Quarterback Matt Schaub has shown his new teammates and coaches in Oakland that he may be on the verge of a big rebound in 2014. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Terrelle Pryor, Matt Flynn and Carson Palmer couldn’t do it. Before them came a long list of other quarterbacks trying to solidify that position in Oakland, including Jason Boller, Kyle Boller, Bruce Gradkowski, JaMarcus Russell, Andrew Walter, Josh McCown, Aaron Brooks, Kerry Collins and Rick Mirer. And that’s not even the complete cast.
So with the Raiders’ recent history of failed quarterbacks, is there any reason to believe that Matt Schaub – run out of Houston last year after the worst season of his career – can miraculously turn his career around with the Raiders in 2014?
Charles Woodson, the Raiders’ most senior player and a future Hall of Famer, is one who believes Schaub can finally bring stability and production.
Woodson, who’s entering his 17th season in the NFL, has been lining up against Schaub in practice ever since the Raiders traded for Schaub this offseason. After organized team activities (OTAs) and the recent minicamp, Woodson, 37, believes Schaub will be good again in 2014 after a dreadful 2013.
“I think we’re counting on it,” Woodson said Monday in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I think every man on the team is counting on him being the guy. You know, you bring him over from Houston, and it’s been duly noted about the struggles that he had last year. But you can’t discount the year that he had before last year, so we’re looking at last year as being an anomaly and that not being the true Matt Schaub.
“And the one thing I notice about him is he’s always talking to (defensive coordinator) Jason Tarver after practice. So this is a guy that understands how to get better, knows what to look at, and in order to make himself better he’s talking to the right people to help him get better. So we expect big things of him.”
It figures, too, that Tarver won’t be shy about putting a lot of pressure on Schaub during practices this summer to test his mettle. The Raiders, with a revamped defensive line and pass-rushing linebackers such as Khalil Mack and Sio Moore, figure to be able to put plenty of heat on opposing quarterbacks to get Schaub tuned up early for the regular season.
As Woodson mentioned, Schaub’s numbers just one season before his 2013 meltdown were very good: 4,008 yards passing, 22 TD passes vs. 12 interceptions and a 90.7 quarterback rating while leading the Texans to a 12-4 record.
Ever since acquiring Schaub for a sixth-round draft choice, the Raiders have been pumping up the veteran QB as the man to lead them to improvement in 2014 – though many outside the organization are skeptical.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie agrees with Woodson and says he totally believes Schaub can rebound.
“A veteran can chalk it up as a bad year and shake it off,” McKenzie told Bay Area reporters after trading for Schaub. “He’s ready to bounce back.”