By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, November 15th, 2013 at 2:15 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Filed for print . . .
Terrelle Pryor was officially listed as questionable, but the Raiders were preparing Friday for undrafted rookie Matt McGloin to be the starting quarterback against the Houston Texans.
McGloin took all the first-team snaps, while Pryor, in terms of body language and performance during the media window, looked nothing like a quarterback ready to play Sunday when the Raiders visit Reliant Stadium.
“Obviously he wasn’t as good today as he was the day before,’’ Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “I’ll see how he’s feeling tomorrow and we’ll make a decision.’’
If it’s determined Pryor won’t play, Allen said practice squad quarterback Tyler Wilson, the Raiders’ fourth-round draft pick, would be promoted to be the backup.
McGloin, who beat out Wilson to be the third quarterback behind Pryor and Matt Flynn then ascended to backup when Flynn was released, promised to be ready if called upon.
“I made the most of my reps and I thought I did pretty well this week,’’ McGloin said. “I thought we looked pretty good as a team. So we’ll just have to wait and see.’’
At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, the Raiders offense will have a more conventional look with McGloin at quarterback. Pryor, 6-foot-4 and 233 pounds, leads the Raiders with 504 yards rushing and 7.4 yards per carry.
“With Matt in there we’re probably not running as many read option plays and that type of stuff, but the basis of the offense and what we do is not a whole lot different,’’ Allen said.
Wide receiver Rod Streater complimented McGloin’s command of the huddle and said, “I think where he does a good job is in releasing the ball fast. He has a lot of zip to it. We know when we’re coming out of our break it will be right there.’’
The difference between Pryor and McGloin can in fact be measured in miles _ there are 265 of them between Jeannette, Pa., and Scranton, Pa., where both quarterbacks were high school stars.
While Penn State heavily recruited Pryor when both were seniors in high school, McGloin was asked to be a “preferred walk-on.’’
Pryor went to Ohio State, and McGloin eventually became the first quarterback who arrived without a scholarship (he received one as a sophomore) to be the Penn State starting quarterback since scholarships were reinstated at the school in 1949.
Mike DeAntona, McGloin’s football coach at West Scranton High School, said recruiters all had the same concern.
“Everybody would say, `If only he were 6-2,’ ‘’ said DeAntona said in a phone interview. “With schools not wanting to pull the trigger and by having Terrelle Pryor in our state, the cards didn’t line up for Matty.’’
A three-sport star at West Scranton, McGloin led his football team to two Class AAA championships and a division championship. He scored 1,300 points as a point guard for the basketball team and in baseball went 7-0 as a senior, hit better than .400, and led West Scranton to its first league title in 16 years.
The youngest of three brothers in a sports-minded family, DeAntona said McGloin is serious about preparation and added, “The quality that he has that I think everybody looks for in an athlete, particularly a quarterback, is he hates to lose.’’
Allen said McGloin has “a little bit of that `it’ factor you look for in a quarterback . . he’s got a lot of confidence in himself and we’ve got a lot of confidence in him.’’
After finishing his career at Penn State through the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, McGloin was recognized by a local representative on the floor of the Pennsylvania state house for his “daily grit and tenacity.’’
When McGloin signed with the Raiders after going undrafted, it was a different story.
`When he first got here he was just a camp arm and he’s just gone about his business on a day-in and day-out basis, not letting anything affect him,’’ Allen said.
– Running back Darren McFadden, safety Tyvon Branch (ankle), wide receiver Juron Criner (shoulder) and cornerback DJ Hayden (groin) are out and will not make the trip to Houston. Tackle Matt McCants (toe) and linebacker Kaluka Maiava (ribs) are questionable. Place kicker Sebastian Janikowski (ribs) and tackle Tony Pashos (illness) are probable.