NAPA –- Quarterback Matt Schaub has received praise for his work ethic, football IQ and accuracy since he donned a Raiders hat roughly four months ago. Head coach Dennis Allen said Schaub was a top-10 quarterback.
There has been little concern about Schaub’s physical ability. Many questioned whether he would rebound after a disastrous 2013 season in Houston where he had interceptions returned for a touchdown in four consecutive games and eventually lost his job to an undrafted rookie.
This free fall was blamed on a crisis of confidence. Those around him now don’t see it, but they don’t have a reference point.
There is a local resource who can compare and contrast. Defensive lineman Antonio Smith played with Schaub the last five seasons in Houston, witnessing firsthand the great, the pretty good and the downright ugly.
His review should hold some weight, and it’s a positive one.
“Schaubby’s getting his mojo back,” Smith said Saturday. “He’s starting to be himself again. He’s throwing with confidence. Those are things you need to be a successful quarterback. You will be surprised how important a proper mindset is to this game. It’s amazing how far belief and faith in yourself will get you.”
Schaub has practiced well since arriving from Houston in a trade, quickly gaining trust of those around him. At no point has he shown a lack of confidence.
“He’s in a good frame of mind, and I think he’s very hungry,” head coach Dennis Allen said. “I think he’s excited about the new opportunity. I think anytime you go into something new there’s a little bit of, maybe it’s an increased focus, an increased intensity level, because it is new. You kind of force yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit. I think he’s done that. I think he’s been very focused and very driven this offseason and I don’t think there’s any question that he’s got something that he wants to go out and prove.”