Quarterback Matt McGloin was a standout at Penn State. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
For Matt McGloin, the hill he faces is steep. Realistically, it might as well be Mt. Whitney.
When the Raiders report for training camp in Napa on July 25 and go through their first practices the next morning, McGloin – a free-agent quarterback from Penn State – will be the team’s No. 4 QB on a team that will only carry three into the 2013 season. He ranks behind presumed starter Matt Flynn, rookie fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson of Arkansas and holdover Terrelle Pryor.
And, with Flynn and Wilson both new to the system and Pryor in need of further evaluation, all will need to get plenty of snaps this summer in both practice and exhibition games.
Yet McGloin already has impressed some in the Raiders camp, even in limited opportunities during rookie minicamp, OTAs and full-squad minicamp in June.
“The thing I like about him is he’s smart and he’s accurate,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen told reporters during minicamp. “I think if he continues to do those things, as we get into training camp we’ll see some more reps and really get a feel for where he’s at.”
McGloin was a standout at Penn State, where the 6-foot-1 passer set a school record with 46 touchdown passes. In his final season, he set season records for completions (270) and passing yards (3,266) while also tying the record for TD passes (24).
Already, McGloin has acknowledged it’s a big step up from even major college football to the NFL. He’s excited about the opportunity and eager to put in the work to get better and take his best shot at winning a job, but he recently told a TV reporter in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pa., that he’ll have to elevate his game to make it in pro football.
“Everybody talks about the speed of the game,” McGloin told WNEP. “Talk about what you’re seeing first hand at the pro level? Absolutley it’s a different breed of cat up there. You’ve got guys that have been in the league for eight years, 10 years and they know exactly what they’re doing. They’re not going to mess up. They’re constantly in the right position.
“So it’s definitely an adjustment, but at the same time you want to accept that challenge and prove to yourself you’re capable of playing at that level and happy to be doing it.”