Filed for print . . .
The problems with the Raiders’ first-team passing a game go far deeper than a perceived lack of arm strength by starting quarterback Matt Schaub, coach Dennis Allen believes.
Allen was asked Saturday in a conference call with local writers if he was concerned about what appeared to be a lack of arm strength from Schaub and said, “I haven’t seen that, so I guess the answer to that question would be no.’’
Schaub completed 13 of 27 passes for 110 yards in a 31-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers Friday night. There five consecutive three-and-out possessions in the first half and Schaub lost a strip-sack fumble.
In his 11th season, Schaub does not throw with the kind of velocity of third-string quarterback Matt McGloin, who was 10 of 17 for 162 yards two touchdowns to Brice Butler against Green Bay, or backup Derek Carr, who sat out while recovering from a concussion.
When it became apparent after the third preseason game a year ago that Matt Flynn’s sore arm wouldn’t allow him to execute the offense, the Raiders began the process of transitioning to Terrelle Pryor for the regular-season opener.
Schaub, however, didn’t thrive in Houston because of a strong arm. He has long been a rhythm and timing passer who relies heavily on hitting receivers in stride with room to run when an offense is executed properly.
Against Green Bay, as well as Detroit and Minnesota, the Raiders have had breakdowns all across their passing game.
“It’d be a lot easier if you could narrow it down to just one particular area,’’Allen said. “All positions are a factor. We’ve got to make sure we’re precise on our routes. We’ve got to make plays in a contested environment. We’ve got to do a great job in protection and make the throws when we have an opportunity to make the throw.’’
Allen also cited dropped passes, the most notable coming when normally sure-handed fullback Marcel Reece dropped a would-be touchdown pass on the opening drive of the third quarter.
While conceding that it’s more difficult to shore up several areas of concern in the passing game rather than isolating one problem, Allen said, “I’m absolutely confident we can get that fixed’’ before the regular season opener against the New York Jets on Sept. 7.
– Linebacker Sio Moore, who left on a stretcher with a neck strain, came home with the team, was feeling better and would face no additional tests.
“The good news with Sio is we ruled out any real serious injury and so well take that day by day and see how he responds,’’ Allen said.
Before the injury, Moore appeared to be holding off Miles Burris for the starting job at starting weak side linebacker.’’
– Carr was cleared medically to play following a concussion but held out by the coaching staff against Green Bay as a precautionary measure. Allen expects Carr to face Seattle Thursday night at O.co Coliseum.
Although Carr remains the projected backup to Schaub, Allen said of McGloin, “I’m not surprised Matt’s gone in there and performed well . . . I wouldn’t have any hesitation about putting him in a game and giving us an opportunity to win.’’
– Middle linebacker Nick Roach and cornerback Tarell Brown will go through the NFL protocol for players who suffered concussions. Allen was unsure about the availability this week of right tackle Menelik Watson, who left with a hip injury.
Allen said he didn’t expect Watson’s injury to linger into the regular-season. Khalif Barnes moved from left guard to right tackle to replace Watson, with rookie Gabe Jackson taking over at left guard.
– The staff has not determined if or how much starters would play at Seattle in the last preseason game. Allen hoped place kicker Sebastian Janikowski (right quad) would be available but if not would concentrate on getting him ready for the opener.