What they said: Oral history of Raiders' desire to draft QB

What they said: Oral history of Raiders' desire to draft QB
May 5, 2014, 5:00 pm
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With the quarterback position, I don’t feel like we have to draft one. If we feel good about one, we’ll take one.
Dennis Allen

Editor’s note: Insider Scott Bair will have draft content every day leading up to the NFL Draft (May 8-10), including position breakdowns, retrospectives, mock drafts and more; bookmark our Road to the NFL Draft

The Raiders have spent significant time evaluating draftable quarterbacks this offseason. They’ve spent significant time talking about them too.

The Raiders are in need of a long-term solution at quarterback, and could look for one in this week’s draft. The Raiders were open about the fact that quarterback of the future was not on the 2013 roster, and how the Matt Schaub trade impacted (or didn’t impact) their desire to take a quarterback.

[RELATED: When should Raiders draft a quarterback?]

Volumes have been written about this topic over the past few months. Let’s review what’s been said, who said it and when in regards to drafting a quarterback. We’ve omitted comments about specific players, focusing instead on the prospect of whether (or when) they’ll draft a quarterback this draft.

Keeping in mind that pre-draft comments are often guarded, let’s take a look back at how Raiders brass have discussed the desire to find a franchise quarterback:

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“I’m not sure that we have the quarterback of the future in the building right now, but again I think we’ll go through the off-season evaluation process, I think we’ll go back through all the tapes, we’ll comb through everything. I do think we have a better idea of what we have at the quarterback position, but again I think… listen, that’s the most important position on the football field.”
-- Raiders head coach Dennis Allen, Dec. 30, 2013

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“Neither one of them (Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin) stepped up and said I'm the franchise quarterback, so absolutely, we're going to always continue to upgrade and find that guy, now how we find them, we'll figure that out in the next few months, to what's available to us.”

Q: Do you feel you need a veteran QB presence after being young there?
RM: “Yes.”

Q: So you're saying you may not go the drafting a QB in the first round route?
RM: “I didn't say that.”
-- Raiders général manager Reggie McKenzie, Jan. 16, 2014

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“You can't force it. If there is a guy there at No. 5 in the draft that you really believe can be your franchise quarterback - and he doesn't have to be your franchise quarterback this year, but somebody that will be in the next year or two - then you think about it. But if not, then pick another guy who is going to be a leader for your organization.

“We have to find somebody in the draft or in free agency that is going to be the identity of the Raiders. I don't know if we really have an identity now.”
-- Raiders owner Mark Davis (to the San Francisco Chronicle); comments published Feb. 26, 2014

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“We brought Matt Schaub in to be our starting quarterback. We feel very confident that he is going to be able to come in and function in that role and be outstanding for us. Obviously, we love having competition within the team, but right now Matt Schaub is our starting quarterback.”
-- Allen, March 21, 2014

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“As you look around the league, you’re seeing these quarterbacks playing for a long time. The way the rules have been set up trying to protect the quarterback, and I could definitely see Matt Schaub being the quarterback of the Oakland Raiders for more than just a year or two.”
-- Allen, March 21, 2014, on how long Schaub could start

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“When you get a guy like Matt Schaub and you feel comfortable that he’s going to be your quarterback, it gives you more flexibility in the draft. The last thing any of us wanted going into the draft was to say we have to take a quarterback. Does that that preclude us from taking a quarterback? Absolutely not. Does it give us flexibility in this draft? I think it definitely does.”
-- Allen, March 26, 2014

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“I don’t think we’re pigeonholed into (drafting a quarterback) either. When you look at free agency, in my view – now, we had a lot of holes to fill this time around – it’s a way to fill a few holes so that you’re not compelled to feel like you have to do something in the draft. With the quarterback position, I don’t feel like we have to draft one. If we feel good about one, we’ll take one.”
-- Allen, March 26, 2014

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“My preference is a guy who can move the team downfield and put points on the board. I think there are certain qualities you look at in quarterbacks who have been successful over the years. I’m talking about guys like Drew Brees, who I worked with for years, and Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Their work ethic is unmatched. They’re the first in and last out. They have the ability to process information quickly and they can throw the ball with timing and accuracy.”
-- Allen, March 26, 2014, on the type of quarterback he prefers

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“I’m a realist, and I understand where I am in my career. As you get older, teams are always going to try and find young players to come in and compete. I was one of those guys myself at one point. As a player, you just have to do your job to the best of your ability and let the chips fall where they may. I’m looking forward to helping the team in any way possible. I’m going to be the guy to lead them and show them the way.”
-- Raiders veteran QB Matt Schaub (via CSN Houston), April 4, 2014, on his reaction if the Raiders draft a quarterback

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“What (having Schaub) does is just give us some stability at that position, and we needed that. Because we traded for Schaub does that mean we’re going to bypass a guy that we’ve got graded a certain way? No.”
-- McKenzie, May 1, 2014