Early Tuesday afternoon, Josh McCown was getting settled in a makeshift studio on the first floor of the NovaCare Complex to do a video teleconference with reporters. Roughly 48 hours earlier, McCown re-signed with the Eagles to join the team's practice squad.
As great as it was having McCown in the building every day last season as the backup to Carson Wentz, the hope is that this is the last time he's around the facility for quite some time.
See, McCown was signed to be an emergency quarterback in the event of a COVID outbreak. McCown currently lives with his family in Texas. He will stay there, attend team and position-group meetings virtually, work out on his own, and be at the ready.
Just in case.
McCown was a valuable asset in 2019, signing with the team shortly after the start of the preseason when Nate Sudfeld fractured his wrist. The former starter served not only as the primary backup, but as a trusted adviser for Carson Wentz.
"I've gotten the great privilege of being around a lot of great leaders, especially at the quarterback position," McCown said, "so to be able to share some of those experiences with him and hopefully, you know, help him is always the goal. And to his credit, he's receptive, always want to learn and grow and get better, and I think the play down the stretch last year reflected that."
Wentz's admiration for McCown was evident on Monday as he joked with reporters about the 41-year-old setting the record as the oldest practice squad player in NFL history. It was the proud little brother who couldn't help himself with such a layup opportunity to make a joke at the older brother's expense.
But even from roughly 1,500 miles away, McCown made his impression felt after watching Monday's practice, the first since the roster cutdown ahead of the Week 1 showdown in Washington.
"I was texting Carson late last night about some things I saw in practice and just how sharp I thought it looks," McCown said.
Eight months ago, McCown's playing career appeared to have ended with the Wild Card playoff loss to Seattle, where he came in for an injured Wentz and nearly rallied the team to a win. McCown, who was making his playoff debut in his 17th NFL season, suffered a hamstring injury in the gutsy effort that took months to heal.
The global pandemic provided a bridge to a career as a coach. He believes, that with the connection forged in the locker room last year, that he will still feel like he's part of the team despite being so far away.
"It will be different, but no different than what so many corporations around America right now and even our interaction right now," McCown said. "It's a new way of doing things. But the care that I have for the guys in the locker room, especially, I think that would be different.
"It's a great question because I think it'd be different if this was a new team that I was doing this for. But because I've been with these guys last year and played alongside these guys, I think there's a connection for me at least."
And hopefully it stays virtual for the entire season.