ALAMEDA – Connor Cook hasn’t had the opportunity to play in a regular season NFL game. The Raiders rookie quarterback has been inactive each game, with starter Derek Carr taking most every snap and Matt McGloin at the ready as his backup.
Carr’s broken fibula has adjusted the hierarchy heading into Sunday's game in Denver. McGloin is the starter, and Cook is now one play away from coming into a game.
That adjustment won’t require a change in game prep.
“You have to study. You have to put in the hours,” Cook said on Tuesday. “Once it’s your time, it’s your time. You can’t slack off. You can’t decide to not watch film this week and then something happens and you’re in the fight. You have to prepare like you’re the guy no matter if you’re the No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3.”
Cook typically runs the scout team, a responsibility he could retain unless the Raiders bring in a practice-squad quarterback. The rookie fourth-round pick has tried to take advantage of the few practice reps he has gotten to grow as a quarterback.
The Michigan State alum believes he is a better player than he was this summer.
“I think the chemistry with receivers and the timing of the routes, all that stuff (has improved),” Cook said. “I’m confident in my knowledge of the offense after being in it the whole year and taking reps in practice.”
McGloin will take the vast majority of practice reps as they try to get him as comfortable as possible. Count Cook among the Raiders with great confidence in McGloin after working with him all year.
“He’s a competitor, a grinder,” Cook said. “He’s tough and will go out there and put his best foot forward. We’re all backing him. We all believe in him. He believes in himself. We know he can get the job done.
“…Matt is a student of the game. He puts in the hours. He shows up early and stays late and treats his body well. Now that he does have an opportunity, he knows that he’s ready.”
Cook must be ready should something bad happen and he’s called to action.
“I’m just going to continue watching film and cut-ups and situational things the coaches give us,” Cook said. “I will feel a little bit different now that I am active and I will be out there and have the opportunity, if something were to happen, to go out there and contribute.”