ALAMEDA — Matt McGloin has made a career out of exceeding other people's expectations.
The player who had no scholarship offers coming out of high school walked on at Penn State and became the school's career leader in touchdown passes.
The player who sent a letter and video to NFL teams pleading for a chance after getting passed over for the combine went undrafted before finally getting a chance as a camp arm with the Oakland Raiders.
The player who entered training camp as a fourth-stringer managed to beat out fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson for a roster spot and moved up to second string when Matt Flynn was released last month.
As surprising as all of those accomplishments may have been, it was his performance in his first NFL start last week in Houston that really opened up eyes. McGloin became the fourth quarterback since the 1970 NFL merger to throw three touchdown passes and no interceptions in his first career start in place of the injured Terrelle Pryor to earn himself a longer-term look as the starter in Oakland.
“I never took a backseat to anybody,” McGloin said. “I didn't put myself in a position that I'm buried behind all these guys. I really don't look at who is ahead of me on the depth chart or who's behind me on the depth chart. Each day is a better way to get better, improve as a leader, improve as a person.”
McGloin will make his second start on Sunday against Tennessee (4-6) as Pryor still is dealing with a right knee injury and the Raiders (4-6) want to see if he can repeat that performance.
“This is a production business,” coach Dennis Allen said. “If you go out and you perform and you make plays, you get opportunities to continue to go out and perform and make plays. Matt did that last week. He's going to get another opportunity this week. We'll see how it goes.”