Cool Hand Luke: Under Center With the New Bucs Quarterback

Colin ScottContributor IJune 1, 2009

HOUSTON - AUGUST 28:  Quarterback  Luke McCown #12 drops back in the pocket against the Houston Texans Aug. 28, 2008 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The cool thing about coming up with potential interview questions for new Bucs QB Luke McCown is knowing that if and when the opportunity presents itself, he'll answer every last one of them.

That's just the kind of guy he is.  He may be Mr. Humble Awwshucks while you're shaking hands, but once you get him going, don't expect much of a filter.

During training camp at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex last season, I noticed just how deceptively fast McCown really was.  After practice, I asked him which of his teammates he knew for sure he could beat in a footrace.

McCown thought about it for a minute and just when I thought he'd say someone like Davin Joseph, he came up with this gem:

"Michael Clayton.  Not a doubt in my mind.  And you can tell him I said that."

For the record, that's a quarterback (third-string at the time) calling out a starting wide receiver.  But it's not a problem.  Not when the quarterback is Luke McCown.

It may sound strange, but the gangly kid from Jacksonville, Texas has that kind of a relationship with his teammates.  They laugh at his jokes and genuinely want him to succeed, not because the team's fortunes rest on his stringy right arm, but because he deserves it.

McCown deserves the shot at the starting job and he deserves the success that just might come along with it.

Here are my feature interview questions for Luke McCown... provided I'm fast enough to catch up with him in the first place:

1)  The team gives you a contract extension.  All signs point to you finally taking over the starting job.  Then the Bucs draft Josh Freeman.  What was Draft Saturday like for you?

2)  Hearing (new Bucs Head Coach) Raheem Morris call Freeman, "my guy," had to be tough.  Do you feel like you're on a short leash already or do you think you'll be given the room you need to get your legs under you and grow as a quarterback?

3)  How has working with (new Bucs Offensive Coordinator) Jeff Jagodzinski been? 

4)  What sorts of changes can Bucs fans look for on offense this season?  Will you guys stretch the field more?

5)  How much have you gotten to work with (new Bucs Tight End) Kellen Winslow and is it true what they say about pass-catching tight ends being a quarterback's best friend?

6)  Joey Galloway is gone, Antonio Bryant is coming off of a monster year...  Which wide receiver do you think Bucs fans will be surprised to see step up this season?

7)  You and your brother (Panthers QB Josh McCown) have bounced around a bit in your NFL careers.  How much do you guys talk about the business side of football and is it easier having someone you're so close to who is going through the same things you are?

8)  Former Bucs Head Coach Jon Gruden had a reputation as a bit of a quarterback polygamist.  Jeff Garcia had the line of last year's training camp when he said Gruden likes to date a lot of quarterbacks, he just doesn't like to marry.  What does the end of the Gruden era mean for you and what was your relationship with him like? 

9)  One of the best Bucs off-season moves is going under the radar: the signing of Derrick Ward.  You two have a lot in common; you played against each other in college (McCown at La. Tech, Ward at Fresno State), and you're both finally getting a shot at the starting jobs.  How much does a solid ground game mean for you, what does Ward bring to the table and what have you guys talked about so far this off-season?

10)  Finally, besides Michael Clayton, which non-lineman teammate are you absolutely positive you could beat in a footrace?