No matter how well or poorly Oakland Raiders QB Matt Schaub plays in the Preseason, he will not avoid the criticism of the NFL, Sports Pundits, and many in Raider Nation. As a matter of fact, he has much to prove. However, I don’t think he is done. Flash numbers at me all you want, but in the end, all I wanted the 1st string offense of the Raiders to do was drive down the field and score a touchdown. Matt Schaub did just that. He played for the first quarter and into the second (Three series). Enough to get the offense moving down the field. Although he faced a ton of pressure, he was still able to get the offense into the end zone. Still, that’s not ever going to be enough is it?
I’m sure Schaub’s critics out there would say that he threw an interception. A ball that James Jones should have caught 100% of the time careened off his chest into the waiting defenders hands. Yet, nobody is blaming Jones. I am! No, it’s not as exciting as seeing Golden Tate sprint past CB Tarell Brown for a 30+ yard touchdown from Matthew Stafford, but Schaub was never a real lights out kind of QB in the first place. If any of you ever had Schaub as your Fantasy Football QB, you would remember that he usually took at least one quarter of play to get a feel for things. Usually, he made everything up in the 3rd and 4th quarter’s of a football game.
If anyone has been reading some of the things I wrote in February, March, and April, you would know how much I supported the Oakland Raiders decision to pursue Derek Carr as a future QB for the team. He may even become the face of the franchise. He’s definitely exciting to watch, isn’t he? So was Terrelle Pryor last year, and we all know how that turned out. The thing that Raider Nation should be worried about the most is the defensive secondary. I don’t hear anybody complaining about Tarell Brown’s performance. It was pitiful. Zone coverage or Man on Man, how do you let Golden Tate get by you?
Schaub was never going to be the end all, be all for the Oakland Raiders, but he is a bridge between the gap of time that Derek Carr needs to fill before he can lead this team. Sure, Carr looked good with the first team and second team offenses as they were going against the second and third team defenses of the Detroit Lions. However, this was not a game that actually mattered to the Lions. What mattered most was a win for the Raiders. That win came by way of Matt McGloin.
Oh darn, the Raiders have three serviceable and usable QB’s this year. Yet, we all need to remember that Schaub is the starter. It is not good for a team to have a QB carousel. This is something the Raiders had last year on the way to a 4-12 season. For now, the leadership and proper QB is in place to begin the season. Should the season develop into a catastrophe behind Schaub, then it would be time to remove him and begin with another. Until then, I want to see steady improvement week to week from him, and that’s what I saw on Friday night. Schaub improved with his WR’s and TE’s.
For all those critics out there that want to slam on this article and claim arm strength issues for Schaub, go ahead. Then, take a step back and evaluate numbers, stats, arm strength, etc…, with some of the past QB’s who have graced the Raiders with their presence. Remember Jim Plunkett and Rich Gannon? I do. People said they were washed up too.
No, Schaub is not the second coming of any other QB the Raiders have ever had, and comparing him to the likes of those others is a disservice to the Raiders who have come before Schaub. Whether you like it or not, Schaub is the starter. Embrace it and stop being a hater. Calm down and let’s see how the first couple of regular season games go. If Schaub and the Raiders aren’t winning games by then, perhaps it will be time for a change. However, the truth is that the Raiders don’t have a QB issue anymore, they have a CB issue.