1.) You might be familiar with McCown’s younger brother, Luke, who started four games in 2004 as a rookie for the Browns. McCown’s older brother, Randy, was a quarterback at Texas A&M from 1996-99.
2.) Originally, McCown didn’t think a career in football was possible. As a 16-year-old, he was still 5-foot-4. A growth spurt landed him on the map at Jacksonville High School in East Texas, where he earned all-state honorable mention during his senior season.
3.) McCown spent his first three college seasons at Southern Methodist, which ran a run-first offense. McCown wanted to prove to NFL teams he was a prolific passer and transferred to Sam Houston State, where he threw for 32 touchdowns and 3,481 yards.
4.) At the 2002 NFL Combine, McCown boosted his draft stock even more. The burly 6-foot-4 quarterback ran a 4.57-second 40-yard dash. He entered his senior season expected to be a seventh round pick and was eventually nabbed by the Arizona Cardinals in the third round.
5.) McCown waited on the bench for two seasons in Arizona behind Jake Plummer and Jeff Blake. When 2004 came around, the Cardinals gave McCown the keys as the starting quarterback, but a 6-10 record and average statistics prompted Arizona look elsewhere. Kurt Warner was brought in the following season.
6.) So McCown bounced around from 2006-09, with stops in Detroit, Oakland, Miami and Carolina. In a bold move, he opted to play in the UFL during the 2010 season instead of serving as a backup quarterback. McCown needed to “put some tape out” for other NFL teams to see he was still a valuable asset.
7.) The phones didn’t ring immediately after McCown’s lone season with the Hartford Colonials in the UFL. He returned to Charlotte in 2011 to become a high school football coach – and totally absorbed himself in the gig. He played quarterback on the scout team, he watched film and he even cooked pancake breakfasts for players on Friday mornings.
8.) The bouncing back and forth continued for McCown, but this time it was only with one team: Chicago. The Bears signed the quarterback late in 2011 after a Jay Cutler injury, but waived him in favor of Jason Campbell during 2012 training camp. A Cutler concussion that same season brought McCown back into the fold, and he re-signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2013.
9.) The most productive part of McCown’s career came in 2013, when, again, Cutler went down with an injury. In eight games and five starts, McCown’s numbers were staggering – 13 touchdowns, one interception and a 109.0 quarterback rating.
10.) McCown has four career fourth-quarter comeback wins, the most recent coming in 2013 – a 23-20 win against the Baltimore Ravens. At the time, the win put the Bears record at 6-4 and on top of the NFC North.
11.) McCown was awarded the Piccolo Award in Chicago for the teammate that exemplifies courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor similar to Brian Piccolo, a Bears running back who died from embroyonal cell carcinoma at the age of 26.