Marc Wilson, the Oakland Raiders' No. 1 draft choice, has played only 2 1/2 minutes in his rookie season. But the quarterback from Brigham Young is ready if Jim Plunkett goes down Sunday in Super Bowl 15.
Showing a flair for show business and the Raiders' basic offensive philosophy in this week of pregame hype, Wilson answered without hesitation when asked about his play-calling if he had to replace Plunkett against the Philadelphia Eagles: "A bomb on the first play."
Wilson, who has completed three of five passes in his NFL career, at first insisted that he was not fantasizing about such an opportunity this week, but then added, "I will admit that a friend of mine in Utah had a dream before the Raiders' victory over San Diego that the Raiders were losing by 7-3 in the second quarter, when Plunkett was hurt. I came in the game and we won, 17-10. That's the only time I thought about something like that."
Wilson would not wish Plunkett bad luck but the threat to throw a bomb if such a chance occurs is a real one. Wilson said he has been encouraged by Al Davis, the team's managing general partner, to do just that if he gets the urge.
As Wilson told it: "Al will pull you aside and tell you (that) you need to do a little more this or a little more that. I was in a minicamp and he noticed that I called a safety-blitz audible. I dropped back quick and got rid of the ball.
"He told me, 'Once you recognize the blitz coming and call the audible, there is no need to hurry or release faster to get rid of the ball.
"He also told me, 'If you have 80 yards to go or are on the other team's 20-yard line, no matter what down it is -- second and three, or whatever -- if you think you can score on a certain pass, call an audible and go for it, regardless of the situation or where you are on the field.'"
This was Wilson's on-the-job training in the Raiders' basic philosophy about the big play, a strategy made famous in Oakland by Daryle Lamonica, used later by Ken Stabler, and adopted by Plunkett.
Wilson directed Brigham Young to an 11-0 record in 1979 and led the nation with 29 touchdown passes. His future was not brightened by the Raiders' acquisition of Dan Pastorini from the Oilers for Stabler, but Pastorini went out with a broken leg and there is talk he may not be back.
The Raiders have fined defensive lineman John Matuszak $1,000 for missing curfew this week.