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ALAMEDA -- Matt Schaub didn’t have much fun in 2013. The veteran quarterback’s career hit rock bottom during a nightmare campaign where he kept throwing to the wrong team and derailed a Houston Texans team with championship aspirations.
Houstonians burned his jersey. They shunned a pillar of consistency in favor of an undrafted rookie because had become unreliable.
Houston’s trash was the Raiders treasure. Oakland traded a sixth-round pick for Schaub and absorbed his massive contract on Friday morning with faith that this passer will find old form.
[RELATED: Raiders acquire QB Schaub from Texans]
Schaub considers the Raiders’ faith well placed.
“Last year did not go at all how I had planned, given my prior nine years before that,” Schaub said Friday in a press conference at Raiders headquarters. “I’m looking for a fresh start. I’m excited about the opportunity here and the players on this team, the coaches, the plan and the direction that this team is heading.
“The past is the past. I can’t do anything about that except move on to bigger and better things. I’m excited for what the future holds here with Oakland.”
Schaub has already been named the starter in 2014 and possibly beyond. His tenure depends on whether 2013 was an aberration.
Schaub was benched after a brutal start to the season. He had nine interceptions in his first six games, including stretch of four consecutive games where he had an interception returned for a touchdown. He played intermittently after that but rarely looked sharp, finishing with 2,310 yards, 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions and a 73.0 passer rating, his worst as a starter.
Schaub was so much better in previous seasons that many believed he had a case of the yips. Prior to 2013, Schaub exceeded 4,000 yards three times in four seasons. Prior to 2013, Schaub had 120 touchdowns to 70 interceptions. He has a career passer rating of 89.8 and a completed 64 percent of his passes.
The Raiders still see the quarterback who produced so well for so long.
“I think some of it was just a little bit of unfortunate. Some of it was some bad situations,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said. “I don’t think, when you really watch the whole tape, I don’t think all of it was his fault. I think what happened was that there was just a wave of momentum against him and that was really hard for him to overcome.
“I think a change of scenery will be outstanding for Matt. I just think it’s a good situation for both Matt Schaub and for the Oakland Raiders.”
An escape from Houston could be the best thing for Schaub, whom many believe lacked confidence last season. While his mind wasn’t right, the Raiders believe he has the physical tools and smarts to lead the Raiders back to prominence.
“He’s at an age right now where most quarterbacks are in their prime,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “We feel like he’s got a lot of football ahead of him. He’s a proven winner. We weren’t going to let last season deter us from the player and the track record that he has shown over his career. He was our number one target from day one. It was just a matter of getting the deal done.”
Olson then put a positive, logical spin on Schaub's struggles.
"Had he not had the season that he had last year in Houston, he wouldn’t be sitting next to me here today," Olson said. "So, I feel very fortunate."