Pat McCown feels blessed, nervous to have both sons starting

Pat McCown, patriarch of the suddenly in-the-news McCown football family, laughed at the thought. No, he couldn't have imagined this. Not both his sons starting in the NFL on the same day at the same time.

"Just me and Archie (Manning)," a laughing McCown told on Saturday afternoon from Charlotte. "Nobody else. Just a few hundred million difference in paychecks, I guess."

With Saints starter Drew Brees ailing with a shoulder injury, 34-year-old Luke McCown starts against the Panthers on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. His older brother Josh resumes his role as the starter in Cleveland despite Johnny Manziel's heroics last week, and he'll start today against the Raiders this afternoon.

All of which leaves Pat and his wife Robin with their attention divided. They do have a plan, though.

"We'll follow Josh's game on (Robin's) phone," Pat said. "Then watch highlights. When they were playing in eighth grade, we never thought two decades later that we'd have two sons playing on the same day in the NFL. We've been blessed. But I think we'll be a little nervous."

Understandable. By the way, the McCowns will be in Charlotte to watch the Saints in person. Robin will be wearing Saints gear, Pat will be in neutral colors, and a few of their 11 grandchildren and assorted family members will be with them. Others will be there for Josh in Cleveland. But the fact that they will be present for Luke's first start since 2011 is really just coincidence.

Josh has a permanent home in Charlotte. His sixth-grade son Owen had a football game Saturday there, and his grandparents flew in to watch. They planned it two weeks ago. So, might as well stay to see Luke try to beat the Panthers while they're there.

As you'd expect of a proud father, Pat praised his son Luke for staying ready, noting how he wakes at 5:30 every morning to head to the facility, then adds two more hours of film study after he comes home to stay sharp. He praised Josh in Cleveland for embracing his role of mentoring Manziel to go along with starting duties.

The family will be paying close attention today.

"This is all we know how to do," McCown said.

Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.

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