The Oakland Raiders have spent the offseason upgrading the roster in as many ways as they felt possible. One of the biggest additions was trading for quarterback Matt Schaub. The Raiders have given the franchise keys to Schaub by announcing him as the starter. With Schaub now in charge of the offense, he is confident Oakland has the weapons to be successful.
“I look at it with the weapons looking around our receiving room, our tight end room, our backs, we have six or seven No. 1 guys,” Matt Schaub said. “I look at it as we have a stable of guys that we can distribute the football to and we can spread it around. We don’t have to have the focus on one guy. We can beat you with four or five or six different guys, get the football and distribute it.”
The group of weapons Schaub is referring to is a collection of new and holdover offensive players. The Raiders have some promising, but still somewhat unproven commodities at wide receiver. Oakland landed free agent James Jones to add to that attack this offseason. Jones will join holdovers Rod Streater, Denarius Moore, and Andre Holmes to make up a very interesting group. Streater really came on in 2013 leading the Raiders in catches and receiving yards. Moore has playmaking ability but struggles with consistency. Holmes is a big body wideout who showed well in limited action in 2013, but still has more to prove. They also claimed Greg Little of waivers to compete for snaps.
“On any given day, one of those guys might have 10 for 150, but we’re not trying to set the standard like, ‘hey, you’re going to be the guy that we’re going to go to this many times,’” Schaub said. “We’re going to try to spread it around, keep the defense honest, and all the while with our run game and what we can do with MJD and DMac, it’s going to be exciting to be a part of it.”
The running game is a quarterback's best friend and the Raiders have a very interesting situation developing in the backfield. Last year, Oakland rushed the ball well finishing 12th in the NFL. This year they have what should be a significantly improved offensive line to continue that success. Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew will be the primary ball carries. Both have dealt with injuries and decreased production the last few years, but also provide serious potential. This will be one of the most interesting positions to watch as well as one of the most critical to the Raiders success.
The third group of weapons Schaub will rely on is the tight ends. This is another group with potential, but little experience. Mychal Rivera, a 2013 sixth-round pick, stepped up last season to become a solid target in the passing game. He finished the year with 38 receptions for 407 yards and four touchdowns. The Raiders also have David Ausberry, who missed all of 2013 with a shoulder injury. He is a physical specimen with wide receiver attributes. However, he has yet to prove it on Sundays. When he has been given the opportunity, he has put together some highlight reel plays. This is a huge season for him. Nick Kasa is also a 2013 sixth-round pick. He saw very limited action last year, but has tools to be a nice target.Tags: Darren McFadden, David Ausberry, Football, James Jones, Matt Schaub, Maurice Jones-Drew, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Rod Streater