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Can Luke McCown Handle A Full Season?

by: AnthonyP On  Wednesday, April 8, 2009

luke-mccownTotal Pro Sports-  Throughout this off season many people have wondered what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to do about their QB situation.  Right now they have Luke McCown, Brian Griese, and Josh Johnson and McCown is expected win the starting job and go into the season as the number one on the roster.

Many analysts have said that the Bucs need to improve their QB stable to compete for the division again this year.  However, what moves have the Bucs done that make someone think they are pushing to win the division this year?  Granted no team ever really completely throws away a season, and with some of their offensive moves they have gotten better at a few positions, but looking at how many holes remain on the team (and how many of those wholes were created by releasing veteran players) it doesn’t seem that the Bucs are looking to make a Championship push this year.

That being said, there are a number of coaches and GMs in the league that believe that McCown has the skill set to be a potential starting QB, and has already shown that he has the game management down, and is now ready to take on a larger playbook.  He has fairly prototypical size at 6-3 210lbs, he has shown that he has the necessary arm strength and accuracy to be a good QB, and in 2007 he showed over five games (three starts) that he can make good decisions, complete passes and not throw interceptions.

The problem with evaluating McCown is that most people don’t have much to look at in regards to his play.  His coaches in Tampa Bay are the ones that have seen him the most, and the Jay Cutler trade talks aside they have done the least talking about picking up other QBs so they must like what they see.

Looking at that 2007 season McCown put up good numbers in almost every category.  He completed 67.6 percent of his passes in 139 attempts throwing for 201.8 yards per game and 7.3 yards per attempts throwing 5 TDs to 3 INTs, accumulating in a passer rating of 91.7.  Granted, those numbers are in a system that has been cut down for a back up QB, so what can we expect him to do with a full season and a full playbook?  Well if we were to project his performance in 2007 over a full season he would throw for 3,228 yards with 16 TDs and 10 INTs, nothing amazing but defiantly not bad.

However, if he is the starter McCown will have more asked of him on a game to game basis and the question is whether or not he can handle it.  Looking at the stats that he put at as a back up and the offensive personal that have been gained since he played I am predicting a sold season out of McCown, specifically around 3400 yards, 18 TDs and 13 INTs with a completion percentage of around 62, which would give him a QB rating of 86.9.  This seems to follow the changes in stats that most back ups have in their transition to starters, the yards per game goes up a little bit since they are now trusted to throw more, but because of this the completion percentage goes down, and both the TD and INT percentages go up.

I am not sure if this is how I believe McCowns season will look, but this is what the number analysis is telling me, and if it is right then Raheem Morris will look pretty good for sticking with him.




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