GILMER, Texas (KETK) – After announcing his retirement from the NFL in mid-June, Jacksonville native Josh McCown reflects on a memorable 17-year career.
Part of family full of great signals callers, he explains why the lessons he learned from one of his high school coaches were so valuable. And why it’s the right time to start his next journey.
He heard the roars for more than a decade and a half while wearing the jerseys of ten different NFL teams. McCown says the main reason he stops now, is family.
“I have boys that are gonna be in ninth and tenth grade, and just felt like for me it was time to really start being around watching them play ball. And being more present while they’re starting their journey,” said McCown.
As he begins to look back on his own, he more than appreciates the influence that many people had on him, both on and off the field.
“Thankful that I got to grow up in East Texas, and be around some great football, and great football coaches, and my family,” said McCown.
“When you can look back on a 17-year career and kind know that everybody had a hand in that. So I’m just humbled and I’m thankful, thankful that God blessed me to be able to go through some of the things I went through cuz it grew me as a man and a person. Ultimately it’s been a great journey, and I’m just glad to be able to share it with everybody.”
In particular, McCown pays homage to his quarterbacks coach at Jacksonville, current Gilmer head man Matt Turner.
“The things that I observed from him and that he taught me were things that I was able to carry at every level from college into the pros, and every stop in the pros,” said McCown.
“Anytime you can be around somebody that really kind of shapes that, I just wanted to honor him kind of as my last thank you. Coach Turner is one of a kind. And he’s a special man, and you know, I’m thankful that I got to play for him.”
But Turner says, the honor was his.
“I was blessed to have, and I’ve coached so many great athletes, and Josh is just one of them. You’re just grateful for the opportunity to get to coach someone like that. Incredible person, and you know when you coach a lot of these kids, Josh included, I get as much from it as they do. Believe me, probably more,” said Turner.
So what was the secret to McCown’s longevity in the pros, where more often than not, he was a back-up.
“Josh was a great teammate. You know, he’s a great man. And he loves people. And he’s just a guy that can bring people together, bring out the best in people, which is a really great quality. And that’s certainly one he has,” indicated Turner.
After 17,707 yards passing, and 98 touchdown throws, McCown says two of his favorite memories came in 2013 with the Chicago Bears, after he spent a year out of the NFL, and was able to beat his home-town Dallas Cowboys, as well as the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
“Those are things that are special, and I could go on and on, because it’s a culmination of the people that supported you to get there. And you share it with them, and that’s what makes those moments special.”
McCown now looks forward to his new gig as a TV football analyst for ESPN.
Watch the video to see excerpts of Mike Alzamora’s interviews with McCown and Turner.