Matt McGloin aiming to learn from mistakes

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Two mistakes, really, stand out when it comes to Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt McGloin’s play last week at the Dallas Cowboys.

There was the fumbled snap inside the Raiders 5-yard line that was recovered by the Cowboys and, one play later, Dallas converted into its first touchdown late in the first quarter to tie the game, 7-7.

Then there was McGloin’s ill-fated decision to throw a jump ball to the 5-foot-9 Jacoby Ford in the end zone that, had it been completed, would have tied the game at 28-28, with the extra point, midway through the fourth quarter. Instead it was intercepted by the 6-foot Brandon Carr, and the Cowboys went on to win, 31-24.

And as the Raiders prepare for the New York Jets, one of McGloin’s purported greatest strengths in his nascent NFL career is to learn from his mistakes.

“He’s been pretty good, as far as getting the ball out with timing, throwing the ball accurately,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “We’ve been able to get some explosive passes down the field, so I just really want to see him continue.

“He’s still a young player. Unfortunately for us, both the quarterbacks that we’ve played the majority of the season with are really relatively young at the position. You want to see those guys continue to grow.”

Truly, the only way McGloin and Terrelle Pryor can grow is by learning from their mistakes, right?

“I think so,” McGloin said. “I think any time you watch film or you watch your last game, you pick up on things that you can’t believe happened. Last week, the fumbled snap, I’ve been snapping with that guy [Stefen Wisniewski] since college. Things like that happen that shouldn’t have happened.”

Then what about the end zone pick?

“Another bad, bad mistake by me,” McGloin said. “It’s stuff like that that you can’t believe happened. But at the same time you learn from it and you gain experience from it. You keep improving and hope the next time those plays come around, you don’t make the same mistake twice.”

Because while the fumbled snap could be seen as a physical mistake, the throw to Ford was a mental miscue.

“It was just a bad decision by me.” McGloin said. “The matchup wasn’t great. Obviously, Jacoby isn’t the biggest guy in the world for a jump ball. Not taking anything away, he’s a great player for us. That just wasn’t a good decision by me. I have to make a better decision there.”

You could forgive McGloin for forcing the action. After all, he is an undrafted rookie who entered training camp as a fourth-stringer, behind Tyler Wilson, Pryor and Matt Flynn and is still trying to prove himself.

But while McGloin does pride himself on correcting his mistakes quickly, the key is employing said solutions on the field.

“You have to, especially at the quarterback position,” he said. “You have to learn from your mistakes and move on because everyone’s expecting you not to make the same mistake twice. If you do, you’re not going to be in a starting position for long.”

Just ask Flynn … or even Pryor.