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John Beck vs Josh McCown

What I wanted to do was to just take a look back at Josh McCown's 2007 season in Oakland. But I figured I needed to provide some kind of baseline to measure his performance. That's why John Beck's numbers are also included.

So the idea here is to get to know Josh McCown a little better. Yes, we all know it's believed McCown will not be starting, per Chris Mortensen's report a few days ago that McCown was brought in to be the #2 quarterback. But we still need to get to know him, right?

McCown, who will be 29 by the time the regular season rolls around, is 2 years older than Beck and has 5 more seasons under his belt than John does. As far as physical tools go, McCown has them am except for accuracy. He's got a big-time arm and can make all the throws an NFL quarterback has to. But there's a reason why he's never really put together a solid season in the NFL. And like I said, accuracy is a problem. So is his decision making. But before we get into his accuracy, let's first just look at both John and Josh's 2007 numbers:

Player Comp Att Pct Yds YPA TD-Int RushTD Rating
John Beck 60 107 56.1 559 5.2 1-3 1 62
Josh McCown 111 190 58.4 1151 6.1 10-11 0 69.4

Considering Josh had a better supporting cast around him and has 5 more seasons of experience, those numbers are really not much better than John's. And that's probably why he'll be no better than a career backup quarterback.

But let's take a closer look courtesy of's stat splits to see how often each player made poor throws:

Beck McCown
Batted down at line 1.9% 2.6%
Overthrown 3.7% 6.8%
Underthrown 1.9% 3.7%
Thrown wide 10.3% 7.9%
Interceptions 2.8% 5.8%
Bad pass percentage 20.6% 26.8%

Those are telling stats, in my opinion. Over a quarter of Josh McCown's throws were inaccurate or intercepted. And that's why there's no way, even if Josh was given the change, he would beat out John Beck. Remember, Bill Parcells loves accurate quarterbacks. And that's why Bill is going to love John once he gets an actual supporting cast around him. Oh, and incase you don't believe the Raiders did have better a better cast around McCown last year than Miami had around Beck, consider the fact that in 190 pass attempts, Josh's receivers only dropped 4 passes on him while Beck had his receivers drop 9 passes on him in 83 fewer attempts.

Another thing to consider is how well a quarterback plays when he is blitzed. And thanks to SI's stat splits, we can compare those numbers as well.

Stats when facing a blitz:

Beck: 16/33 (49%), 173 yds (5.2 ypa), 1 TD, 0 int, 74.4 rating
McCown: 20/43 (47%), 284 yds (6.6 ypa), 1 TD, 3 int, 47.1 rating

Those numbers are very close. It seems like Josh takes more chances, resulting in more big plays but also more turnovers. But John being more conservative against a blitz is to be expected since he is a rookie and played in one of the most conservative offenses I've ever seen in a Miami offense.

So what's my point to all this? Simple. My point is that John Beck is already a better quarterback after one season than Josh McCown is after 6 seasons. I'm confident enough to say that there's no way McCown would ever beat out Beck in camp, even if he was given a fair shot (which according to Mortensen, he won't be). But with that said, McCown will be a valuabe backup because he does have a decent amount of starting experience.

But, I'm telling you all, John is going to be "the guy" in 2008.