Florham Park, NJ – The only time you might not want to face a rookie quarterback is when the other option had a burger called the “Pick Six” named after him (“pick any six toppings for your burger”).
The Raiders have elected to start rookie Derek Carr this week against the Jets instead of the inspiration for the “Pick Six” burger, Matt Schaub. Schaub is a veteran quarterback who has been in the league for 11 years and has had some success, but after numerous injuries (the latest being his elbow) his play slipped drastically. So much so that the second-round pick out of Fresno State, and younger brother of former number overall pick/bust David Carr, beat him out for the starting job.
“I think facing a rookie quarterback, a lot of rookie quarterbacks haven’t had success against the Jets that’s (just) a fact and for us we’re just going to go out there and do what we normally do.” Darrin Walls said, “I think we throw a lot of things at quarterbacks, different coverages, different packages and he’s probably going to have a hard time reading some of those things.”
Schaub was always a limited quarterback, average-to-below-average arm strength but he could read defenses and make good decisions. Clearly he lost that last ability somewhere along the lines as he threw a pick-six in three separate games last year as the quarterback for the Texans before being benched for Case Keenum. Carr has phenomenal arm talent, not just great arm strength but placement and touch as well. Fortunately for the Jets Carr’s weakness is dealing with pressure. At Fresno State Carr struggled anytime the pocket would get crowded and when he was rushed mistakes would often follow. This is what the Jets will have to lean their hats on this week as they game plan for the Raiders.
Preparing for a rookie quarterback in week one might seem to put the Jets defense in a tricky situation. There’s not a lot of NFL tape on Carr, just a handful of preseason series, and while there is plenty of college tape that does little to serve the Jets need as the offensive system at Fresno State is much different from what the Raiders like to run. So, instead of studying Carr the defense will study the Raiders offense.
“We’re preparing as if Matt Schaub were playing. He (Carr) did some great things in the preseason, he gives those guys a chance to win.” Dawan Landry said, “So, they went with the best guy for this week and we’re just going to have to prepare accordingly.”
Landry said they wouldn’t go back and watch any of Carr’s college tape, they’ll just be, “watching their schemes, just watching the preseason games and take it from there.” Of course preparing to play against Schaub isn’t exactly the same thing as playing against Carr because of the huge difference in arm strength between the two. But the Jets are aware of the differences between the quarterbacks and know that Carr has exceptional arm talent, still their focus is on the Raiders offensive system more than the quarterback.
“Yeah, I think just (watch) a little bit of preseason, most of the time it’s just going over what their offense likes to do. Their concepts, down and distance things like that. When you watch tape you can see that he has a really good arm, he can make a lot of throws and that’s what we’re going to prepare for.” Walls said, “I think to be a starter in the NFL you have to be good, I mean it’s hard to go out there and just completely lay an egg and I don’t think he’s like that. I think he’s a good quarterback who has a good arm.”
Carr or Schaub it doesn’t matter to the Jets, they are playing the Raiders and that’s their focus. Whichever quarterback is in the game the goal will remain the same, put pressure on the quarterback and force them to rush their throws. Rack up sacks and hurries and have the secondary hold up just enough to let the front-seven disrupt the offense from finding any type of rhythm.
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