Josh McCown is a fiery competitor and he wants nothing more than to be the Jets' starting quarterback. But McCown, who is entering his 15th NFL season, has every intention of helping both Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg take their games to the next level.
"If I'm helping those guys and they're at their best, then it's pushing me to be at an even better level," he said recently. "At the end of the day, everybody improves and gets better and ultimately the team wins. That's the idea. We'll compete like crazy."
McCown has a big advantage in terms of experience, having started 60 career games and lined up in 82 contests. Petty appeared in six games while making four starts last season and Hackenberg, a second-round pick in 2016, did not taste NFL action as a rookie.
"Both are gifted throwers with the football, they can really spin it. I envy some of that, but both are really willing to work and do what it takes to learn this offense," McCown said.
Best Images of the Jets During Field and Weight Room Workouts During Phase Two of the Offseason Program
All three signal callers are learning a new system under offensive coordinator John Morton, but McCown had some brief interaction with the new OC in San Francisco and he also played for QB coach Jeremy Bates in Chicago back in 2012.
"Sometimes I think when you're a young player, you don't know what you don't know. So, what's it going to take for them to good in this offense? That's kind of the conversation we talk about," McCown said. "Everybody's different and you have to understand what the hours are you need to study. All of those things that when you walk to the line of scrimmage, you're going to know the play, you're going to feel great about it, you're going to know the answer to every situation and what you have to do to get there. That's about playing this position and they're both willing to do that and that's half the battle when you have guys that are willing to do that. You have a chance to grow and be successful."
Next week, the Jets will move to Phase Three of their offseason program. Over the course of three weeks, the team will have 10 organized team activities where 7-on-7, 9-on-7 and team drills are permitted. Then in late July, the Green & White will report for training camp and the three-way QB battle will heat up even more.
"It's fun to get out there and throw it alongside them and hopefully the competition will continue to bring the best out of all of us," McCown said.