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Josh McCown on J.J. McCarthy: We ultimately have to maintain a growth mindset with him

The Vikings drafted quarterback J.J. McCarthy to be the team's quarterback of the future and he'll be working closely with longtime quarterback Josh McCown as his position coach.

During his Wednesday press conference, McCown said Minnesota went through a "very thorough" pre-draft process to find the right fit at QB. McCown noted that McCarthy's pro day was especially impressive, saying it was excellent.

"Then 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, adding Minnesota felt McCarthy was a "coachable" player. "That was encouraging as well. But I'd say the classroom more than anything and his personal ability with — you’re sitting in a classroom with a bunch of coaches, it can be intimidating as a young player. And he held his own, both intellectually on the board and then relationally and emotionally."

Now that McCarthy has been in the building, McCown said the Vikings have tried to find a balance between wanting the young quarterback to perform well and realizing that everything for him at this point is a learning opportunity.

"We have to strike it perfectly and ultimately maintain a growth mindset with him," McCown said. "We want him to perform well every snap that he gets. But every snap that he gets, a lot of these things are his first snap at some of these looks and some of these throws. And just the things that you get asked to do in the pros across every organization is different than what you’re asked to do in college. I mean, the hashes are different. So, so many of these things are new and first time for him.

"And so, you understand those things, you frame them properly as he grows through it. But always expecting a level of production and a level of execution that doesn't step back from what our group is as a whole. So, you’re always striking that balance. But ultimately I think taking a growth mindset with him and looking at everything as what it is here in Year 1."

McCown joked that his own career is filled with examples of "what not to do" for McCarthy. But McCown has also had to learn plenty of offenses and noted that element can assist McCarthy in his transition to the NFL.

McCarthy appears well-positioned to win the starting role at quarterback over Sam Darnold, but that will be determined later in the summer.