Thursday, July 24, 2014

‘Underdog’ McGloin ready for backup role

October 06. 2013 2:22AM
JERRY MCDONALD The Oakland Tribune

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ALAMEDA, Calif. — Terrelle Pryor will start for the Oakland Raiders against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night, with Matt Flynn dropping to the third team in favor of undrafted free agent Matt McGloin.

Coach Dennis Allen said Wednesday that Pryor is free of the concussion symptoms that caused him to instead start Flynn in a 24-14 loss to the Washington Redskins.

“I believe I’m 100 percent right now,” Pryor said.”I feel normal.”

Flynn, on the other hand, has hit a low point in his career just six months after being acquired by the Raiders in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2014 and a conditional pick in 2015 to replace Carson Palmer at quarterback.

In the loss to the Redskins, Flynn had an interception returned 45 yards for a touchdown, absorbed seven sacks in large part due to indecision, lost a fumble and had another fumble that resulted in a change of possession on fourth down.

Allen, critical of Flynn after the loss, backed off somewhat during his Monday news conference, saying the defeat “was never about one guy.”

During practice this week, the guy the Raiders will pay $6.5 million this season on a restructured contract was watching McGloin take snaps with the second team.

Allen said he expected Flynn to continue to “battle and compete” but conceded, “It hasn’t worked out like we anticipated, and we’ve got to make decisions, and we’ve got to move forward.”

McGloin signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of Penn State and beat out fourth-round draft pick Tyler Wilson of Arkansas to be the No.3 quarterback.

An unimposing 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, McGloin has a businesslike demeanor and said while he said he uses not being drafted as motivation, he doesn’t allow it to consume him.

“I try and improve each and every day and I do use that as fuel sometimes,” McGloin said.

Playing at Penn State while the program was in upheaval after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case and the death of former coach Joe Paterno, McGloin came into the NFL knowing something about adversity.

“Not too many people go through something like that,” McGloin said. “I’ve seen it all. In a way it’s helped me at this level. I’m still in touch with our head coach and my quarterbacks coach there, and they’re constantly helping me.”

Wide receiver Rod Streater, whose locker is next to McGloin’s, was an undrafted free agent out of Temple last season and is a kindred spirit.

“He’s very accurate, he gets the ball where it needs to be and goes through reads pretty fast,” Streater said. “He’s been the underdog, so all he does is work and show up to get better every day.”

Allen said McGloin has “moxie” and takes to football naturally.

“He just understands how to play the game, and I don’t think it’s too big for him,” Allen said. “I think he’ll come in if he’s called upon to run the offense, and he’ll do a good job.”

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