Ravens' Marc Trestman praises Josh McCown's leadership


OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens will face the quarterback whose career was revitalized by their offensive coordinator.

It was two years ago when quarterback Josh McCown enjoyed a career year under Marc Trestman in Chicago. While both are on different teams now, Trestman still holds the Browns' starting quarterback in high regard.

“I think, No. 1, he has a leadership skill set that transcends a locker room," Trestman said. He’s not just an offensive guy. His communication skills and his ability to connect with players [are] at an elite level from that standpoint. He’s very good, and he has -- as I said to [defensive coordinator] Dean [Pees] and the guys -- he is a better athlete than people give him credit for. And if you ever watch him play basketball, he’s a very, very good basketball player and very athletic."

Trestman helped McCown get his career back on track in 2013, when McCown threw for 1,829 yards with 13 touchdowns and one interception.

McCown landed a starting job in Tampa Bay in 2014 before signing with the Browns this offseason. In three starts this year, McCown has completed 66.3 percent of this passes for 746 yards. He has thrown four touchdowns and one interception for a 98.4 passer rating.

"He has great experience, and he has great work ethic," Trestman said. "We always say a quarterback’s journey can start anywhere, and he has restarted his career; and he’s making the most of it."

Before getting cut by the Buccaneers this offseason, McCown endorsed Trestman for Tampa Bay's offensive coordinator job. Trestman eventually was hired by the Ravens, who needed a backup after Tyrod Taylor signed with the Bills.

Was McCown ever in the Ravens' conversation at backup quarterback?

"I’m sure that when Josh was available, he was probably in a lot of conversations," Trestman said. "But to say that he was in ours, I can’t say that.”

This will be the second reunion for Trestman and McCown. Last season, McCown threw for 341 yards against Trestman's Bears but he lost a fumble and threw an interception.

Before that game, Trestman and McCown gave each other a hug. They have remained in touch whether it's a phone call or texting.

"We’re not going to do that this week," Trestman said, "but maybe after the game."