Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub (8) throws during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
The first quarter of the 2014 Oakland Raiders season was one that most would want to forget and will likely easily be able to as the preseason debut for the Raiders first string unit lacked any memorable plays to get fans and analysts excited for the season in Oakland. That includes veteran acquisition Matt Schaub, who failed to provide the offensive fireworks that he was hoping to provide in his ongoing mission to prove his doubters wrong after falling out of favor in Houston.
Schaub never drove the offense into Vikings territory in each of his drives, going just 3/7 passing for 21 yards and three straight punts for Marquette King during his debut. Although Schaub avoided the turnovers that plagued him last season, the veteran faced the press following the game and admitted that his debut in preseason was not what he wanted to start off his career in Oakland with.
“We’re not on the practice field anymore. The lights are on. We need to go out and play,” Schaub said during his postgame presser in Minnesota. “We’re facing someone else. It was the first opportunity for us to form our identity for the season. We went out and we didn’t play near to expectations or our standard and we need to go back and figure out how to play that way next week.”
Despite the sub-optimal debut performance of the offense, Schaub remained optimistic that what the Raiders have been doing during their training camp sessions in Napa will translate into success. Hopefully in time for Week One of the regular season.
“It’s a starting point and obviously there’s things we definitely want to clean up and get better at and we’re going to go do that,” Schaub said. “What we did tonight, hurting ourselves, doesn’t diminish what we’ve done and put into training camp so far. We’re just going to get back and go back to work.”
It should be noted that none of the offensive units or quarterbacks on both the Raiders or Vikings showed consistent success during their reps on Friday night. Save for Matt Cassel, who scored the opening touchdown and Matt McGloin during the fourth quarter, neither team was moving the ball overly well during their preseason debut. Schaub knows that will have to change if confidence is to be built during August, something that could be a key to the Raiders getting on the right foot come September.
Quotes courtesy of the Raiders official website.