NAPA, Calif. -- From the moment he landed with the Oakland Raiders in a trade with the Houston Texans on March 21, Matt Schaub has insisted confidence, or lack thereof, will not be an issue for him going forward.
Not even after a nightmarish 2013 in Houston in which he threw 14 interceptions in 10 games, including pick-sixes in four straight games, and lost his job.
Surely the Raiders' coaching staff must have some questions about whether Schaub has any mental hurdles to overcome in camp, no?
"I don't have any problems with Matt Schaub's confidence," coach Dennis Allen said Thursday.
"I think he's in a good frame of mind. I think he's very hungry. I think he's excited about the new opportunity."
Schaub, a third-round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2004 before heading to Houston in 2007 and going to two Pro Bowls, should benefit from a change of scenery, Allen said.
"I think anytime you go into something new, there's a little bit of, maybe it's an increased focus, an increased intensity level, because it is new," Allen said. "You kind of force yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit.
"I think he's done that. I think he's been very focused and very driven this offseason and I don't think there's any question that he's got something that he wants to go out and prove."
This much is true, though: If Schaub struggles early, fans will be calling loudly for second-round draft pick Derek Carr out of Fresno State, and Schaub does not need that kind of distraction or distress as he's trying to establish himself in Oakland.
That process begins in earnest Friday with the Raiders' first training camp practice of 2014. Sunday, they go at it in pads for the first time.