Filed for print . . .
If the Raiders first-team offense were a transit system, there would be thousands of dissatisfied commuters.
The man responsible for making sure things run on time knows it has to be better.
“We need to be more consistent and stay on schedule’’ Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub said Monday. “ You would think the most important down is third down, but it’s really first down. You want to put yourself in a manageable situation. To have it second-and-medium or second-and-short really opens up the playbook.’’
Through two games, Schaub has been on the field for seven possessions with five punts, a deflected interception and one touchdown. The Raiders have gained 144 yards, with Schaub completing 11 of 20 passes for 108 yards and a passer rating of 49.6.
With a fan base having seen shaky quarterback play for the better part of the last 10 years and Schaub coming in off his worst season, Allen has been fielding almost daily questions about the confidence of his quarterback.
“I seem to get that question a lot, but I’m confident with where we’re at offensively,’’ Allen said. “I know our group is confident with where we’re at. I know Matt Schaub is confident with where he’s at.’’
Schaub will likely play into the third quarter Friday night when the Raiders play the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field (5 p.m.) with the hope of generating some consistent offensive play that will ease concerns that appear to be everywhere outside their own building.
Backup quarterback Derek Carr was on the field on a limited basis, but has not been cleared medically following a concussion and Allen isn’t sure if he’ll face Green Bay.
The opening possession of a 27-26 win over the Detroit Lions provided a glimpse into a Schaub offense will operate in theory.
There were no negative plays, with a reasonable third-and-6 converted with a 13-yard pass to James Jones and a third-and-2 converted with a short glip to Mychal Rivera that covered 18 yards.
Mixing in some runs with Maurice-Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden, the Raiders drove 47 yards to the Detroit 33 _ only to have Schaub’s second-and-6 pass to Jones glance off the receiver’s hands to Detroit safety James Ihedigbo.
“We moved the ball well, and the turnover set us back,’’ Jones said. “We did what we wanted to do, and that was get a good rhythm. Hopefully we can continue to do that this week.’’
Schaub said it is crucial to “stay out third-and-longs, because it gives the defense to call anything they want. If it’s third and less than six, you can throw flat route and convert rather than force the ball downfield.’’
In those seven possessions, Schaub has yet to complete a pass which traveled more than nine yards downfield to the receiver, with the bigger gains being run-after-catch plays.
In the preseason opener against Minnesota, Rivera didn’t come up with two downfield plays which could have been caught, and a 16-yard third-and-8 pass to Andre Holmes came back by penalty.
Schaub believes the offense is capable of hitting downfield plays and will do so in time.
.“I think we have big play ability on the outside,’’ Schaub said. “We have big, fast, physical receivers, and in one-on-one situations have shown they can catch the football at the high point and out-jump a defensive back or go up and get it when you give them a chance.’’
– Fullback Marcel Reece will have an MRI to determine what is wrong with his sore right foot.
“We don’t know exactly what the injury is right now,’’ Allen said.
– Carr said he felt much better but will be patient while going through the NFL concussion protocol.
“I’ve got a son I’m trying to hang out with for the rest of my life, so we’re going to take it slow,’’ Carr said.
– Cornerback DJ Hayden (foot) was doing some lateral movement drills and cutting with a member of the athletic training staff.
– Wide receiver Brice Butler left Sunday’s practice with concussion symptoms and will be out until he is cleared medically. Defensive tackle Justin Ellis and tackle Matt McCants remain out with concussions.
Others who did not practice included cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (knee), tight end David Ausberry (knee), wide receiver Juron Criner (hip) and cornerback Taiwan Jones (unspecified injury).