Would McCown have made these plays two years ago, when he first got to Chicago because of another injury to Cutler? Perhaps. But they probably would have been preceded by the kind of head-scratching interceptions that can be avoided with meticulous film preparation—something McCown has finally made a habit of doing after he most of the 2012 season out of pro football coaching a high school team in North Carolina.
Trestman believes McCown compares favorably to Rich Gannon, who didn’t become a bona fide starter until late in his career and won MVP honors at age 38.
“I didn’t study when I got into the league like I study now,” McCown says. “I don’t think I knew necessarily how to work or how to study. Being around different guys through the course of my career, I’ve learned. The coaching helped put things in perspective … I would do it differently if I had another chance.”