A string of pathetic performances that seemingly have proven quarterback Nathan Peterman to be unworthy of NFL unemployment has created a cottage industry regarding his comings and goings and potential pro football platforms. Put simply, we care about Peterman’s possible next stop because we can’t comprehend the fact that he’s still getting opportunities.
Peterman’s latest opportunity is intriguing for another reason. Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who reportedly will give Peterman a workout, repeatedly raved about Peterman before the 2017 draft, calling him the most pro-ready quarterback of a group that included Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, and Mitchell Trubisky.
“Peterman is ready to walk in and be a contributor from day one,” Gruden wrote in April 2017, 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.”
Gruden also gushed about Peterman during a pre-draft conference call.
“He is sharp,” Gruden said of Peterman. “He is in the channel, I think, 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’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.”
So maybe Gruden looks at Peterman’s professional experiences to date and says, “He’s yet to be with one of those guys that can really stretch and challenge him. Fortunately, I’m one of those guys.”
At a time when Gruden’s coaching skills are being criticized almost as much as his personnel-evaluation skills always have been, Peterman provides an opportunity to prove that Gruden can spot and develop young talent. Which could help Peterman get a spot on the roster heading into the offseason program. And which could give him a leg up when it comes to possibly being the backup to Derek Carr, along with a vague chance that maybe Peterman at some point, if all goes well, will get a chance to supplant the current starter.