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Head Coach Jon Gruden talks decision to sign quarterback Nathan Peterman

Wednesday afternoon, the Oakland Raiders signed quarterback Nathan Peterman to the practice squad, adding another presence to the QB room. Peterman joins the Raiders after spending almost two seasons with the Buffalo Bills, where he started in four games, and finished with a 1-3 record. The former University of Pittsburgh Panther didn’t have the best start to his career, but Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden sees potential in the Jacksonville native.

“I had a lot of calls last night for that,” Gruden said with a laugh, referencing the Peterman signing. “You know, let me say this, AJ McCarron just had a baby, he and his wife, so he’s in Alabama. Not quite sure exactly when he’s going to be back, so we’re happy to have Nate Peterman, a guy who’s played in this league. This season he was an opening day starter, so we signed him to the practice squad, and we’ll see where that leads us. Hopefully AJ and his family are happy and healthy, and he can get back here soon, but in the time being, Peterman has a lot to learn.”

The Silver and Black obviously have both Derek Carr and AJ McCarron on the active roster, and Peterman likely won’t see the field any time soon, but Gruden is going to try and groom the 24-year-old signal-caller. McCarron welcomed his second child into the world earlier this week, and he’s back in Alabama spending time with his wife and family. His absence from the team also led the team to sign Peterman, serving as an emergency backup if anything were to happen to Carr, and the team needs two quarterbacks for practice in order to prepare for Monday’s game.

“He’s on the practice squad right now, I want to reiterate that to everybody,” Gruden said. “He’s on the practice squad, but I did like the fact that… I go back to the University of Tennessee where he came from, I spent a lot of time there, and I know what kind of kid he is, I know what kind of worker he is, and I like what he did at Pitt. They beat Clemson, I like what he did that game, at Clemson. He showed some real savvy, and some pocket presence. He’s an athletic guy, I know he’s had some problems in Buffalo, but again we’re talking about our practice squad quarterback here.”

Not only did Gruden get to know Peterman early in his NFL career, but he had the opportunity to sit down with him during his QB Camp in 2017. As Gruden said, the signal-caller has a lot to learn in terms of the playbook and his new head coach’s system, but there’s a possibility we could see more of Peterman during Organized Team Activities this offseason.

“There’s a good chance of that,” Gruden shared when asked if Peterman is in the team’s long-term plans. “Hopefully we can take him into the offseason program, and see if we can restart him, and get him going.”

The next few months should be interesting, and I’m sure there will be plenty of people keeping an eye on Peterman’s development.

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