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The Mysterious World of Luke McCown

by Eric Tellez for on 15 September 2011

It was a moved that slipped by largely unnoticed in the NFL. Even websites focusing strictly on the Jaguars barely mentioned it. But February 28, 2011 was a day that altered the coarse of the franchise forever and nobody was paying attention. You see, boys & girls, that was the day that journeyman quarterback Luke McCown was signed to a contract extension.

In the NFL you don't last long telegraphing your punches and what was mistaken to be just another back story was really the Jags telling the rest of the football world that they were going to aggressively pursue a quarterback in the draft, incumbent quarterback David Garrard was living on borrowed time, and that this season they were going to try something different by going with a less athletic game manager. Perhaps even test drive a new style of offense.

It was all done in the shadows. And that's usually how it goes when Luke McCown is in the picture.

McCown was drafted in 2004 by the Cleveland Browns with the 106th pick in the 4th round out of Louisiana Tech. He finished his career with over 12,000-passing and 87 touchdowns and as a freshman led the NATION in completions, attempts, percentage, and touchdowns. I didn't know either until I looked-up his stats! Most of his collegiate career he was in the Top 10 in the nation in those four categories but somehow he was only considered a a mid-round pick.

As a rookie he throws for 608-yards and four touchdowns in 5-games. Then he disappears.

In 2007 he pops up in Tampa Bay and throws for 1,009 yards and 5-touchdowns in 5 games. Then he disappears.

In 2011 he is the opening day starter for the Jags and throws 24-passes and leads the team to victory of the Tennessee Titans. That's pretty impressive when you consider that he had thrown only 23 passes the previous threes seasons combined.

Of the 24 passes he completed 17 for 175-yards and an average of 10.2 yards per completion. That's just a another part of the mysterious world of Luke McCown. Because if there's one thing McCown can better than disappear it's throw the deep ball.

At first I had gotten the impression that Jack Del Rio had kept the training wheels on for McCown because he was just named the starter a little over a week ago. I'm starting to think he did it so the Jets wouldn't have game film, familiarity, or a respect for just how well McCown can air it out. Are the Jags trying to bait the Jets secondary into keying on the run?

The mysteries continue.

Eric Tellez is an independent football journalist from Las Cruces, NM. He has written for for two seasons and writes for every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. You can reach him by email at to talk football anytime.


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