SANTA CLARA –
Josh McCown, the 49ers newest quarterback, spoke after practice. Here’s the complete transcript of that interview.
Stay tuned for my notes from practice.
Q: They certainly didn’t ease you into practice today, did they?
McCOWN: Yeah, I jumped right in, it was fun. Why not? It’s indicative of the whole camp, I’m sure. They’re just learning on the fly, coming out of the CBA stuff, so it’s not different for me. I just get in there and learn on the fly as quick as I can.
Q: Is this offense going to be easy for you to pick up because of your background?
McCOWN: I’ve been around a lot of places so I’ve had some sort of this terminology, but it’s different for me than most of the stuff I’ve done. The concepts are the same, just what you call it (is different). So, I’m just grinding away at that, and making sure I get those things down.
Q: How did this all come together?
McCOWN: I have a relationship with Geep Chryst the quarterbacks coach because he drafted me in Arizona, so way back when, like in January, we talked and said hey, it would be fun to hook up again if it ever works out. I just kept working out and staying healthy, and I was actually starting to pursue coaching high school ball in North Carolina, so I was enjoying that, and this door was open, so I was excited about it.
Q: Did you take a red-eye out here last night?
McCOWN: You could call it that, yeah.
Q: When did you leave?
McCOWN: I left at 7:00 from Charlotte. An hour and a half up to Chicago, and then I had a two-hour layover there. I flew four hours and fifteen minutes here and got to the hotel about 3:00 this morning. So, I took a nap, got up, and worked out, signed the thing and came out to practice. I’m excited. That works for me.
Q: What do you expect to unfold here?
McCOWN: I’m expecting just to come in here, work hard, try to help these guys. I’ve done this for ten year. I want to help these guys and support Alex and Kaep and Mac and Jeremiah and just help these guys get better. And myself, a chance to work with Geep again, and a chance to work with Coach Harbaugh which really excites me. I don’t care what stage of your career you’re in, you always want to get better, and so for me, to be around Coach Harbaugh and to see him work with these quarterbacks, to be coached like that who’s played the position and played at a high level is exciting. It’s neat just to sit back and watch him coach the other guys, much less myself. I was very appreciative for the chance to be out here, because I feel like whenever it is that I walk away from this place I will be a better player.
Q: It seems like he was already working on your footwork and you’ve barely started.
McCOWN: Yes, he does a good job with that, showing us some things. There’s a way that you do it that you feel has helped you be successful, so he’s going to impart that to us. I can tell Alex and them have been learning that, and so I just try to hop right in and catch up to speed.
Q: Are you at a different stage in your life in career in terms of what you want to get out of the NFL?
McCOWN: Absolutely. I’ll say this. First and foremost I’m a competitor. I love to compete. The older you get the more you want to compete. I’m looking to compete, whether it’s in the practice or in the game, I’m just looking to compete. Past that, I’m just looking to continue to get better. As far as the future, tomorrow’s not promised, so I’m just kind of enjoying today and trying to compete the best I can compete.
Q: What was the UFL like?
McCOWN: It was a great experience. It was different. The competition was a lot better than people would have thought, and I had a good time. It was a chance for me to continue to play, and play games. I think I’m further along now than had I sat on a roster last year and been a backup, because I played eight games. I think you’re only getting better when you’re taking reps, and so I really valued that. That’s what my agent and I were looking at going into it – a chance to play, because I had sat there for two years behind Jake (Delhomme) in Carolina. I hadn’t gone that long with playing, being the starter or the backup. Being on IR that last year and sitting was frustrating, so you just want to get back out and play.
Q: What were you on IR for?
McCOWN: Sprained knee and foot. That was kind of a bummer that it happened in the first game. But the UFL brought us the opportunity to go out there and actually play and to work out the kinks and stuff.
Q: With your background with Geep Chryst, were you following the 49ers?
McCOWN: Yeah, I was. Just because I was rooting for Geep. Your first impressions are always huge and Geep was my first impression of the NFL. He and I have always been close ever since. I was excited for him to get back to that, to coaching quarterbacks. And I knew about his relationship with Coach Harbaugh, so I was excited for him to be in that realm. I was following from a friendship standpoint so I knew there was a situation for the door to get open. You never know the time and how things are going to happen, so I was just rooting for him to do well. Rooting for Coach Harbaugh for what he was doing out there with that kid (Andrew Luck). I’m a fan of quarterbacks, fan of good coaches. I would have been watching him no matter what, just to see how they did just because what he was able to do in the college ranks.
Q: If the NFL didn’t work out, would you have gone back to the UFL or have gone to high school coaching?
McCOWN: I kind of rested, and I had to think about that I wasn’t going back to the UFL. I did what I wanted to do. I had an opportunity right there right before I went to the UFL to go to Chicago. But I wanted to play and I had given the UFL my word and I was going to go. I felt that I got what I needed out of it, which was to play. Through a lot of prayer and thought, I felt like I was going to move on from the UFL and hope that something opens up in the NFL.
Q: Did you work out with the 49ers before you signed?
McCOWN: This morning (I worked out with them).
Q: Which high school did you consider coaching?
McCOWN: I helped out a little bit at Marvin Ridge High School, it’s a suburb in Waxhaw, North Carolina (it’s a suburb of Charlotte). I kind of helped them out a little bit, worked with their quarterbacks a little bit. When you’re sitting there waiting for the phone to ring, you’re working out every day, you want something else to do. It’s different for me, I didn’t know it was available. In Texas, every coach is a teacher because you work in the school. But there you can volunteer. They said you can come out and volunteer and be a full-time coach. I got excited about that and embraced that, coaching quarterbacks from seventh grade all the way up to varsity. I was having a blast doing it. That was fun. It keeps me around the game, throwing balls every day. Having fun with the kids and kind of getting back to what you’ve done.
Q: Were you doing that yesterday?
McCOWN: No, I had the flight. It was the day before when I was coaching all day. Having a blast.
Q: When did you come in?
McCOWN: That evening.
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