TAMPA — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown put together one of the most impressive and successful runs of his career while working with two big, tall wideouts in Chicago last year.
McCown worked between two similar wideouts when he took the field at One Buc Place on Tuesday. And for what might have been the first time since he came to Tampa, he felt like he did during that run with the Bears.
“I'd be lying if I didn't say there was a comfort zone in that,'' McCown said after running through his first workout with rookie wide receiver Mike Evans on one side and veteran receiver Vincent Jackson on the other.
“It's very similar (to what I had in Chicago), at least on paper. There's still a lot of work to do. We have to get out there and (Evans) has to learn the offense and we have to start building together, but it was good.''
McCown, the Bucs' soon-to-be-35 projected starter, was as good as he's ever been while working with 6-foot-4, 230-pound wide receiver Brandon Marshall and 6-3, 216-pound receiver Alshon Jeffrey last year.
As a fill-in for the injured Jay Cutler, McCown completed 149 of 224 passes (66.5 percent) for 1,829 yards and 13 touchdowns with only one interception while winning three of five starts.
After spending most of his career as a backup, McCown is hoping he can replicate his success from a year ago with the Bucs. And Tampa Bay is trying to help him by replicating a portion of that Bears lineup.
That's one reason the Bucs targeted the 6-5, 231-pound Evans with the seventh overall pick in the draft. Their hope is that by teaming him with the 6-5, 230-pound Jackson, they'll give McCown another chance to excel.
“Josh has been in that situation and to say that he has been in our ear quite a bit is an understatement,'' Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. “And having seen that work, that was attractive to us.''