The Oakland Raiders went out and added a number of veterans to the squad in an attempt to help the team win in the now while still building for the future. But in doing so, general manager Reggie McKenzie signed a number of players that people around the league believe are washed up. Guys who were once considered to be stars but who now are thought of as has-beens.
This is the final piece in a series of pieces looking at these supposedly washed up players and seeing how their fall from grace happened. We’ve already talked about running back Maurice Jones Drew, offensive tackle Donald Penn and defensive end LaMarr Woodley. Today we take on quarterback Matt Schaub.
In 2011, Schaub led the Houston Texans to their first ever playoff berth then took them back to the playoffs in 2012 when he also earned his second Pro Bowl honor. Heading into the 2013 season, the Texans were seen as the favorite by many to make it to the Super Bowl. Schaub was coming off one of his best seasons as a professional and the defense, which had previously held the team back, was much improved.
Then 2013 happened.
Schaub started the year off fairly well leading the team to back to back come back victories in the first two weeks of the season. Then the pick sixes came in four straight games, causing the fans to turn on Schaub and his coaches to bench him.
So what happened between 2012 and 2013 to cause Shaub to fall off so significantly? No one is truly sure. There have been rumors of mystery injuries that Schaub was fighting through but nothing has ever been confirmed. Many believe it was all mental and that Schaub could not handle the pressure so he just folded. Some, although much fewer, believe Schaub was simply pulled too early and had he been able to complete the season, it would have been a bad year but not an epic disaster like it was.
But when it comes down to it, no one truly knows what happened to Schaub in 2013. Schaub himself may not even fully understand why his year went down the drain so quickly. And for that reason, bringing him in to man the most important position on the team was clearly a huge risk for the Raiders. Schaub could just as easily get worse and prove he is done in the league as he could have a resurgence. The fact that his fall came so quickly and without warning makes his case a truly unique one. There were no known injury issues and there was no drama or rumors of not working hard enough. The Raiders are hoping that 2013 was a fluke that simply got out of control before Schaub had the opportunity to correct things. If so, they may have gotten away with a huge steal trading only a 6th round pick for him.