As an undrafted rookie quarterback, Matt McGloin was one of the Raiders’ most pleasant surprises in 2013.
He started six games and showed flashes of potential, completing 55.9 percent of his passes for 1,547 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions, and made Oakland a much more dangerous passing attack when he surpassed Terrelle Pryor.
After McGloin's first year as a pro, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said he thought McGloin “showed some positive things,” and praised his release, makeup and avoidance of sacks.
“If he can build on that, get better with the throws and the timing, he should be solid,” McKenzie told the San Francisco Chronicle’s Vic Tafur.
Yet even with the start of training camp a few weeks away, it appears McGloin’s future with the Raiders already may have slipped into the past.
After the recent Raiders’ full-squad minicamp, McGloin already has lost his No. 2 spot on the depth chart (behind starter Matt Schaub) to rookie second-round pick Derek Carr of Fresno State.
Raiders head coach Dennis Allen and the Oakland coaching staff has been wowed by Carr – who might even challenge Schaub for the No. 1 job in preseason or the regular season if Schaub falters.
“I like a lot of things that I’ve seen out of Derek,” Allen told reporters. “He’s still got a long way to go, but I like the direction that he’s headed.”
Offensive coordinator Greg Olson, in fact, says Carr has been better than even they believed when they drafted him – and they liked him very much at the time.
“Everybody knew he was accurate, but he is more accurate than we thought,” Olson told Bay Area reporters. “We’ll have to wait and see how he does against a live rush, but so far his intelligence, accuracy and quickness in getting the ball out has been excellent.”
Though Carr has opened eyes, Olson’s comments may provide a clue to McGloin’s future, when he mentioned Carr’s performance against a “live rush.”
In camp and preseason games, Carr will have to show he doesn’t get happy feet or throw offbalance in the face of pressure, one of the few knocks against him from his time in college. McGloin has shown he can stand in against a rush, stay alive in the pocket and deliver the ball.
It’s possible that if Carr shows any disposition to being nervous against oncoming NFL rushes, that McGloin could move back up into the No. 2 spot and provide relief for Schaub in 2014 – giving Carr more time to develop and get used to the NFL game.
One thing is certain: McGloin is a battler. He was largely unrecruited out of high school, walked on at Penn State and won the starting job, then went undrafted in the NFL and started as a rookie when injuries opened the door for him.
Now, this offseason, he’s been working to refine his mechanics with former NFL QB Jeff Garcia. At an April camp with Garcia in San Diego, McGloin tweeted several times about his commitment to improving himself.
Tweeted McGloin: “Great day of throwing with @JeffGarciaJGFA #AlwaysCompete #RaiderNation.”
Carr may surpass McGloin (and Schaub) this season, but McGloin no doubt will continue to work to make certain he’s in the mix.