Raiders QB Derek Carr’s ascension more about what he did than what Matt Schaub didn’t do, says coach Dennis Allen

Filed for print . . .

There will be a rookie quarterback starting in Week 1 after all.

Derek Carr, a second-round draft pick out of Fresno State, officially overtook Matt Schaub Monday when coach Dennis Allen named him the starter for the Raiders regular-season road opener against the New York Jets.

“It’s not an indictment on Matt Schaub at all,’’ Allen said following practice. “ I feel very confident in Matt Schaub. I think it says more about where we feel Derek Carr is in his progression.’’

Neither quarterback was available for comment and a club spokesman said they would speak Tuesday. The story was first reported by Fox Sports shortly before the Raiders began practice.

None of the three quarterbacks selected in the first round _ No. 3 Blake Bortles of Jacksonville, No. 22 Johnny Manziel of Cleveland and No. 32 Teddy Bridgewater of Minnesota _ are starting for their respective teams.

Carr, selected by the Raiders at No. 36, joins strong sideline linebacker Khalil Mack and left guard Gabe Jackson as rookies who will begin the season in the starting lineup. He will be the first true rookie in franchise history to start a regular-season opener.

Schaub, acquired for a sixth-round draft pick from the Houston Texans, was Allen’s unquestioned No. 1 throughout the entire offseason and deep into training camp. On several occasions, Allen returned to Schaub as a “top 10 quarterback’’ in the NFL based on his body of work in Houston.

Instead, Schaub, guaranteed $8 million this season, will open the season as the backup with Matt McGloin as third string. Although Schaub struggled to get the ball downfield and missed time last week with a sore elbow, Allen said the switch was more about what Carr did do than what Schaub couldn’t do.

“You see a guy who continues to develop and continues to be mature beyond his years as a quarterback and a guy we feel very comfortable putting him out there and helping us win games,’’ Allen said. “We made that decision and we’ll move forward with that.’’

Carr started the preseason finale while Schaub rested his elbow against Seattle and completed 11 of 13 passes for 143 yards, three touchdowns and led the offense to four touchdowns in four possessions.

Since Schaub was throwing in practice and will be the backup, health wasn’t the reason for the switch. At least temporarily, Schaub will be denied the “fresh start’’ he had been hoping for after bottoming out in a 2-14 season with the Texans in 2013.

“He’s disappointed, like any competitor would be, but he’s handling it like a pro,’’ Allen said. “It’s not an easy situation to be in. He’s been around football for a long time. He understands how things operate. He’ll be ready when his number is called.’’

It is the second consecutive season the Raiders benched a high-salaried starter before the regular-season opener. A season ago, Matt Flynn, acquired by trade from Seattle, was replaced by Terrelle Pryor. Flynn was released after performing poorly as an injury-replacement starter in a 24-14 loss to Washington in Week 5, pocketing a $6.5 million guarantee.

In winning the starting job, Carr beat out the quarterback who was brought to Houston in 2007 to replace his older brother, David Carr, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft. As David Carr’s younger brother, Derek began immersing himself in game film as a preteen and teammates say he is far ahead of most rookies.

“He’s not your typical rookie,’’ center Stefen Wisniewski said. “He’s got an older brother that was an NFL quarterback who has been teaching him for years. I think Derek is way more prepared than most rookies would be.’’

Players were careful to pay respect to Schaub while at the same time give credit to Carr.

“Matt came in here and did a great job. So did all our quarterbacks. D.C. is behind center right now,’’ wide receiver James Jones said. “We all support him. We’ll go out there and make plays for him. Hopefully he takes advantage of his opportunity.

Said fullback Marcel Reece: “Nothing surprises me in this league any more . . . we have three capable quarterbacks who can start in this league and Derek Carr just happened to be the one to start the season off for us, and we’re all excited about it.’’

— Allen said Jackson is playing with the first team at left guard and Khalif Barnes is at right tackle ahead of Menelik Watson as the Raiders prepare to face the Jets.

— Tight end David Ausberry (knee) practiced for the first time in a month. Cornerbacks Chimdi Chekwa and Taiwan Jones, both with knee strains, did not practice. Middle linebacker Nick Roach has yet to be cleared for a concussion sustained in the third preseason game.

— Running back George Atkinson III, defensive end Denico Autry, cornerback Ras-I Dowling, linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu, linebacker Spencer Hadley, tackle Dan Kistler, defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin, guard Lamar Mady, wide receiver Seth Roberts and tight end Scott Simonson were named to the practice squad.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • jetsman24

    Yeah but who does Carr have to throw to?

  • John Ledo

    haha there was a link on the jets blog to this site

  • Maybe , maybe not

  • jetsman24

    I think I speak for most reasonable Jets fans when I say that this game is anything but a given win. Oakland almost always plays us tough.

  • Return

    We will see this Sunday how well he plays.

  • R8erEduc8er

    I wanted C Johnson in the offseason but the bloggers here said he was done…I hope they’re right but I’m worried about our LBs trying to cover him out of the backfield.

  • jetsman24

    CJ is more of a change-of-pace back to be honest. Ivory is the one to watch out for.

  • levi

    He’s looking good and catches the ball well. He was a nice addition for us and should do wonders for Geno.

  • plunkhead

    We don’t allow dumb questions

  • John Ledo

    plunk slow down there bud…take a deep breath…no winning seasons for a decade and I understand you’re excited but really? even u cant believe the raiders are putting up 45 points on the jets

  • R8erEduc8er

    That explains it. 3 Jets fans popped up out of the blue.

  • So we will probably be sans Roach this week yeah? is Sio officially healthy? Burris MLB?

  • JV.

    New post.

  • plunkhead

    Son, I called the mile high massacre and won the weekly blog trophy for score and game winner that week.

  • Return

    If Carr is the Carr we saw against the Sea then we have the the QB to slice up that secondary pretty well. He was giving Sherman fits.

  • classy comment. we don’t often get those around here from other teams fans… we’re used to dudes just wanting to troll us. good luck to you sir.

  • levi

    Good luck with your season fellas…Well after Sunday that is. I hope for a good game with Jets coming out on top.

  • John Ledo

    even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile…a broken clock is right twice a day…ok I’m out of metaphors.

  • Return

    LB’s are really starting to worry me. However the one thing Mack has impressed me with both in college and in pros is he has had a knack of sniffing out the short pass. He intercepts from out of nowhere. Not quite sure what he reads but he always seems to get that sneaky interception.

  • plunkhead

    Have fun Sunday,
    we are moving to the new post

  • R8erEduc8er

    Agreed. He is sneaky in coverage. He’s gonna blow up a lot of screens. I’m more worried about the crossing routes that our LBs have to cover. It’s been our archilles heel the past few years.

    New post.

  • John Ledo

    u too man

  • SaintKaufman

    Thanks Levi, you guys too. Beat them Pats!!

  • Blackholepriest

    DJ look man,, we know anything can happen. Common sense dictates it will take him some time to get yo the point of carrying this team.

    The team basically has to carry him until he’s able to carry them. Is this team good enough to do that??

    IMO not yet!

  • Blackholepriest

    It appears Ausberry’s demise was greatly exaggerated. As soon as he had the procedure as usual there was widespread overreaction.

    Guarantee ya’ not a single person who said he’s done will come forward. Especially those who love to point out everybody else’s mistakes.