FLORHAM PARK http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/aaron-jones-jersey , N.J. (AP) — Josh McCown is still No. 1 on the New York Jets‘ quarterback depth chart. At this point, though, he might as well be No. 100.
With each practice, it appears increasingly likely that rookie Sam Darnold will be the starter when the regular season kicks off in three weeks. Not that McCown has done anything on the field to hurt his chances of retaining the job.
It’s simply a matter of circumstances.
McCown is 39 and been there, done that. Darnold is 21, was the third overall pick in the draft, has immense talent and is considered the future of the franchise — and that future could be now. He has shined in his last several practices and will likely start Friday night against the Giants in the team’s third preseason game.
“Like I said the whole time, obviously, we traded up to (No.) 3 to draft a quarterback to get Sam because there’s a plan in place,” McCown said. “So we understand that.”
That “plan” has been to give Darnold and Teddy Bridgewater the bulk of the work in the preseason and see how they perform. So far, so good — and that means McCown could slide down the depth chart very soon.
Coach Todd Bowles hasn’t announced a regular-season starter yet, and says he might not do so until after the fourth preseason game. From all indications, it’s trending in Darnold’s direction. But McCown isn’t necessarily reading into the fact Darnold is getting the bulk of the first-team snaps and that is causing the perception that the rookie will be the starter.
“No, I mean, obviously, he’s younger,” McCown said. “I was taking these kind of reps when he was 4 years old.”
Actually, Darnold was 5 when McCown was in his first NFL training camp with Arizona in 2002. But, point made.
“He needs the work and it’s good for him,” the veteran said. “Every rep is a great rep for all of us Adolphus Washington Jersey , there’s no doubt about it.”
Sure, he wants to start, but McCown is a realist. He knows his days as an NFL player, let alone starting quarterback, are dwindling.
“My goal for this is for the quarterback room to play well,” said McCown, who signed a $10 million deal in the offseason to return to New York. “And if that’s me playing out there, I want to play the best football that I can play. If that’s Sam or that’s Teddy, whoever that is, that’s the ultimate goal.”
Last summer, McCown also saw limited action in the preseason as the Jets tried to give Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty the opportunity to seize the starting gig. Neither could and McCown was the clear starter.
Darnold and Bridgewater have provided a different type of competition, a three-man race that is quickly becoming a two-man show — with McCown in the background.
“It’s fun to be out there playing and there’s no substitute for that,” McCown said. “That’s why we do it. At the same time, when you look at things from that prospective, if you can help be a part of finding that guy that can be that guy for this franchise for a long time, that means something to me, that’s competitive to me. That’s what we get up for work to do, that’s what makes it fun.
“I don’t feel like the forgotten guy because we’re busy every day working, and working on those things. That’s all that matters.”
McCown has been in just about every situation imaginable throughout his professional career, which is entering its 17th year.
He has been a third-round pick http://www.dallascowboysteamonline.com/darren-woodson-jersey , an up-and-coming passer, a backup, a starter and a place-holder in his stops with 10 teams. He spent one year out of the NFL and played in the United Football League. McCown has also spent time as a volunteer coach for a high school team in North Carolina.
He has graciously handled the many ups and downs during his career. Those experiences help McCown balance his competitive nature and the willingness to help those trying to take his job.
“I think for me, it’s just a personal thing,” McCown said. “At the end of the day, you go to work and you work as hard as you can and you help as many people as you can. And when you lay down and you can have peace in your heart at night, and you know that I did all I could that day, and then you sleep good. That’s what I learned growing up and that’s all I know.”
McCown takes nothing for granted and that’s something he has stressed to the young players in camp, and not just the quarterbacks. He’s the closest example of a player-coach you could find in the NFL, a mentor who seems destined to be in charge of a team someday.
McCown’s days of leading from the huddle might be about over, though.
And, he’s OK with whatever happens next.
“At this point in my career, I don’t know how many more years of this will happen, so you treasure every moment,” he said. “I think when you keep those things in perspective, there are days — nobody is perfect — there are days when you want to take every rep and you look back and you go, ‘Man, I wish I was just starting out again,’ but (you put it) all in perspective. It’s been fun and I enjoy being a part of this group. Todd sets a great tone and tempo every day for us and it is just an honor to be a part of it.
“So that is really what keeps me going and what allows me to come and enjoy it and not get caught up in anything else.”
Aaron Rodgers' no-look touchdown pass is still the talk of Green Bay Packers training camp.
The defense was called for offsides to give Rodgers a free play during a two-minute drill in practice Thursday. The play was going left. Rodgers was looking left. But he threw the ball to his right.
Touchdown, Geronimo Allison.
The play looks even better on film to coach Mike McCarthy.
"I think you appreciate it more when you watch the video. I know I did Lane Taylor Jersey , because he spoils you," McCarthy said Friday. "You don't have too many practices around here where he doesn't make that throw where you're just like, 'OK, file that onto the library. That's the way you want to teach it.'"
Packers fans who dared to worry about Rodgers' seven interceptions during the first five days of camp can breathe easy. The two-time NFL MVP likes how the offense has worked in the first week.
"Well, I'm working on things in training camp. I'm working on throws, whether it's looking or no-looking. Trying different plays that we we're working in," Rodgers said.
A 7-9 finish last season ended a streak of eight straight playoff appearances for the Packers. The offense struggled while Rodgers was out with broken collarbone, and the defense had familiar problems against the pass.
McCarthy overhauled the coaching staff after the season, which included bringing back Joe Philbin as offensive coordinator. Philbin was the coordinator when the Packers won the Super Bowl in the 2010 season.
"We've done a medium overhaul of some offensive concepts, so working on some new stuff and trying to get on the same page with receivers," Rodgers added.
An added wrinkle for Rodgers is the new looks in practice from coordinator Mike Pettine's defense. His units have finished in the top 10 in the league when he's been in charge.
"Well, they're just so multiple. They have a lot of different pressures and types of pressures," Rodgers said. "They're giving you pressures where they can actually get home. We haven't had that issue in a while, where they scheme pressures to have a free guy on the play."
It gives the linemen good practice for the regular season, too, since the NFC North-rival Minnesota Vikings are among teams that run pressures similar to what the Packers' defense is doing now.
"So the protection elements for offense are really challenged by his defense, which is great for us," Rodgers said.
Getting Bryan Bulaga back will help too. The veteran right tackle was activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list on Friday and returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since tearing his right ACL in Week 9 last year.
"I am very optimistic about Week 1, I really am," Bulaga said. "I still have some work to do to get to it but it's definitely looking better than it did J'Mon Moore Jersey , say, four months ago, even though I thought I'd still get to that point."
His return would solidify a right side of the line that will already have a new starter at guard. Bulaga is a steady, reliable presence up front who has played in big spots with Rodgers.
"He's a pro's pro. He knows how to play the game," Rodgers said. "Unfortunately, he's sustained a couple of tough injuries. But when he's out there, he's a rock."
At its best, a starting five with Bulaga gives Rodgers just enough time to get out of trouble and outside the pocket, where the quarterback might be most dangerous.
As he showed with his no-look TD throw to Allison.
NOTES: WR Jake Kumerow, an undrafted free agent in his second year out of Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, continues to impress with his hands and route-running ability. He could be a long shot to make the roster, especially after the Packers drafted three receivers this year. But the 6-foot-4 Kumerow has earned some reps with the first-string offense and caught Rodgers' attention. "So there's going to be some tough decisions when the cutdown happens," Rodgers said. "We drafted three guys, so. If you're playing today, you'd like him on the field."
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