NFL Rumors: Gary Barnidge To Benefit From Josh McCown?
Gary Barnidge, the Cleveland Browns tight end, could end up benefiting from quarterback Josh McCown getting inserted into the starting unit, according to several analysts.Advertisement
After Robert Griffin III suffered a possible season-ending injury earlier this week, veteran McCown is ready to assume the role of starting quartberack, something that could help the production of Barnidge.
According to Matthew Berry of ESPN, Barnidge averaged 12.3 fantasy points per game last season with McCown as the Browns’ starting quarterback.
Even New England Patriotrs star, Rob Gronkowski, arguably the best tight end in the league, averaged only 11.7 points per game compared to Barnidge’s 12.3.
Berry added that several other numbers also indicate that the combination of Barnidge and McCown is an extremely efficient one and will hold the Browns in good stead during Griffin’s absence.
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Gary Barnidge the key to Cleveland?
The NFL insider also noted that “Barnidge was targeted on nearly a quarter of his routes and gained 14.5 yards per catch with McCown playing.”
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com is also of the opinion that Barnidge could “return to his Pro Bowl form” with McCown anchoring the offense.
When Hue Jackson took over the Browns, he cited McCown’s age (37) and said it was a wiser call to go with a young quarterback. However, with Griffin’s injury, the Browns is strapped for choices.
Even Ravens coach John Harbaugh has acknowledged that McCown has a lot left to offer in the league.
“He’s (McCown) been on fire against us. He’s thrown balls up in the air. A guy catches it with his feet for a touchdown last year (Gary Barnidge’s Thighmaster catch). I remember this guy just having no conscience and just throwing the ball in there and completing passes against us.
“We have a lot of respect for him. We know what kind of a player he is. We know how good he is, and he’s super good against us. We know we have our hands full.
“It will be all hands on deck to get ready for the offense led by Josh McCown,” the Ravens coach said on Monday recalling a game from last season when McCown led the Browns to a 33-30 overtime win against Baltimore.
Will Gary Barnidge benefit from McCown quarterbacking? It remains to be seen.