Minnesota Vikings Coach Speaks Out About Rookie QB J.J. McCarthy

JJ McCarthy, Minnesota Vikings
NFL Analysis Network

J.J. McCarthy was added as one of the shiny new weapons for the Minnesota Vikings this spring and many hope to learn everything they can about how the fit is going.

According to Myles Simmons of NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk, Vikings quarterbacks coach and former NFL quarterback Josh McCown spoke about the new quarterback, handing out an A-plus impression in one aspect.

“When we went back for the private workout, just the meeting-room time — you could tell he’s been very well coached and his retention on the plays and materials we gave him and asked him to talk through was spot on. He was A-plus in that regard”,” McCown said.

McCown also laid down what the expectations are for the new quarterback.

“We have to strike it perfectly and ultimately maintain a growth mindset with him. We want him to perform well every snap that he gets.” McCown added.

J.J. McCarthy joined the Vikings in late April as the tenth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. With such a high draft stock and big shoes to fill as a replacement for Kirk Cousins, the pressure is on.

Pressure and questions loom large around J.J. McCarthy as June begins

Heading into the NFL Draft, the pressure on J.J. McCarthy centered around when he would get picked and which team would choose him. With those questions now answered, McCarthy has replaced one source of pressure with another.

Of course, it is not likely the quarterback will play perfectly while he learns on the job. However, it remains unclear when he will get the first full taste of his new role.

As June gets underway, there appears to be no guarantees that the quarterback will start for the team in Week 1. As such, his first true test will be to convince the coaches to give him the nod quickly.

Bigger questions surrounding the quarterback concern his ability to duplicate his ability to win in college with his ability to win at the NFL level. While he managed to win it all with legendary coach Jim Harbaugh, it remains unclear whether McCarthy can be equally successful with a different head coach.

The biggest question surrounds his throwing production in college. According to Sports Reference, the quarterback threw for just 22 touchdowns and four interceptions in his championship-winning season in 2023. While the ratio is solid, it has left room for improvement when compared to other quarterback prospects.

For instance, Broncos rookie quarterback Bo Nix threw for 45 touchdowns and three interceptions. Commanders rookie Jayden Daniels threw for 40 touchdowns and four interceptions.

To succeed at the NFL level, it takes an arm that can regularly throw for more than 30 touchdowns in a season. It might be a tall ask for McCarthy to do so in his rookie season, but will he be able to have one such accomplishment in either 2024 or 2025?

The Minnesota Vikings and their fans will just have to wait and see.

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