McCown’s numbers off the charts so far
The best single-season passer rating of Josh McCown’s career is 74.9, back in 2005 when he started six games and played in nine for the Cardinals.
His career passer rating entering this season was 71.2, but in three games this season McCown’s passer rating is 103.2. The numbers say that, at 34, he’s playing the best football of his career.
“I don’t know,” the 11-year veteran said. “It would probably be better to step back after the season. I’m just trying to play efficient football and do my job; what the play’s called for me to do, and execute that. That’s what we want from all 11 guys really.”
McCown’s essentially been asked to do what Jay Cutler was before he suffered groin and ankle injuries.
“We continued with the same system,” said offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer. “We haven’t changed. We’re going to continue to call the plays that are going to work against the coverages and the things we’re seeing. In no way does he inhibit the offense, and he actually has done a nice job of just running the offense and taking what they’re giving us.”
McCown gives a lot of the credit to the offensive scheme, which he calls “quarterback friendly,” and to his weapons, including Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett.
“I just want to (be) consistent game-in and game-out, every quarter. That’s what I try to do,” McCown said. “It’s a credit to the guys in the huddle and the coaches and the preparation. You feel like there’s an opportunity to be successful every game.
“You don’t have to step outside the system and press. If you drop back and it’s not there, you can check the ball down, you can throw the ball away and you know that we’ll have another shot. There will be somebody else open that we can get the ball to.
“That’s created a lot of ease and allowed me to play more consistently.”
Rookie offensive right tackle Jordan Mills and veteran left tackle Jermon Bushrod may face their toughest test yet against the Ravens’ edge rushers Elvin Dumervil and Terrell Suggs. But they won’t be expected to go it alone.
“We try to help our protection,” offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer said. “We know we’ve got some serious pass rushers coming on the edge. In every game plan, you say, ‘Who are the difference makers?’ Those certainly are two guys their sack totals are pretty impressive together. So we (provide help) with our game planning and how we use our backs and our tight ends (to help in protection).
“We try to be real smart taking on any pressure, but it doesn’t always work that way. They’re going to have their 1-on-1s, no doubt about it. They’ve got to step up and do that, and we expect they will.”
Weather or not:
Expected high winds and rain today, along with temperatures in the mid-60s, will alter Marc Trestman’s offensive play calling.
“You have resources within the game plan to do that,” he said. “When most teams are working into the wind, they want to try to take advantage of that by running the football and using the clock, and keeping (the opposing) offense off the field.
“Conversely, when you have the wind, you’ve got to try to make the most of it. Into the crosswind, certainly what you do outside the numbers is affected as well and depths of routes.”
Coming and going:
Defensive end Cheta Ozougwu was promoted to the active roster from the practice squad and linebacker Larry Grant was waived.
The 6-2, 255-pound Ozougwu played in two games for the Bears last season and had 2 tackles. Ozougwu will wear No. 95 and should be active today with defensive end Shea McClellin expected to miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury.