ALAMEDA – The Raiders have made a change at quarterback. Rookie Derek Carr will start Sunday’s regular-season opener against the New York Jets, according head coach Dennis Allen.
The Raiders informed the team on Monday, just prior to the afternoon practice that starts their game week.
Allen spoke to reporters after Monday's practice confirming his decision to play the rookie Carr.
Carr took the job from veteran Matt Schaub, who was acquired from the Houston Texans for a sixth-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Schaub was declared the starter just moments after being acquired, and head coach Dennis Allen spent the offseason proclaiming Schaub was a top-tier quarterback.
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He did not live up to that hype. Schaub struggled in the preseason and showed a clear lack of arm strength, most notably in a pivotal preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. After that game he bowed to elbow soreness. He missed a week’s practice and gave Carr a window of opportunity that the second-round draft pick took advantage of.
Carr was near perfect in a Thursday preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. He completed 11-of-13 passes for 143 yards and three touchdowns.
He gave a struggling offense life, and was clearly the better player. Carr will be the NFL’s only rookie to start the first week of the regular season.
Schaub’s acquisition was the team’s second straight quarterback blunder. They traded for Matt Flynn last year, gave him $6.5 million in guaranteed money but wound up starting Terrelle Pryor.
They gave Schaub $8 million to be a backup this time around.
While the Raiders could use Schaub’s elbow soreness as a reason for Carr’s promotion, this was a football decision. Schaub was back at practice on Monday, taking second-team reps behind Carr.
Allen will speak with the press after Monday afternoon’s practice.