ALAMEDA – Raiders head coach Dennis Allen wasn’t ready to name a starting quarterback early Monday afternoon. He still hasn’t decided who will play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, and he needs more information before making the final call.
Matt McGloin is the popular choice, the hot hand and the likely selection to start against the Titans after throwing for 197 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in Sunday’s 28-23 victory over Houston.
Allen said he still needs to check in with Terrelle Pryor, who has started eight games but missed Sunday’s game with a right MCL sprain. Allen wants to gauge Pryor’s health and his ability to practice and play.
It’s not the only factor. Matt McGloin complicated things by playing extremely well.
“I will say this: with Matt’s performance, he’s earned the right to be in the discussion,” Allen said.
Allen wouldn’t commit either way.
When asked if Pryor would start if healthy, Allen ducked and dodged. When asked if McGloin could jump ahead after one game, Allen sidestepped well.
“We’re going to take all the factors involved, alright, and measure out what those factors are,” Allen said. “Then I’ll make a decision on who will start on Sunday.”
The locker room seems to favor McGloin right now, but that could be a knee-jerk reaction following a much-needed win.
It could also stem from Pryor’s recent struggles, including eight straight interceptions since his last touchdown pass. But Pryor has done good things this season, and clearly kept the Raiders competitive early on.
Allen understands that players play favorites, but he doesn’t believe his decision will be divisive.
“I have to make the best decision for the football team based upon who gives us the best chance to win,” Allen said. “I’m always conscious of where the locker room is but, believe it or not, they don’t always agree with the decisions I make. That’s what my job is. That’s what I get paid to do.”
“I think you’ve seen where guys have rallied behind Terrelle Pryor as the starting quarterback and played well with him in there. Then, (Sunday), you saw how our guys responded with Matt McGloin in there. I really don’t see that as being an issue.”