McGloin gets Raiders’ starting nod as line heals
On Wednesday, rain made many a Bay Area workers’ day uneventful and full of hot cocoa with Netflix.
Not the Raiders front office however, who announced a couple of major personnel moves. Oh, and that Matt McGloin guy has earned another start.
Head coach Dennis Allen made the announcement shortly after noon Wednesday, in an uncharacteristically straight-forward manner:
“I’ll get to the question that everyone’s going to ask, Matt McGloin will be the starting quarterback this week. We’ll monitor Terrelle this week, what his health is and what his status will be.”
Allen made the announcement with an air of confidence, after nearly two seasons of mastering the art of question-dodging at the big-league level.
McGloin, who threw for 197 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions on Sunday, will get a chance to shine once again versus a Tennessee Titans defense that has struggled against the league’s better quarterbacks.
Allen said the decision to start McGloin was two-fold:
“Matt McGloin earned another opportunity to start with the way that he performed, and also, to be able to watch Terrelle in practice and monitor where he is physically.”
Those monitoring the quarterback situation in Oakland might not want to read too much into McGloin getting another start, though it’s worth noting that Allen stuttered and stammered while touching on the Pryor element.
Pryor, who hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in his last three starts, has maintained his commitment to the team and McGloin.
McGloin, who appeared less nervous than the Wednesday before his first start, agreed:
“(Pryor and I) have a healthy relationship, I don’t think it really matters who starts. Guys are going to help out. … And at the end of the day, what’s most important is getting the win.”
McGloin might be right about one thing, that his getting another start has sparked yet another debate regarding quarterbacks losing their starting jobs due to injury.
Pundits have made the argument — which McGloin has shared — that winning is the most important thing.
Another, more damning argument, is that it could make quarterbacks play through injuries that could be potentially devastating, circa Robert Griffin III this past January.
So what comes first, player safety or winning? Hmm, what would Al Davis say?
While it’s purely speculative, the Raiders could want McGloin to finish the regular season if he continues to progress.
The 2014 draft has a plethora of quarterbacks that can be taken anywhere from the first round to the fourth, maybe beyond. McGloin, who was signed as an undrafted rookie free agent, showed great prowess, pocket ability and vision during his first start.
That’s not to mention no problem getting the ball out of his hand within a reasonable amount of time. McKenzie needs to know what he has before he can decide who to draft.
With McGloin at the helm for now, Pryor has a chance to recuperate from a knee injury that he aggravated in his last start versus the New York Giants.
While it may not be McGloin’s first NFL start anymore, the Raiders did have some firsts.
Wednesday marked the first time of the regular season that the entire offensive line was able to practice.
Left tackle Jared Veldheer, who suffered a partially torn left triceps in training camp, began practicing last week while guard Mike Brisiel and tackle Matt McCants were both limited.
The clock started ticking for Oakland to add Veldheer to the active roster last Wednesday and will need to add him to the active roster by December 4 or put him on season ending injured reserve.
The team also activated linebacker Miles Burris and placed cornerback D.J. Hayden on injured reserve after undergoing surgery on a sports hernia.
Hayden’s last start of his rookie season is surely one that will continue to haunt him, allowing three touchdowns to three different receivers, while being in position to make a play on each score.
It might not be the sort of consolation that Raiders fans want from the 12th overall pick of the 2013 draft, Hayden also intercepted a Philip Rivers pass in the end zone, sealing the team’s first divisional victory.
The Raiders promoted defensive lineman Brian Sanford to the active roster and added defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin to the practice squad.