When the Oakland Raiders made a trade during NFL free agency with the Houston Texans to bring in veteran free agent quarterback Matt Schaub it was expected the move was made to give a potential rookie draft pick time to groom and learn during a “redshirt” first NFL season.
Derek Carr’s selection in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft created some early rumblings that Schaub may be in danger of being beaten out for the starting quarterback job over the Fresno State product who threw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in his final season last year before being the fourth passer taken during the draft. Those rumblings were quickly quieted by veteran NFL insider Jim Trotter who said that it would take something “catastrophic” for Schaub to lose his expected position atop of the depth chart and for the rookie Carr to start in 2014.
It’ll take something “catastrophic” for Raiders rookie QB Derek Carr to start this year. Coach Dennis Allen is firmly committed to Schaub.
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) May 21, 2014
Now after two weeks of OTA’s where Carr has impressed in workouts with his athleticism and strong arm that brought him to the Raiders as their second pick in the first place the rumblings that Schaub had the starting job in the bag have been replaced with reports that there is a chance that Raiders staff has been impressed with their rookie and that stance has already softened.
NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported on NFL Total Access during his “Offseason Notebook” segment that the Raiders have been impressed with Carr’s “talent and intelligence” early on and that there is an internal belief that Carr will push Schaub for the starting job over the course of the Raiders 2014 training camp.
Breer also reported that the Raiders feel more confident in ever in the fact they have three accurate passers in Schaub and Carr along with last year’s rookie performer Matt McGloin while also reconfirming that Schaub will continue to take the starter’s snaps in Oakland’s lead up to the season for the time being.
The reports of Carr performing well and impressing the Raiders staff are not surprising, but it is hard to put much stock in any reports of Schaub being pushed out of the starter’s role just year. After all Carr has yet to take a single NFL snap in preseason and training camp is still in the distance as well, both the biggest hurdles in any player earning a starting job that are even more important for a rookie quarterback who will have to beat out a player the Raiders made a commitment to this offseason in Schaub.
There is precedent already for a change in opinion from the Raiders staff in quarterback choice from last season when Matt Flynn was beat out by Terrelle Pryor for the Week One job, but as fans may remember those decisions were made following preseason performances. Until the Raiders staff sees Carr perform under center at game speed any reports of a potential push from their rookie for the starting quarterback job should be taken lightly.