Football coaches are one-of-a-kind gifts to us from the sports gods. At the high school level, where in states like Texas, they are paid handsomely. We’ve even seen a Georgia coach gives out syrup shots for pancake blocks.
Some of the best coaches are former players, and the one who makes the most money are either angry or ugly or both. Jim Harbaugh, Mike Ditka and Don Shula are all former players, and they’ve done pretty well for themselves on the sidelines over the years.
But how often do you hear of a current National Football League player coaching high school football during the NFL season? That’s exactly what Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Josh McCown will be doing during the 2019 season.
As NJ.com details, the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to let McCown fly back to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday afternoons to continue help coaching the Myers Park High School football team. He was helping the staff out there while occasionally filling in as an ESPN analyst.
After Friday nights, McCown will head off to Philadelphia, or wherever the team is playing that Sunday. He isn’t expected to miss any team meetings or practices.
McCown also has two sons — both quarterbacks — on the team.
The Eagles “understand the family dynamic,” McCown told NJ Advance Media. “The proximity to Charlotte was a factor, and part of why it made sense to sign here.”
The 40-year-old McCown actually retired over the offseason before the Eagles came desperately knocking in August. Carson Wentz is the starting quarterback, but backups Nate Sudfeld suffered a fractured wrist and Cody Kessler went down with a concussion.
With Nick Foles now manning the offense in Jacksonville, Philadelphia wanted a proven veteran they could rely on in case Wentz got injured. So the team signed the 17-year veteran to a one-year deal that includes a $2 million base salary but a few more million dollars in incentives.
He most recently suited up for the New York Jets as Sam Darnold’s backup in 2018 but has been with the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, Oakland Raiders, Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals. The Eagles will mark his 11th NFL team.
When in his first preseason game with the team he threw two touchdowns against the Baltimore Ravens — his first live game action on the field since Week 14 of last season with the Jets, he returned to a thunderous applause in the Myers Park High locker room.
One of the players clapping was junior Drake Maye, an Alabama 2021 commit and the team’s starting quarterback. He’s grateful to be learning from a current NFL quarterback, on a likely playoff-bound team nonetheless.
“I always ask him as many questions as I can,” Maye said. “What’s his favorite play? What’s it like in the league (NFL) when they blitz? What kind of blitzes do they bring? What do you see? What’s your favorite routes to throw against coverages?”
McCown could’ve easily forgot about helping head coach Scott Chadwick at Myers Park once he signed a contract. After all, that’s probably what most players would have done. He also could’ve easily turned down the offer to return to the NFL and focus on being a high school coach.
What he thought was his last season in 2018 wasn’t exactly a swan song, though he did throw for 276 yards and a touchdown against the Patriots.
But he was able to work it out and knows he made a commitment to the Mustangs, one he intends on keeping.
“I just think I just like the opportunity to share knowledge,” McCown said. “These guys, they have dreams, they have hopes of playing good football and they just want the best snap to be a good snap. If you can come alongside them to share some things you learned along the way to try to help them play better, it’s rewarding not only for the player but for me as a person.”