Allentown
32° F
Overcast
Overcast

Raiders QB McGloin earns another start

Published On: Nov 21 2013 10:23:13 AM CST
closeup of football laces

iStock/joecicak

ALAMEDA, Calif. -

After spending more than $20 million on quarterbacks Carson Palmer, Terrelle Pryor and Matt Flynn, the Oakland Raiders might have discovered their future rests with minimum-wage, undrafted free agent Matt McGloin.

McGloin will start at quarterback against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Oakland, coach Dennis Allen announced Wednesday.

Part of the reason is Pryor's health. The former starter has a right knee sprain that restricts his mobility -- his best quality -- and he missed the trip to Houston for last week's game because of the flu.

That left the door open for McGloin, who completed 18 of 32 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions in the Raiders' 28-23 win over the Texans.

McGloin took the news in stride.

"It feels good that all the preparation and hard work has really paid off, and I'm glad that the coaching staff has some faith in me and trust in me," McGloin said. "I know the team does as well."

While Pryor's health made the decision an easy one, Allen made it clear McGloin's play was the overriding factor.

"This is a production business," Allen said. "One of the things we've tried to create here is an atmosphere of competition. If you go out and perform and make plays, you get the opportunity to continue to go out and perform and make plays. Matt did that last week. He's going to get an opportunity this week. We'll see how it goes."

It is a recurring theme for McGloin, who battled the odds ever since going to Penn State as a walk-on out of West Scranton (Pa.) High School.

At Penn State, McGloin beat out four- and five-star recruits to earn a scholarship and eventually become the starter.

McGloin did not earn an invitation to the NFL scouting combine, but he impressed the Raiders enough during a workout to get a free agent contract for what Allen conceded was a "camp arm" behind Flynn, Pryor and fourth-round draft pick Tyler Wilson.

McGloin passed Wilson on the depth chart relatively early in training camp, making the team as the No. 3 quarterback while the Raiders waived Wilson, adding him to the practice squad.

When Flynn played himself out of the starting position, McGloin was elevated to No. 2 behind Pryor, with the Raiders eating $6.5 million of guaranteed money and waiving Flynn.

Pryor, who threw five touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in eight starts, went into the Nov. 10 game against the New York Giants with a sore knee. He lacked his usual explosion, saying he was also unable to drive the ball in the passing game.

Allen said he wasn't concerned that McGloin originally came in as a fringe player.

"I don't want to go through the long list of guys who have been low draft choices or obscure guys -- Tom Brady and Kurt Warner come to mind," Allen said. "Some guys weren't born or blessed with great athleticism, size, speed or strength, all those things you can measure.

"You can't measure what's in their head or their heart. This guy has overcome a lot of challenges."

McGloin said he approached making the Raiders as he did every other competitive situation in his life.

"The kind of mindset that I've always taken to practice or film or anything like that is that I never took a back seat to anybody," McGloin said. "I didn't put myself in a position that I'm buried behind all these guys. I really don't look at who's ahead of me on the depth chart or behind me on the depth chart.

"Each day is a chance to get better, improve as a leader, improve as a person. Now that I'm starting, the mindset hasn't changed. I know I have to work harder to keep this position, but I'm ready for it and I enjoy it."