Matt Schaub’s regression as the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans has been well documented. The veteran quarterback who has made a living by being one of the NFL’s more steady passers over the past five years saw the world come crashing down all around him in 2013, throwing far too many interceptions and eventually being replace by unproven Case Keenum.
One season of poor form wasn’t enough to shy the Raiders away from Schaub however as general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen appear to have faith that Schaub can be a consistent starter for the team while second round draft pick Derek Carr is groomed into their future franchise QB.
Allen is so confident in Schaub’s abilities that he is willing to allow his quarterback to call audibles and check plays at the line of scrimmage, something his former coach in Houston did not allow him to do. An issue that led to the butting of heads between Schaub and his former coach in Gary Kubiak is now something that has Schaub excited to play for the Raiders who are giving their offseason acquisition the chance to be in control at quarterback.
“It’s exciting. It’s just like going to a new place and getting a fresh start,” the quarterback told Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group. “To come to an offense where the coach is looking to give you more freedom, and looking to give you more control of things. I had that in some aspects in Houston, but there are things I’m being asked to do here that I didn’t have control of in Houston. I would have loved to, but we just weren’t in control of it.”
The lack of freedom at the line of scrimmage to read and react with audibles seems to be something that Schaub feels was apart of the Texans offensive downfalls and something that he looks forward to proving that he can do at a high level.
“To now be in that position, and being the quarterback, that’s such a great place to be because you can get everyone on the same page,” Schaub said. “You can get into a great play, a better play that you had called… It’s a work in progress but I’m ecstatic to have that situation because it’s something I’ve wanted to try and get to.”
The jury is still out on exactly how good Schaub will be in a new situation, but it is clear that his issues with Kubiak played into the Texans failure of a season in 2013. Allowing Schaub to fall back in love with the quarterback position is a shrewd move by the Raiders, who could be getting a rejuvenated Schaub come 2014 which is the key to their development of Derek Carr in a backup role. Should a motivated Schaub take the freedom he is given and thrive the Raiders could be looking a lot smarter for trading for Schaub than critics initially thought when the move was made. For now, the new Raider seems excited to work with his new staff who are hoping that allowing their new quarterback some freedom will pay promising dividends in 2014.