In a football world in which Colin Kaepernick can’t find a job, the latest quarterback hiring makes perfect sense. The Oakland Raiders are signing Nathan Peterman to their practice squad, according to multiple reports Wednesday afternoon.
That’s the same Nathan Peterman who passed for three touchdowns and 12 interceptions in eight appearances over two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. He was the designated starter when the season opened but was replaced by rookie Josh Allen after throwing two interceptions and passing for only 24 yards against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1.
Raiders backup quarterback A.J. McCarron’s wife gave birth to the couple’s second son yesterday, according to Bay Area News Group reporter Matt Schneiderman.
Gruden, according to Bills beat writer Ryan Talbot of New York Upstate, had been “very high” on Peterman, who had planned to work out for the team Wednesday in Oakland. Lest you think that description was some kind of snark, Gruden has been very high on Peterman before. Back before the 2017 draft, when he was working for ESPN and doing his “QB Camp” thing, Gruden took a look at Peterman and liked him better than Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky, all of whom have gone on to some acclaim in the NFL.
“Peterman is ready to walk in and be a contributor from day one,” he wrote in April of that year (via CBSSports.com). “He just looks like a pro quarterback — coming out of the huddle, running an offense with different formations, shifting, motioning, different patterns that other colleges don’t run. Peterman will recognize route combinations and associate formations. ... Most importantly, he will be able to get in a huddle from day one and look at 10 grown men and tell them where to go and what to do and handle a versatile snap count.”
In a pre-draft conference call, he described Peterman, who played college ball at Pittsburgh, as “sharp” and “in the channel of success.”
“I think he’s going to be a real good pro quarterback. I think any team in the league, you can cater your offense for Peterman,” he said (via Pro Football Talk). “He’s a lot more athletic than people think. And he can handle an extensive amount of football, so the teams that are really ambitious with deep, thick playbooks, those are the teams that Peterman would fit in with. But I hope he gets with one of those guys that can really stretch him and challenge him.”
Well, Gruden wouldn’t be the first one to miss with his draft assessments. Maybe bringing in Peterman now will allow Gruden to mold him into his vision. Gruden and starter Derek Carr have been an awkward fit, to put it mildly. But at least Gruden has hung in there with Carr, rather than shipping him off, a la Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack. In October, he fended off reports that Carr was on his way out. “You don’t know who’s going to call you or what they’re going to say. You really don’t. That goes in all phases of life. But I don’t see us making any more trades. But I’ll never say never again to anybody.”
And Carr offered his side on Twitter: “I’m a Raider. It’s not a ‘popular’ thing to be a Raider right now, but I am and I love it. I love the struggle of trying to fight back for our city when not a lot of people believe in us. People can try all they want to tear us apart, but it’s not happening to the real ones.”
Earlier this week, Gruden sounded almost chipper about Carr, who has been sacked 47 times (third only to Watson and Dak Prescott). “I think he’s hanging in there,” Gruden told reporters. “I’m sure he’s sore. He knows he’s carrying us right now on offense. That’s what a franchise quarterback is paid to do. We’re trying to do everything we can to support him. . . . He’s really had us in position to win games.”
Meanwhile, Peterman, who was cut by the Bills on Nov. 12 and visited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this week, now has a new job. And Kaepernick, who took the Bay Area’s other NFL team to a Super Bowl, still can’t get a tryout.
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