Quarterback Matt McGloin
Matt McGloin stepped to the podium Wednesday afternoon and addressed the media as the Raiders starting quarterback for the first time since 2013.
"It's exciting," said McGloin. "You know, this is the position you want to be in. This is why you spend so much time trying to master your craft and why you put so much time in the weight room, in the film room and on the practice field, is for games like this, moments like this."
The situation the former Penn State Nittany Lion is in now could not be more different than the last time he was tasked with leading the Raiders offense; in 2013 – McGloin's rookie season no less – the Raiders were en route to a 4-12 campaign without a full complement of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, and a porous offensive line that allowed 44 sacks throughout the season.
Now, the Raiders are 12-3, and boast one of the best offensive lines in football, along with a plethora of playmakers up and down the roster from running back, to wide receiver, and even fullback.
"Two thousand thirteen was great for me to get experience, great playing with that group of guys," McGloin said of his rookie season in Silver and Black. "We were in position to win games. Unfortunately we couldn't put it all together at certain points of the game to win. Now, with this group of guys, we obviously have some good guys, some good Pro Bowl players, you know? It's exciting, we got obviously Rodney [Hudson], Donald [Penn], [Kelechi Osemele] K.O. and Gabe [Jackson] and Menelik [Watson] and Austin [Howard]. Just a real, real solid group of guys, good players."
Not only is McGloin now the starting quarterback for the foreseeable future after Derek Carr broke his right fibula last week against the Indianapolis Colts, but Sunday afternoon, when the Raiders take the field in Denver with McGloin at the helm to wrap up the regular season, if the Silver and Black are able to take care of business, they'll secure their first division title since 2002.
No pressure, right?
"There's always pressure when you play this game," McGloin explained. "You talk about proving yourself week in and week out and things like that. You're constantly trying to prove yourself. This is a performance-based business and if you're not playing well and you're not winning and you're not doing well, then you're not going to be a starter very long, especially at the quarterback position… We understand what's at stake come Sunday and we're preparing for that."
There's no doubt a lot more on the line Sunday afternoon than the last time McGloin started a game for the Raiders, but Head Coach Jack Del Rio has expressed that he has full confidence in the fiery fourth-year signal-caller.
"Be who you are; make your plays," Del Rio said when asked of his advice to McGloin. "Let us all do our jobs around you. You don't have to put the world on your shoulders. It's not your responsibility. We ask everybody to do their job. Understand what your role is and get that done for us."
"I really enjoy playing the game," added McGloin. "I really enjoy competition, I enjoy being out there with the guys and playing the game and doing well and winning."
Kickoff against the Broncos is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. PT.
Quarterback – Derek Carr – Ankle – Did not participate
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper – Shoulder – Limited
Wide receiver – Michael Crabtree – Ankle – Limited
Wide receiver – Andre Holmes – Shoulder – Limited
Safety – Karl Joseph – Toe – Did not participate
Defensive tackle – Stacy McGee – Groin – Limited
Guard/tackle – Kelechi Osemele – Ankle – Did not participate
Running back Jalen Richard – Shoulder – Limited
Linebacker – Perry Riley Jr. – Hamstring – Limited
Linebacker – Malcolm Smith – Hamstring – Limited
-Wednesday's practice session was the first of the season without Derek Carr at the helm, but the day's work went on as usual with McGloin and rookie quarterback Connor Cook handling the quarterbacking duties.
-Defensive tackle Stacy McGee hasn't played in a game since Week 12, but the athletic interior lineman was able to get on the practice field in a limited capacity Wednesday afternoon.
-While Karl Joseph wasn't able to get back on the field today, the rookie safety was able to do some work on the sidelines with a team trainer.
During his weekly media session, wide receiver Amari Cooper shared his thoughts about McGloin taking over as the team's starting quarterback:
"We have a lot of trust in him. Every time he's on the field, the offense moves down the field. We know that he's a really good player."
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