Very early on the Oakland Raiders have stated that they are firmly committed to quarterback Matt Schaub as their starter for the 2014 season despite having drafted QB Derek Carr in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. As Raider Nation is well aware, Jim Trotter reported that head coach Dennis Allen stated that Schaub would be the starter and that the only way that Carr would be tapped to start over Schaub is if something catastrophic occurred. If any of you have been following the NFL, then you know that Schaub’s 2013 season with the Houston Texans could have been described as catastrophic as he was benched in favor of QB Case Keenum.
Albert Breer recently reported that it’s an internal belief that Carr will oust Schaub as the Raiders’ starting QB. Organized Team Activities has seen a rookie QB who has exhibited talent and intelligence leading the club to think about turning to Carr sooner than initially expected. Carr has already convinced the Raiders that a red-shirt season won’t be necessary. So despite the fact that Allen has been quoted as saying that he feels that Schaub is “on par with the quarterbacks in this division” it would seem the tide is already starting to turn; much earlier than any of us thought that it would.
So according to Allen, Schaub is on par with the likes of Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers, the number one and number two ranked QBs in Gregg Rosenthal’s 2013 Quarterback Index. Schaub was ranked 31st behind his eventual replacement Keenum and also behind current Raiders backup QB Matt McGloin. I like to see Raider Nation being positive about Schaub bouncing back this year and having a stellar season for the Raiders, but I’m not sure that I can put all my skepticism aside just yet. It’s early to do so. I don’t necessarily fully agree with these very early reports that Carr will push Schaub for the starting job either. I think that there are clear reasons that he won’t beat the veteran.
Demonstrating efficiency and intelligence under center at this point in the off-season is quite different from being under center during the regular season and staring down an NFL veteran who is coming across the line to sack you. It’s too soon to really see how rookie QBs will function in an NFL offense. Hearing people say that Carr will most definitely fare well just takes me back to last preseason when the common thought was that Tyler Wilson would easily be number three on the depth chart. Wilson came to the Raiders out of University of Arkansas and had shown a lot of promise during his college career, but once he got to the NFL level, it just seemed like the game was moving too quickly for him. Even during the preseason games, Wilson just looked like he was drowning.
This is why Carr should definitely take as much time to learn as he can. That’s not to say that him sitting on the bench to learn will give the Raiders an Aaron Rodgers who was able to learn behind Brett Favre, but that extra time to observe a veteran to see how he goes through his progressions would definitely benefit any rookie QB. Though it seems that most of the Raiders organization is starting to realize that Carr could potentially start sooner than had been anticipated, it would be much wiser for the rookie to take advantage of the veterans that general manager Reggie McKenzie has been spending the bulk of the off-season signing to the roster.
It’s interesting to see the speculation on who the starting QB will be already shifting to the rookie over the veteran. Of course, this early in the game, it’s definitely hard to even tell what is real and what is being said just to drum up drama in camp. It’s definitely one of those times of the year where it’s a struggle to find things to talk about and most of the things being heard out of OTAs can’t be taken 100% seriously. It’s the time of year where we all sigh and say, fine, we just have to wait to see what will happen.