Programming note: For comprehensive Raiders coverage from Napa, tune in to SportsNet Central tonight at 6, 10:30 and midnight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
NAPA – Matt Schaub’s level of confidence has been a conversation topic at a local and national level. The Raiders veteran quarterback understands a disastrous 2013 season raised eyebrows, but he still finds such discourse a bit amusing.
“I do, just like I have a little smirk on my face now,” Schaub said after Wednesday’s practice. “You can’t make it anywhere in this game without having confidence through the roof. You’re going to go through ups and downs as a player. It’s how you bounce back from it. It’s how you move forward. You’ve got to put everything behind you whether it’s good or bad. It’s about the next thing in front. I’m just excited about this training camp and to get going with the regular season here shortly.”
Schaub has to put his troubles to rest, and a fresh start following a trade from Houston has lifted his spirits. He’s played exceptionally well in early portions of camp. He already has chemistry and timing with some receivers, and has his unit operating well.
[QUICK HITS: Schaub never lost his confidence]
Last year won’t vanish until the games begin. Questions will remain, especially from those who don’t watch him practice every day, until the vintage Schaub shows up in the regular season. Without a significant drop in arm strength, confidence was the culprit following uncharacteristically ineffective showings.
Defensive tackle Antonio Smith, who was with Schaub in Houston the past few seasons, has noticed a difference in Schaub between this year and last. He dropped a great quote on local press saying that, “Schaubby’s got his mojo back.”
“You know, I’ve never lost it,” Schaub said. “It never went anywhere. But for him to notice that, we’re heading in the right direction.”
Schaub’s receivers certainly think so. Schaub spent some extra time throwing to them right after minicamp and before this training camp. It’s paid off for quarterback and his pass catchers, who are in surprising sync for this early stage.
"Yeah he’s been very impressive. Compared to where we were last year, it’s looking way better,” receiver Rod Streater said. “We took the time at the OTAs and minicamp to stay around, throw a little bit, and right before this camp in July we threw a little bit. So I felt like the timing is way better than it’s been."