The offseason has been pretty contentious among the Oakland Raiders‘ faithful in terms of debating the team’s quarterbacks. Though most seem pleased with the addition of former Houston Texans signal caller Matt Schaub, the Raider Nation is sharply divided when it comes to talking about Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin. The two young quarterbacks both saw extensive action last season and guided the team to a dreadful 4-12 record. Though they both made some fantastic plays, as well as mind-numbingly dumb mistakes, much of last season’s misery can be attributed to poor offensive line play and a defense that gave up yards as well as points at an astounding rate. There are good points and bad points to both young quarterbacks. Both do different things well and have their strong suits. And we could argue about, parse and analyze their head-to-head stats from last season until Hell freezes over or the Cleveland Browns win a championship– whichever comes first– without ever coming to an agreement about who performed better on the field. But the former undrafted rookie from Penn State recently showed the biggest difference between he and Pryor — and why you’d want him, rather than Terrelle, on your team.
When the Raiders announced that they’d acquired Schaub from the Texans for a sixth-round draft pick, Pryor threw a fit and reiterated his request to be trade or released from the team. It seems that for Terrelle, it’s starting QB or bust. If he’s not going to start for the Raiders, he would rather take his ball and go elsewhere. McGloin, however, had a very different response. He actually welcomed Schaub in and said that he’s excited to learn from the veteran quarterback. In an interview with CSNBayarea.com recently, McGloin had this to say:
” I’m really looking forward to being around him and learning from him It will be good to work with Matt Schaub each and every day and learn as much as I can from him. Just being around him, to see how he works and try to pick up on anything at all that he does (will help). I’m really looking forward to that, and being around a lot of the other veterans too.”
In that interview, McGloin showed that above all else he is a professional and will do what it takes to help the team. If that means sitting behind and learning from a veteran of Schaub’s caliber, he will do it. Rather than having a temper tantrum because he isn’t being given the keys to the car and demanding to be released or traded, McGloin showed his class and poise. He showed that he fits McKenzie’s image of this team’s identity — he puts the team first.
The biggest difference between the two young quarterbacks is that McGloin acknowledges he had a rough 2013 and still has some things he must learn to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He acknowledges that spending a season backing up a veteran like Schaub — somebody who’s had a tremendous amount of success in the league, has weathered the ups and down, and has a vast, rich mine of experience he can tap into — will end up making him a better quarterback. McGloin acknowledges that he had some successes and failures in 2013 and that he has much to learn yet. Pryor, though, with the reiteration of his demand to be traded, made it crystal clear that he thinks he’s good to go as is, that he doesn’t have a thing to learn and that he can and should be a starting quarterback in the league right now. And if he can’t start for the Raiders, he wants to go elsewhere.
You want your starting quarterback to have swagger and be confident. But you also want them to be humble enough to know that they don’t know everything, that they can always find something to improve upon, will always try to get better and will always put the team ahead of their own wants and desires. That’s what you want in a leader. McGloin showed everybody why he fits in with GM Reggie McKenzie‘s vision for the team and Pyror doesn’t. Stats aside, the difference between the two players couldn’t be any more clear.