Sometimes in life a fresh start is needed. For whatever reason, things did not work out as planned and starting over just seems logical.
Matt Schaub’s career is such a case. He had been a solid quarterback for the Houston Texans but last season he flamed out. He became known as Mr. Pick Six. The fans turned on him and there was no way the team could start the season with him as the starter.
Enter the Oakland Raiders. They had a glaring need at quarterback and the trading price was minimal, a six round pick.
The question is can Schaub salvage his career? Can he be a leader for the Raiders offense?
Many pundits would say no. They would throw Schaub and his career to the scrap heap. However, it would appear Schaub and the Raiders need each other, and when two parties need each other they tend to get the best out of one another.
Here are five reasons Schaub will resurrect his career with the Raiders:
1) Texans had a predictable offense
Gary Kubiak is a good offensive coordinator but last season that was not the case. Every team has tendencies; the Texans tendencies became bad habits. Defenses sat on their plays like a batter waiting for a pitcher to tip his pitches. When a defense knows exactly what is coming the quarterback can look incompetent. After throwing a game changing pick six against the Seattle Seahawks, Kubiak admitted that the play calling was bad and Schaub could not audible out of it. According to NBCsports.com Kubiak said, “No, once we called it, started the motion, it was game on. So we just had a very, very poor play like I told you.”
2) Arian Foster had a down year
Foster was limited to just eight games and had only 542 yards rushing. His one touchdown was rushing was a career low.
Foster is the engine that makes the Texans offense go. If he has a bad game, normally the offense does as well. The passing game was based off of play action passing and with Foster missing half of the season, the threat was not there.
Ben Tate stepped up and had decent numbers but he was not the same weapon Foster has become. He is not the same receiving threat as Foster either. Although Foster missed half the season he still had more receiving yards than Tate, 183 to 140.
3) Last season was an anomaly
Prior to last season, Schaub had five consecutive seasons of a 90 or above quarterback rating. If he was healthy, you could plug him in for 4,000 yards and 20 plus touchdowns. It is easy to forget that prior to Schaub, the Texans had never had a winning season. He brought stability to quarterback position for a franchise that had never had that.
McKenzie is setting Schaub up to capitalize on whatever he has left in his tank. He has spent money wisely and has brought in a few veterans to try and change the culture of the team.
With a top five pick, the Raiders appear poised to take a step in a forward direction. McKenzie will have his choice in what direction to go. The team will have their choice between offensive tackle Greg Robinson, wide receiver Sammy Watkins or they team could trade back and stockpile picks.
Either way, the team Schaub walks into will be vastly improved from last year’s squad.
Kurt Warner with the Arizona Cardinals, Vinny Testaverde with the New York Jets, Rich Gannon with the Oakland Raiders, and Jeff Garcia with the Philadelphia Eagles all revived their careers when everyone thought they were done.
Schaub had one forgettable season. With the Raiders he will not be asked to perform like a franchise quarterback. He will just need to manage the game and not turn the ball over. As bad as last season was he only threw 12 picks but they all seemed to be at crucial points of the game. If he can fix that, the Raiders should be on their way to respectability.
Photo Courtesy Ben Margot/ Associated Press