Tampa Bay looks an awful lot like home to Josh McCown.
After the Buccaneers used last week’s draft to add 6-foot-5 Mike Evans at wideout along with the equally tall Austin Seferian-Jenkins at tight end, the team’s starting quarterback acknowledged: “I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was a comfort zone in that.”
There’s a clear parallel to a Chicago lineup from last season that saw the Bears overload secondaries with 6-foot-4 Brandon Marshall, 6-foot-3 Alshon Jeffery and 6-foot-6 tight end Martellus Bennett. The inherent matchup problems helped the 34-year-old McCown soar to career highs under coach Marc Trestman in completion percentage (66.5), touchdowns (13) and yards per catch (9.1).
“It’s very similar, at least on paper (to the Bears),” the quarterback said Tuesday after working out with Evans and the rookies, per The Tampa Tribune. “There’s still a lot of work to do.”
Coach Lovie Smith acknowledged that McCown was “in our ear” to amass tall-as-trees targets. Factor in the 6-foot-5 Vincent Jackson, and the Bucs are well-equipped to win jump-ball matchups with diminutive cover men and go toe-to-toe with schemes loaded with bigger corners and safeties.
The X-factor for Tampa is McCown’s ability to duplicate his league-leading 0.4 interception rate away from Trestman’s watch. The Bears coach turned a backup passer nobody wanted into one of the NFL’s most efficient throwers. With plenty of new weapons in-house, it’s up to Bucs coordinator Jeff Tedford to continue the masterpiece.