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Pederson: Josh McCown 'still has a fire to play'

The Philadelphia Eagles took a flyer on Josh McCown but coach Doug Pederson believes he can do more than just fill a roster spot.

One day after the Eagles signed McCown to a one-year deal, Pederson addressed the thinking behind the decision to sign the 17-year veteran quarterback.

Pederson admitted that there was "a good chance" McCown, who retired two months earlier, wouldn't have been signed if backup Nate Sudfeld (wrist) was healthy but added that the addition is about "adding value, adding depth, and seeing where we're at."

As it stands, McCown and rookie QB Clayton Thorson are the only healthy options behind starter Carson Wentz with Sudfeld and Cody Kessler (concussion) on the mend. Given the injuries, McCown will likely have a quick turnaround but Pederson thinks the journeyman QB possesses the traits a player in his position needs to make the most of a new opportunity.

"You got to trust the player, what he's telling you is the truth. Knowing Josh and the type of person he is and the high character and quality person he is, knowing his family dynamic and everything, I mean he still has a fire to play," Pederson said. "I think he's at that point in his career, if things work out, if he's the back up, whatever it is, he can be content in that role. He just wants to help and he has that desire."

A 2002 third-round draft pick, McCown spent the last two seasons with the Jets after a 13-year run that saw him play for eight different teams. With two weeks to go in Eagles camp, McCown has a chance to play for his ninth NFL team. (He's also spent time with two others without appearing in a game.)

Needless to say, McCown has seen it all and (nearly) done it all in this league. Pederson likes all of what McCown brings to the table.

"He's 40 ... he's close to my age," Pederson joked. "I mean, this guy is a veteran. He's been around, he's seen a lot. He's a guy that just can add a lot of knowledge and depth right now in that room and we have some young guys. Come in and compete and show us what he can do.

"A veteran player that has obviously played this position, has started a ton of games in this league. Excited to get him going and caught up to speed."

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