Dennis Allen not ready to name starting QB

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
5:16
PM ET
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen would not commit Monday to who his starting quarterback would be this coming weekend against the Tennessee Titans -- Terrelle Pryor, who has a sprained right knee and missed Sunday’s win at Houston, or former fourth-stringer Matt McGloin, who passed for three touchdowns in the Raiders’ 28-23 victory against the Texans.

Allen did say, though, that much depended upon Pryor’s health, though he had yet to speak with Pryor by the time of Allen’s weekly news conference. Pryor did not make the trip to Houston as he was ruled out of the game on Saturday.

“I’m not sure exactly where he (Pryor is) yet physically,” Allen said, “but I will say this, I will say that obviously with Matt’s performance, he’s certainly earned the right to be in the discussion. That’s for sure.”

[+] EnlargeTerrelle Pryor
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsRaiders QB Terrelle Pryor has thrown eight interceptions since his last TD, against the Chiefs.
The undersized McGloin, the undrafted rookie free agent who entered the summer as a “camp arm” after walking on at Penn State and having a solid senior season, had a passer rating of 105.9 in completing 18 of 32 passes for 197 yards and the three TDs -- his first pass as an NFL starter went for a 5-yard score -- without an interception.

There were also at least five drops by receivers who seemed to have trouble adjusting to the velocity on his ball, and a long pass to Andre Holmes was ruled out of bounds, though it appeared he got a foot and elbow in.

And McGloin was helped early by short fields as the defense set him up twice at the Texans’ 16-yard line. Still, the offense did have fits and starts in converting just two of 15 third-down opportunities after converting its first three.

“There is always more to prove and more to do,” McGloin said after the game. “I think I got off to a good start, but we will see.”

McGloin also said he and Pryor have a “healthy relationship” and that “this is his team.”

Pryor was a revelation earlier in the season, but hit a literal and figurative wall at Kansas City on Oct. 13. He has thrown eight interceptions since his last TD, against the Chiefs. Pryor, who had a franchise-record 93-yard touchdown run against the Pittsburgh Steelers on the first play of the game on Oct. 27, sprained his knee against the Philadelphia Eagles a week later.

He tried to play through it at the New York Giants a week later, but was ineffective.

“When I figure out and get an opportunity to sit down and talk with Terrelle and figure out exactly where he is physically,” Allen said, “then I’ll have all the information I’ll need to make the decision on who will start this Sunday.

“Here’s what I’ve got to do: I’ve got to make the decision that’s best for this football team, and gives us the best opportunity to win. That’s really what we look at.”

And yes, Allen is cognizant of the locker room vibe.

“Believe it or not, they don’t always agree with whatever decisions I make, in that locker room,” he said. “They weren’t real excited about going out in pads last week, but that’s what my job is. That’s what I get paid to do.

“I think you’ve seen where the guys have rallied behind Terrelle Pryor when he’s been the starting quarterback and played really well with him in there. And now, obviously, you saw yesterday how our guys responded when Matt McGloin’s in there. So, I really don’t see that as being an issue.”

Paul Gutierrez

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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