Schaub: “Well, I feel good given the offseason progression, you know. Kind of coming in a little over two months ago, where we’re at as an offense and where I’m at within the offense, it’s a continuing process and each day just trying to get a little bit better, pick out a few things to work on from the day before. But it’s a never-ending process, just continuing to get better. But I feel good out there, feel good in the huddle, feel pretty good about what we’re trying to accomplish offensively.”
Q: That was quite a group of guys to welcome you into the mini-camp, with the Hall of Famers. Can you talk about how that was?
Schaub: “It’s awesome, just the tradition and winning nature of this organization and the history behind it. Having been some other places that don’t have the tradition that stretches this far back, it’s just so impressive, and it really shows you the close-knit group that is the Raiders and the Raider Nation and how much those former players feel connected to the organization and the franchise. For them to come out and spend a little bit of time out at practice and visit with us here, it’s a neat experience, and we want to go out there and try to get back to that type of football.”
Q: Was there a message they gave you?
Schaub: “No, there weren’t any messages, just more them saying, ‘Hello.’ D.A. [Head Coach Dennis Allen] introduced them to us as a group right before practice and then it was practicing and work, I think. But no, there wasn’t anything in particular.”
Q: How do you feel
Schaub: “He’s progressing well. A lot thrown at him in a short period of time, but I feel like he’s handled it well and he’s handled the group well. There’s always stuff you continue to work on no matter if you’re a rookie or an 11-year player. But he’s progressing nicely, understands what to do and how to call the plays. That’s always a tough thing, getting out of the huddle with young players. But he’s progressed really well.”
Q: Are you surprised with how fast Carr has progressed?
Schaub: “No, not really. Just having been around him a little bit, you can tell he’s a bright guy – works hard, studies hard. [He’s] always asking questions, which you want out of a young player. He’s not trying to just learn it all himself. He’s inquiring about different looks and different things. It’s impressive the things that he’s asking and trying to explain his knowledge and his understanding of the offense.”
Schaub: “Just all around. Just their ability to understand the run schemes and how the blocking schemes work against different fronts, and understanding where the hole’s going to be and their patience with allowing it to develop. A lot of guys you see don’t allow the line to work through their blocks and allow those holes to open up. A lot of times they can anticipate them before they actually happen. I think that, coupled with their pass protection and their intelligence – seeing all the looks and understanding their responsibilities there. And obviously in the pass game, being able to get them the ball in screen plays. ‘D-Mac’ has always been a great screen guy, as has MJD in his time with Jacksonville. So I think just the complete nature of both them and them complementing one another is going to be a big key to our success.”
Q: In terms of explosion and movement, can you see that now or do you have to wait for training camp for that?
Schaub: “Yeah, you can see it now, but you know, it’s in spurts. Without pads on, especially things like that in the run game and up front, you know with the blocking and those guys being able to hit holes and break tackles with those pads and be able to work that way. It’s hard to see it right now, but you can out in space.”
Q: In terms of throwing passes, is part of this offseason learning what all of these guys do, because you haven’t worked with them for a long period of time?
Schaub: “Exactly. That’s what this time of year’s all about. Especially between quarterbacks, tight ends and receivers, it’s all about understanding route adjustments. What guy is best at this type of route? What’s this guy’s strength? Can he adjust to the ball in the air? Do you have to put it on his body? Is this guy good at slants? Is this guy a go-route runner? All of these things, as a quarterback, you start to learn about guys and file it away, so once you get to the fall, it’s second nature and you understand everybody’s strengths. Understanding body movements – OK, this guy I can anticipate he’s coming out of his break here, so I can let it go maybe a split second before I really want to but I know how he comes out of his route and I know he’s going to be able to get there. So all of that stuff you develop right now.”
Q: In theory, you don’t have any more contact with the team or coaches after this week until training camp, but how much will you still be working with receivers? Or will you shut it down for a little bit?
Schaub: “Well, it’s tough because everybody’s got to get away. You have to get your mind mentally away and decompress a little bit mentally. But physically and stuff, you still have to stay in it because you can’t go from what we’ve been doing the past three months to taking four or five weeks off and then expect to come to training camp and be ready to go. That’s when you see so many pulls and muscle strains, and just guys getting hurt. So you’ve got to stay into it physically, and mentally you have to also, because there’s so much that we do on the move with our calls, with hurry-up stuff and everything. You’ve got to stay into it mentally. Take some film with you, take your book and study, so it’s not new to you when you get back to camp, so you’ve just been looking over it. But I’ll still have some receivers. I’ll still have time after a little bit of vacation to come back and throw with guys as well as where I go, try and at least get together with somebody to try and run some routes.”
Q: You don’t have the full playbook in yet, do you?
Schaub: “We do.”
Q: How much of that do you feel you have under your belt and are comfortable with?
Schaub: “I’d say I’m pretty comfortable with all of it. The subtle nuisances within each play, which can happen on the fly, I’m still working through those because this time of year you very rarely get each play with every single look. It’s all the mental reps you’re watching on film, so we’re still working through that. But I feel pretty comfortable with everything.”
Q: What is your first impression of
Schaub: “[I] love the guy. [He’s] such a hard worker, you know. I’ve been fortunate to be around some guys who have put so much work and effort into their craft, but Rod’s one of those guys early in his career you could really see he wants to be the best, and he works hard at it every day. I’m excited to watch him burst on the scene even more this year.”
Q: Has there been a single receiver who has impressed you the most?
Schaub: “I don’t know if I can necessarily single one out, because I’d be doing the other guys an injustice. It’s the group. I’ve been so impressed with the entire group – six, seven, eight guys that really are going to make it a great competition throughout training camp. Just the group as a whole – they’re just all pushing themselves and competing at such a high level, that no matter who’s in the huddle it just seems like we just go and play. We don’t skip a beat no matter which corps is in the group.”
Q: Have you formed any impressions of what you think
Schaub: “You can see the impact that he can create. Again, without pads on right now, it’s tough to see a lot of that up front. The offensive line and the tight ends don’t have pads on, as well as the linebackers and D-line. But you can see his physical gifts and his ability to shed blockers and be able to disrupt the passer and the timing of the route. You can really see the progression and development, absolutely.”
Q: What strengths do you see in
Schaub: “He’s a long-strider, big guy who can stretch the field vertically and go up and get the football. Obviously his height and his ability to adjust to it in the air, I think, are some of his strengths, as well as some of the intermediate routes – just being able to get to the top of his route and come out of his cut. I think he can be a guy who can stretch the field for us.”
Q: Are you happy with the amount of work you’ve been able to get done in the offseason program, being a new guy coming in?
Schaub: “There’s never enough time to get everything you want in, but I feel like we were sufficient and efficient in the use of our time, as a group on the field and in the meeting rooms, and away from football, getting to know guys, developing that chemistry within the team. I feel very comfortable with where we’re at heading into the summer break.”