Column: McGloin Has Proven He’s NFL Worthy

Story posted November 22, 2013 in Sports, CommRadio by Andy Madore

Matt McGloin made his first career NFL start for the Oakland Raiders last Sunday, throwing for 197 yards and three touchdowns, all while leading his team to a 28-23 victory over the Houston Texans.

If you’re anything like me, you are having a hard time understanding what exactly you just read. But I swear it’s true. The Matt McGloin that drove many a Nittany Lion fan crazy while he was at Penn State, is the same Matt McGloin that now has a 1-0 record as a NFL starter.

Around this time last year, despite the success of the Nittany Lions and the then senior quarterback, I was the biggest McGloin critic and doubter of them all. And there were a lot of them out there.

In my eyes, the only reason McGloin was even a starter his senior year was because Penn State’s quarterback depth was extremely poor and he was the best, “poor” option. I always thought that McGloin’s saving grace was that current Nittany Lion quarterback Christian Hackenberg was not born one year sooner.

His 3,271 passing yards to go along with his 24 touchdown passes did not impress me, and I was positive that he was nothing more than a product of Bill O’Brien’s offensive system. McGloin’s elongated throwing motion drove me crazy, and I complained that his feet were too heavy inside the pocket.

I was harsh on how I critiqued him, but I thought I was fair.

When asked if I thought McGloin would be drafted in the late rounds of the NFL Draft, I laughed and said something along the linesof McGloin had no business wearing a NFL uniform. And when he was eventually signed as an undrafted rookie free-agent, I was certain he would get cut before the end of training camp.

All the way up until Oakland held on to beat Houston last Sunday afternoon; I thought Matt McGloin was somehow going to flop.

I was wrong.

McGloin proved his doubters wrong once again, and I will be the first one to admit it. He looked poised and in total control, and in all honesty, he looked very comfortable in a NFL uniform.

There was no great offensive game plan to thank for McGloin’s success, just talent and a strong knowledge of the game of football. He did what he had to do to win the game, and that is what quarterbacking is all about.

I underestimated the size of the chip on McGloin’s shoulder that comes with being a walk-on and an undrafted rookie free-agent. I did not account for his arrogance and competitiveness that all the successful quarterbacks have. I ignored how badly this guy wants to be a winner, and that was a huge mistake on my part.

The sad thing is, outside the realm of State College, and perhaps now Oakland, not too many people know about the rookie quarterback from Penn State. People around the country are enamored by the new, big names like Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson, and will be captivated by Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater in the upcoming draft. Don’t get me wrong, these players deserve much recognition due to their abilities. However, the American football fan does not seem to care about the underdog story much anymore.

McGloin is nothing more than an undrafted aside.

My father, who is one of the most knowledgeable football people I know, asked what I was writing my article on this week. When I said Matt McGloin, he asked: “Is that another one of those Penn State linebackers?”

And so goes the story of Matt McGloin.

He isn’t the flashiest or even the most talented, but do not underestimate the will of a man who is determined to prove everybody wrong.

Do I think Matt McGloin will turn into a great quarterback in the NFL? No. But he has definitely proved he deserves a shot. This underdog story may be one worth paying attention to as his career progresses.

Andy Madore is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email andymadore19@gmail.com.

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)