NAPA – They have their flaws, but a good parent like Dennis Allen loves his gun-slingers the same.
“I love our quarterback room,” the Oakland Raiders head coach told the media Sunday. “I think we have an outstanding quarterback room, all the way from one to four on the depth chart.”
“I go back to the depth on this football team. That’s another area where I think we have quality depth, at the quarterback position.”
The Raiders’ play behind center was underwhelming in 2013, when the three-pronged attack of Terrelle Pryor, Matt Flynn and Matt McGloin produced less touchdowns (17) than interceptions (20) and a 73.9 passer rating. The offense ranked 30th in the NFL in first downs (275), despite placing 19th in rushing first downs (90).
Luckily in the spring a Silver and Black stork arrived, blanket heavy.
In was Matt Schaub via trade with the Houston Texans and Derek Carr through the draft, while McGloin’s poise displayed his rookie season was enough to stick. Former Raider and Bay Area native Trent Edwards was signed to be an extra camp arm, the same role McGloin held last year before he unseated 2013 fourth round pick Tyler Wilson.
All four throwers took the field Sunday in the Raiders’ first practice in pads, and they made Allen proud. With or without a simulated pass rush, most balls were on point and the only interception of the day (by McGloin) was due to a tripped receiver.
“All our quarterbacks were crisp today,” Allen added. “I thought it was a good practice and I think a lot of times when you’re looking at practice, when the quarterbacks play well you walk off the field with a good feeling about how practice went. So, I thought all (four) of those guys did a nice job.”
Questions remain, however.
Schaub, who has started 16 games only three times in his 10-year NFL career, allowed hesitation in his reads to make last season a career-worst, and at 33 isn’t getting any spryer.
Carr operated a spread offense at Fresno State, which is a red flag to most scouts.
McGloin, despite proving he belongs in the pros, seems limited. As does Edwards, who flamed out with the Buffalo Bills as a 2007 third round selection.
But the group’s work ethic has caught the attention of the staff, and particularly Allen’s, who game-plans to beat the world’s best.
Matt (Schaub has) done an outstanding job for us,” Allen reinforced. “Matt (McGloin is) a guy that we feel very confident (in) if we needed to call on Matt to go in and perform and win a game for us (as) he could go in there and perform at a high level.”
Sports Out West also spoke to NFL Network’s Charley Casserly, who believes Carr is the most NFL-ready rookie signal-caller today.
Glancing around the league, the Raiders do boast a deep stable with experience and youth. But it’s no guarantee the quartet will repay Allen’s affection.
Photo Credit: Stephen Brashear / Associated Press