Josh McCown recently announced his retirement, but he’s still got some advice for New York Jets starting quarterback Sam Darnold on his way out.
The Jets lost a valuable veteran presence when Josh McCown announced his retirement after 17 seasons in the NFL, but the journeyman passer isn’t done quite yet when it comes to helping out a former teammate.
Now an analyst for ESPN, McCown spent the last two seasons with the Jets, serving as the starter before giving way to Sam Darnold, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
Darnold shared his parting thoughts for Darnold with ESPN’s Rich Cimini earleir this week:
I tried to empty the clip with him and give him everything I could. He’ll be just fine. Adam and Dowell will do a great job with him, and Trevor [Siemian] has played a lot of football. It’s a good room. Those guys will support him. I root for those guys, and I want to see Sam have a lot of success. Now he has to make it happen. If he needs me, I’m only a phone call away.
McCown also told Cimini where he thinks Darnold still needs to make the most improvement if he wants to reach his lofty potential in 2019 and beyond:
He needs to know when to cut bait on a play and when to rip it. That will be more fine-tuned this year because I know Adam will help with that. That will be the biggest jump for him. If he can eliminate five or six incompletions per game, it’ll be a major improvement.
McCown was surely an invaluable resource for Darnold throughout his rookie season, drawing on his experience with 10 different NFL teams over his 17 years spent in the league. Darnold’s time spent learning from McCown should help refine his game in the years to come, allowing the Jets as a whole to reach their full potential.
For now, he’ll have to navigate the locker room as a team leader, without the presence of his veteran teammate on a daily basis.