Fans have heard this story before. The Oakland Raiders trade a late draft pick for a starting quarterback. Is this Matt Flynn all over again?
Matt Schaub history with Houston Texans are the Raiders’ gamble
Bad memories still linger for Oakland fans regarding the Flynn blunder. A year ago the team shipped a fifth round pick to Seattle for the former backup who played well in spots for Green Bay. Injuries and inconsistency marked his time there and just six months later he was cut and back with the Packers. Ironically he helped them reach the playoffs while the Raiders were left without a draft pick or a starting quarterback. Fast forward to 2014 and the same script is playing out. Oakland has shipped a sixth round pick to the Houston Texans for the rights to quarterback Matt Schaub. Even the first name is the same. After the horrific season he endured a year ago in which he threw 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions including a rash of pick-sixes it’s fair to wonder exactly what the Raiders are thinking. The answer is simple. The team is banking on the 32-year old rebounding from that campaign and re-discovering the form that made him a two-time Pro Bowler with the Texans. After all, Schaub has thrown for over 4,000 yards three times in his career. Proof is there that he can elevate his game enough to help his team win.
Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen trying to win in 2014
The question at hand is whether the Oakland Raiders have the coaches and the talent to help him. Schaub wasn’t exactly working with little in Houston. He had some outstanding players on offense and a proven head coach in Gary Kubiak yet he still crashed and burned. Does GM Reggie McKenzie trust the defensive-minded Dennis Allen can get the most out of Schaub? The real source of the gamble seems to rest on the knowledge of offensive-coordinator Greg Olson. In many ways Schaub represents his preferred type of quarterback: big and mobile with a decent arm who can see the field. Olson has had success in the past with players like Marc Bulger and Josh Freeman but the key to this move is in the clear message it sends. By betting on a veteran quarterback and not showing the tell of taking a promising rookie in the first round, it’s obvious that McKenzie and Allen can’t afford to wait on developing a youngster. Their jobs are on the line after two-straight 4-12 seasons. A veteran gives them the best likelihood of competing in the division and making the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
Whether the Oakland Raiders made the right call on Matt Schaub and didn’t just acquire another Matt Flynn remains to be seen.