October 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen looks on from the sideline against the San Diego Chargers during the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Allen Playing It Cagey With Quarterback Decision For Oakland Raiders


On Monday, Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen said he hasn’t committed to a quarterback for Sunday’s game at home against the Tennessee Titans.

Allen told the San Francisco Chronicle that it might be Terrelle Pryor, who has started eight of the team’s 10 games this season, or it could be undrafted rookie Matt McGloin, who piloted the Raiders to a 28-23 win over the NFL’s top-rated defense in Houston on Sunday.

Pryor didn’t make the trip to Houston because of a sprained knee and Allen said he needed to talk to the quarterback before making a decision.

“I’m not sure exactly where he is physically,” Allen said.

But he did say that McGloin has certainly played his way into the decision-making process after a three-touchdown, no-interception starting debut against the Texans.

“… [McGloin has] earned the right to be in the discussion,” Allen said.

Pryor has thrown 112 passes since his last touchdown pass, which came in the loss at Kansas City on Oct. 13.

The Raiders, meanwhile, are in the playoff discussion … somehow … at 4-6. The New York Jets (5-5) would be the No. 6 seed in the AFC and the Miami Dolphins (5-5) are just outside the playoff field. Among the gaggle of teams—six in all—that stand at 4-6, the Raiders hold the tiebreaker advantage over all of them (h/t ESPN.com).

Right behind them on the 4-6 list? The Tennessee Titans. So, yeah, that makes Sunday’s game in the Black Hole sort of a big deal.

Allen liked what he saw of McGloin on Sunday.

“He was calm in the pocket,” Allen said. “He worked through his progression. He threw the ball with timing and accuracy. In particular, for the first time out and the first time starting, I thought he handled himself very well.”

McGloin’s success also proves another point: Scouting is, at best, an inexact science. Thirty-two teams had seven rounds during the draft to take a flyer on McGloin and none of them did.

“I think some guys weren’t born or blessed with great athleticism, size or speed or strength, all those things you can measure,” Allen said. “You can’t measure what’s in their head or their heart. This guy has overcome a lot of challenges.”

Not to be the wet blanket at the party, but there is one thing to consider—it’s entirely possible Houston spent the bulk of the week preparing to see Pryor and instead got McGloin. It’s a considerable difference in athleticism and playing styles.

Before we anoint McGloin the next big thing, let’s see how he handles a start when the opponent knows what’s coming.

If McGloin dazzles against the Titans, then … well, it’s just on. The Raiders might have finally stumbled onto a quarterback.

Tags: Dennis Allen Matt McGloin Oakland Raiders Terrelle Pryor

  • Jared Myers

    I’m not crowning McGloin as THE GUY yet, but I’d say he’s earned the starting job for next week.