Let’s get this out of the way. Derek Carr is a rookie. He’s raw, unpolished and probably will make lots of mistakes. Still, the Oakland Raiders were right to start him.
Matt Schaub didn’t do enough to earn the right to postpone Carr
Some out there will argue it’s a bad idea, and in some ways it’s easy to see it from their point of view. Carr has not played in a pro style system before. He was a star in a spread off at Fresno State and seemed to struggle at times against more proven programs like USC. However, that is not enough to override the decision because who will Oakland start instead?
Matt Schaub was supposed to be the guy. A former Pro Bowler and 32-year old veteran who knew how to win in the NFL the past few years with HOuston. Many though were afraid that his bottoming out with them was not so much a hiccup season as a sign that his abilities are succumbing to age and injury. Based on his preseason stat line (218 yards, 1 interception, 1 fumble, no TDs and a 51.1 completion percentage) it’s fair to assume the latter is true.
As for fan favorite Matt McGloin. He performed better than any Raiders quarterback in the preseason and should make an excellent long-term backup, but neither he nor Schaub have presented enough argument to override getting Carr on the field as soon as possible. The 2nd round pick has arguably the best arm of his draft class, good mobility and confidence in the huddle. Too long has Oakland gotten by on second tier scrubs and washed up vets. After 12 years out of the playoffs, it’s time to go with the young gun.
At times it will be ugly, but the odds are good that down the road Oakland Raiders fans may see this decision as a turning point of the franchise.