Josh McCown retired from the NFL in June and planned to spend his fall coaching high school football at Myers Park. But two weeks ago, the Philadelphia Eagles started seriously attempting to lure him back.
Eagles backup Nate Sudfeld had injured his wrist. McCown had heard from a few teams, but he wasn’t really going to consider returning to pro ball unless he could play for a contender with a good coaching staff and for a team that was close to Charlotte, where his family lives and his two sons go to high school.
And last, he wanted to keep coaching at Myers Park.
The Eagles “had reached out to him most of the summer and when they lost Sudfeld in the first preseason game, they ramped it up considerably,” Myers Park coach Scott Chadwick said. “In the second preseason game, they lost another quarterback (Cody Kessler, concussion) and I guess they were desperate enough to meet all the demands he gave them, and one of those demands was that he would be with us on Fridays (for game night) and he wants to be at practice on Monday to help install the game plan. They were willing to do that.”
McCown, 40, played his first game for the Eagles last week against Baltimore. After just five days with the team, he completed 17-of-24 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns.
The next day, Aug. 23, McCown was in Charlotte when Myers Park was scheduled to open its season against Olympic. He got a standing ovation when he walked into the locker room.
That game was ultimately postponed due to weather. When the teams played Monday, McCown, 40, was not there. He was getting ready for the Eagles’ Thursday night preseason game with the Jets. Myers Park beat Olympic 42-0.
But McCown plans to be at future Myers Park games and practices. He will head home after Eagles practices on Fridays, catching a flight to Charlotte that lasts a little more than 90 minutes.
The Eagles “understand the family dynamic,” McCown told the NJ Advance Media this week. “The proximity to Charlotte was a factor, and part of why it made sense to sign” with Philadelphia.
Chadwick said McCown is serious about his high school coaching, telling the Observer that the NFL quarterback comes to all the coaches and team meetings and will do things like fill coolers with ice or help paint the field. He and McCown nine years ago, shortly after McCown finished playing two seasons with the Panthers.
McCown coached with Marvin Ridge during the 2011 and 2012 season, and he and Chadwick became good friends.
“He’s one of the finest people I’ve ever been around,” Chadwick said. “He’s a guy of immense integrity but a guy that’s very, very passionate about whatever he gets involved in.”
At Myers Park, McCown coaches quarterbacks, including his sons Owen and Aiden. But the starter is junior Drake Maye, the nation’s No. 5 ranked pro style quarterback in his class who has committed to Alabama.
“Obviously,” Chadwick said, “it’s nice having (McCown) here. He’s able to help and offer suggestions, and having him there on Monday, when we’re trying to install the game plan is good. Anything we can get out of him is beneficial. I mean how many guys are there in the NFL? I’m pretty sure he’s the only one who is a semi-active high school coach while he’s playing in the NFL.
“We don’t know how long that will last. God forbid something happens to (Eagles starter Carson) Wentz. Then he wouldn’t have time to do this, but for right now, as long as he’s the backup, they’re willing to meet those demands (that he come to Charlotte). And we’re awful happy to have him here.”