting right there in the room with us, working hard with us, and he conducted himself with the most class and worked hard," McCown said. "So you're losing a relationship you built over time and so I'm bummed about that, selfishly. I learned a lot from him in a short time and he was helpful to our room.

"With that said, I think the future's very bright for him. Just because of the type of person Drew [Brees] is, I'm excited for where he's going, the kind of people he's going to be around. The Saints are getting a hell of a person and player. In that regard especially, I'm excited for Teddy."

But No. 15 also was unwavering in his calm brand of excitement for his current team.

"We're further along than we were last year, just overall, as a group, the chemistry of the group," he said. "We'll see what happens, when Coach announces it and makes it official. Until then, we'll keep our heads down, we'll move on to Detroit and start getting ready for the season. It's an exciting time for Week 1 and the opener."

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