Monday, March 24, 2014
Raiders think Schaub can return to form
By Tania Ganguli
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Good morning from the NFL league meetings, where team owners, executives and head coaches have gathered for a few days of mostly business.
I'll be here for the meetings, which start this morning. Texans general manager Rick Smith, a member of the league's competition committee, is here, along with head coach Bill O'Brien. Texans owner Bob McNair isn't here, but chief operating officer Cal McNair will be.
There are 13 rules proposals and seven bylaws on the agenda for the week. And as it progresses, I'll try to check in with an array of Texans topics.
I started Sunday, chatting with Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie about both the decision and the process that led to the trade for former Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.
"The guy’s had some talent," McKenzie said. Then he quipped: "I mean Andre Johnson was his target. It’d be nice if they would’ve thrown in Andre in the deal, too."
That would have cost a lot more than the sixth-round pick the Raiders gave up for Schaub (and also wasn't on the table). He does think a change of scenery could change things dramatically. I asked for some details on that philosophy.
"Sometimes you get into a funk you can’t get out of," McKenzie said of Schaub, whose 2013 season showed some statistical anomalies in terms of his career. For example, Schaub, as you know, set a record for consecutive games with a pick-six. "And sometimes you can work yourself through. At that time he couldn’t get himself out and then they made the switch [to Case Keenum]. He didn’t have time to work himself out in the long-term standpoint. Last year didn’t go the way he wanted so we’re hopeful that he can get back to his winning ways and play some good football."
McKenzie said the Raiders kept their eye on Schaub as they identified players they thought would be released or on the trading block. They worked out the deal and agreed to terms even before the Texans signed Ryan Fitzpatrick, McKenzie said.
"They may have sped up the Fitzpatrick signing because they knew our signing with Schaub was going to happen," McKenzie said.
For the Raiders, it was a chance to get a quarterback who they felt was consistent in most of his career. Even though there was a chance Schaub could be released, Oakland ensured they got him by giving up a sixth-round pick. His age also fit -- 33 in June is not too old, not too young, either.
"We don’t have a lot of veterans on the team from the standpoint of a whole lot of guys that have been there for a long time," McKenzie said. "We don’t have that. So not only at that quarterback position, we’ve brought in guys that have some leadership qualities, that have been there and done it. ... We’ve got some young quarterbacks that we feel like his presence can help."