One of the more surprising things about Matt Schaub’s time with the Houston Texans is the fact that he was limited in his abilities to make checks at the line of scrimmage. In today’s NFL where offense and the quarterback are king, offensive coordinators are becoming more and more complex with their schemes. A major way of doing so is by putting a lot of the decision making in the hands of the quarterback who can make last minute adjustments based on what the defense is showing.
Schaub, however, was never given that privilege in Houston which is surprising. Schaub has said the same will not be true in Oakland where offensive coordinator Greg plans on putting much more responsibility in the hands of the Raiders new signal caller. But one has to wonder if that is the right move to make.
At first glance, it would appear as though it is a smart move. By allowing the quarterback to make checks at the line of scrimmage, you give the offense the best chance of succeeding based on what the defense is showing. Peyton Manning has made an art out of last second play calls based on his knowledge of NFL defenses. But at the same time, if a quarterback is not good at reading defenses pre-snap, they could buy into attempts by the defense to mislead them and could call the wrong play.
In theory, it is best to call your play when you have as much info as possible which is at the line of scrimmage right before the play is called. But in order for that advantage to be played you need a quarterback who can do it right. What is unknown about Schaub’s time in Houston is whether his coaches did not believe he could read defenses or if they simply had too much confidence in their own play calling and did not want the plays changed.
If it is the former, the Raiders could be giving Schaub just enough rope to hang himself with it. If, however, the latter is true, the Raiders may be opening Schaub up to reach his full potential. Only time will tell.