Jon Gruden has a lot of good qualities and some questionable ones, but the one quality he’s never had in his career is being boring. That’s what makes him such a dynamic coach and what made him a success in the Monday Night Football booth. It’s why, even if he’s been calm and understated for a period of time, you can count on him to keep everyone on their toes by saying something completely bonkers.
Coach Gruden was asked after today’s training camp practice how he felt about the Raiders’ backup quarterback battle, which is between Mike ‘The Human Giraffe’ Glennon and Nathan ‘Literally the Worst Quarterback Ever’ Peterman.
“I like these guys. This Nate Peterman is growing on me,” said Gruden. “He’s athletic. I know he’s had some nightmare performances in the NFL, but when you watch the film you can see why. It’s not all his fault but he’s got some talent, he’s got some athleticism, he’s got some experience. Here’s an opening day starter for the Buffalo Bills last year. I take that very serious. And he’s smart. He’s done a good job, he’s been consistent and I think he’s starting to get his confidence back and we all need that.”
No, coach, no. This is the sort of thing that Mark Davis should roll up a newspaper and smack Jon Gruden on the nose for saying. I get that Peterman played for literally the Bills and that he looks the part, like how a successful quarterback should look, in shorts. But Peterman also has a record of 1-3 as a starter and a QB/INT ratio of 3/12. He was aggressively ‘meh’ in college at Pitt, where he was essentially a more boring version of Tyler Palko, and when he got to the pro ranks based entirely on his genetics and through no achievements of his own, he proved how overmatched he was and how his decision-making ability rivals that of the kid who climbed in the gorilla pen with Harambe. Nate Peterman is the sort of musclebound stiff Vince McMahon would try and fail to make a big star in the 1980s.
I get that Jon Gruden likes to stand behind his players and instill confidence, and I remember how he talked up Martavis Bryant before he smoked himself off the face of the planet. And this is completely moot because Mike Glennon could lose a leg to Moby Dick, contract diverticulitis and scurvy and blow off his fingers JPP-style with Independence Day fireworks and still be better than Nathan Peterman, so there’s little worry that Peterman will ever sniff the field during an actual regular season game. But this is exactly the sort of sad-sack player that Jon Gruden would love to turn into something, anything, just to prove he’s still a quarterback guru. Prepare to see Peterman given a lot of time during the second half of preseason games pretty soon. if you ‘pick six’ quarters to watch this preseason, make it the ones he plays in. They won’t be boring.