Grit, toughness, and that “just win baby!” attitude.
I would make a safe bet that if you were to ask any Oakland Raiders fan what’s been missing from their organization in recent years, one — if not all three – of those traits would be mentioned. They haven’t been the Raiders that you see when you watch NFL Films clips, and those die-hards want that back.
Well, when you need anything fixed, you start at the top. In the game of football, you can’t get any higher than the quarterback position. And with one 2013 free-agent signing, the Raiders may have found that man who can eventually lead the organization back to validity.
With the Raiders acquiring Matt Flynn this offseason, the starting QB picture in Oakland is pretty much crystal clear. However, with recent reports that Matt McGloin has been impressing the Raiders’ coaching staff, he has a clear shot at becoming the no. 2 man on the roster, behind Flynn. This is a place that he has been before.
A walk-on for the Penn State Nittany Lions, not many people outside of his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania — like me — expected anything too extravagant from the young man. Working his way up to third on the depth chart, it would take a lot of pieces to fall into place for McGloin to possibly see the field.
And those pieces did indeed fall. After a heap of controversy in 2010 over the PSU QB job, McGloin was able to enter a game against the Northwestern Wildcats, leading them to a come-from-behind win. Following that, the job was his, and he never gave it up.
This proved McGloin to be the ultimate opportunist.
2012 would also prove something. It proved that McGloin is also a great leader, even under the most dire of circumstances.
Following Penn State being levied with some of the worst sanctions in NCAA history, McGloin led the Lions to an 8-4 record, while never wavering under the pressure. But, more importantly, he progressed as a QB under first-year head coach and passing guru Bill O’Brien. He finished the season becoming Penn State’s all-time leader in touchdown passes, while at the same time also breaking the single-season marks in passing yardage and completions. Again, he did all of this under the tiniest of microscopes.
McGloin consistently shows the never-say-die attitude that is instilled in everyone who grows up here in Scranton, Pa. We’re taught from an early age the importance of working however hard you may need to to get what it is you want. He put in the work in Happy Valley, and the results were shown. He may come off as a tad cocky at sometimes, but you want a little bit of that out of your quarterback. I think few people would argue that sentiment.
Hard-working, cocky and getting the job done by any means necessary? These traits seem oddly familiar to that of the glory years of a certain NFL team.
With Russell Wilson taking the Seattle Seahawks by storm last season, thus bumping Flynn out of that no. 1 slot, we have yet to see how effective or successful the former Green Bay Packers‘ backup can be as a lead man.
If it turns out that he may not be cut out to lead the Raiders back to prominence, it may be time to call in someone who has already displayed the Oakland Raider attitude to lead that charge.