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News

How Much Will Matt Schaub Play Friday?

Posted Aug 4, 2014

QB Matt Schaub spoke to the media after Monday's practice as the Raiders turn their attention to the preseason opener at Minnesota Friday night.

Q: Matt, when you look at a guy like Andre Holmes and his size, what he can do with his body, how much is that a match-up that you really think you can exploit?

Schaub: “Yeah, it’s exciting. I’m looking forward to getting to suit up against another team with him on my side. Just watching him work and go about his business on a daily basis. Again his size and his speed, for a big guy, very long, long strider, has a big burst up the field, can separate and then go up and get the football. I mean that’s exactly what you want from a receiver, and I’m excited to get out there and see what he can do in game action. But he’s a big, big threat for us.”

Q: Do you see a defender right up on him and say, “I’m still going to throw it to him because I think he can get up and get it?”

Schaub: “Yeah, you know, he’s a guy, with that size and his ability to go up and get the ball, even when a guy’s covering him man-to-man, you just give him a chance. He’s going to make you look good. And you don’t shy away from bump-and-run. You just put it up in the air where only he can get it with his vertical.”

Q: Other than bringing in James Jones, you come to a receiving corps that doesn’t have a real big pedigree in terms of doing a lot of stuff in the NFL, but there seems to be a good competition out there. What do you see from these guys?

Schaub: “Yeah, there are a lot of guys that not many people know about. After coming here and working with them now for four or five months, this is a good group. I’m excited about it. It’s as good as I’ve been around. From top to bottom, great competition, a lot of guys that can go out and have different skillsets, but yet are competing their tails off. Really, it’s exciting to come to work every day and have that group, you know, from one through eight or nine, that you can go out and feel comfortable throwing them the ball.”

Q: What have you seen out of Denarius Moore, a guy that’s had some real big games and some others when he’s flown under the radar?

Schaub: “Yeah, there’s a lot of burst there, a guy that can take a slant and go 50, you know, that can run by people. Just his vertical threat. You can see for a smaller guy compared to our other receivers, he can still go up and make the high-point of the football and adjust to it in the air. I think he’s a guy that can take those short catches and turn them into big ones with his athleticism. But again, he’s come to work every day and really, his nose is to the grindstone in working to get better.”

Q: Is there one receiver you’ve developed a rapport with more quickly than others?

Schaub: “I don’t know if I can point just one guy out, because all of them are getting so many reps it’s a revolving door, just getting a lot of guys reps and working with a lot of different personnel groups and trying to find what group kind of works well together in what spots. We’re moving receivers from X to Z to the F inside, just seeing where everyone is most comfortable. But really, all the guys. We’ve gotten a ton of work in in the offseason and in the summertime and now here. A week and a half, two weeks into camp, guys are really working. So it’s a good group, it’s going to be exciting to see how it shakes out, but we’re looking forward to going against another team here at the end of this week.”

Q: As a quarterback, the offensive line is sort of like your lifeline. There’s a lot of new guys, a lot of guys trying to get accustomed to pass protection altogether. How is that unit coming together?

Schaub: “They’re doing a great job. They’re really coming together, because like you said, no group has to gel quicker than the offensive line because all the things that happen on the move and call that they don’t necessarily get to make because the defensive line will shift at the last second. They just have to be on the same page and that’s all through reps in practice. And for me as well, to understand the protection schemes and what they’re doing. A lot of meeting time is spent on it. But they’re really coming together really fast, in a hurry, and we’re excited to go against another opponent rather than going against our same defense every day. But those guys are really working hard together because the thing is, they’re all veteran, so they all know how to prepare and how to go about their daily routine and their business. So they know how important that is.”

Q: You’ve talked about the fresh start. Will there be a sense of that as you take the field against the Vikings, or more in the regular season?

Schaub: “You know, probably the regular season, but you know, it does start once you put on that jersey for real, which in the preseason, you put it on you go out representing the Raider Nation. I’m looking forward to it. It does start there. It started back in March when I came here. So we’re just looking forward to going and lining up against another team.”

Q: How much do you expect to play on Friday?

Schaub: “You know, I’m not sure. I’ve been doing it this long, but I don’t know what [Head Coach Dennis Allen] D.A.’s philosophy is. We’re just going to go out and prepare and whenever they say to come off the field, then we’ll go there, but you have to prepare to play the game and let the coach decide that. But we’re looking forward to getting some good reps in.”

Q: How much do you feel that you’ve improved from last week to this week?

Schaub: “You know, it feels really good. I definitely feel much more comfortable. The more reps you get, that’s the way you’re going to feel with your teammates and with the system and with everything going on with what the defense is doing, because now we’re pretty much through our installation process and everything’s in. Now we can go out and we’re just hitting all the different situations in the game and managing that. So definitely feeling comfortable.”

Q: A lot has been made of how much you’ve thrown to tight ends in the past. Have guys like David Ausberry and Mychal Rivera been extra nice to you here in camp?

Schaub: “Yeah, absolutely, tight ends are a good weapon to have, especially two of them. We’ve got a good group. There’s some great competition amongst that whole crew with Ausberry and Rivera, athletic guys, big guys that can create some mismatches in the middle with whether it be safeties or linebackers covering them. Even corners for that matter, because feel like when we go to tights, we might see a lot of nickel defense as well. Those guys are really working hard.”