Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden has been extremely impressed with quarterback Nathan Peterman so far this preseason — so much so that it caught the football world off guard last month.
On Tuesday, Gruden stood by Peterman and delivered even more praise for the former Buffalo Bills quarterback.
“I’m afraid to bring up Peterman’s name, with media today,” Gruden said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “Look at it yourself. He’s hitting 75 percent of his passes. The ones that are incomplete are dropped. I mean, he runs, he passes, he’s making audibles. He’s getting better and he’s getting some confidence. He’s in the mix. I like him. I know other people that do, too.”
Peterman has gone 40-of-57 for 317 yards and thrown three touchdowns this preseason — with the bulk of his playing time coming in their 22-21 win against the Green Bay Packers last week. He threw for 210 yards on 23 completions and had two touchdowns in that win, completing better than 62 percent of his passes.
It’s understandable why people are skeptical about Peterman — especially when he’s in a tight backup battle with veteran Mike Glennon. Peterman spent his first two seasons in the league in Buffalo, though threw 12 interceptions compared to just three touchdowns in that time.
“This Nate Peterman is growing on me,” Gruden said last month. “He’s athletic. I know he’s got 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 has some experience.
“He was an Opening Day starter for the Buffalo Bills last year. I take that very serious. He’s smart. He’s done a good job. He’s been consistent, and I think he’s starting to get that confidence back. We all need that.”
Peterman knows he can’t control the publicity surrounding Gruden’s praise of him — especially with HBO’s “Hard Knocks” hanging around at camp.
It has, however, proven to Peterman that Gruden is truly on his side — something that’s helped him gain a lot of confidence.
“I think the biggest thing is the belief,” Peterman said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “I think he definitely shows all three of us (quarterbacks) that he believes a lot in us.
“He’s going to be hard on us, absolutely. He’s going to hold us to a high standard. He wants us to complete every ball out there. And we want that of ourselves as well. But at the end of the day, we know that he believes in us and he wants the best for us.”
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