Nathan Peterman Edges Ahead in Raiders’ Backup Quarterback Competition

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OAKLAND -- The Raiders' backup quarterback competition is heating up. 

Head coach Jon Gruden has been equally complimentary of both Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman, praising Peterman's toughness and athleticism early in training camp. 

With starting quarterback Derek Carr in street clothes for Saturday's preseason opener against the Los Angeles Rams at the Coliseum, both Glennon and Peterman got a chance to show what they can do in Gruden's system. 

Glennon got the start and led the Raiders on a touchdown drive on their first possession, hitting J.J. Nelson for a big gain before DeAndre Washington plunged in from 7 yards out. The North Carolina State product went 17-for25 for 200 yards, but he also threw two picks, including one in the end zone. 

 Then Peterman stole the show with his ... legs?

The oft-maligned quarterback broke off a 50-yard run on the first drive of the third quarter and capped the drive with a 3-yard scoring strike to rookie, and Alameda native, Keelan Doss. 

On the night, Peterman went 9-for-12 for 66 yards and one touchdown, while also rushing three times for 56 yards. The Pittsburgh product, who became an NFL punching bag during his time with the Buffalo Bills, believes he is settling into the Raiders' system. 

"It's good. I think I can always be taking more steps like I said, there are some things I missed -- run checks and things," Peterman said of his performance in the Raiders' 14-3 win. "So, I got to get better at that because I got to put us in the best position to have a good play."

His familiarity with the system and how Gruden has grown immensely over the offseason. 

"I think reps and getting more chances with the offenses and just getting to know the offense more, being in Gruden's meetings more and talking about what he wants and certain things, it helps a lot," Peterman said. 

[RELATED: Gruden, Raiders 'support' AB in helmet grievance with NFL]

Gruden, overall, appeared pleased with both of his backup quarterbacks, although he lamented the two interceptions from Glennon. As for Peterman, it certainly sounds like Gruden is becoming a believer.

"Peterman showed his athleticism," Gruden said. "He can run. As he continues to gain command of the offense, he's going to be an interesting guy to watch." 

Peterman wasn't perfect Saturday night, but he didn't turn the ball over, flashed his athleticism and clearly is gaining confidence in the system. 

Turnovers are a non-starter for Gruden. If it was an even heat heading in then it appears Peterman might have edged in front of Glennon for now. 

The power of redemption is alive and well in Oakland. 

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