On of the most important parts of training camp and the preseason is developing chemistry. That is the task for the Oakland Raiders, especially with all the changes the team made to the roster this offseason. One of the most important relationships is between quarterback and pass catcher. Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub and tight end Mychal Rivera are building one in camp.
“Yeah, me and Matt [Schaub] have been working together a lot,” Rivera said. “He’s been working with the tight ends a lot; he’s really vocal. He’s a leader on the team. For the past couple weeks he’s been grabbing us after practice, running routes, just trying to get better at our chemistry. I just can’t wait to see what Matt does with us and the tight ends.“
Schaub has a history of liking to use tight ends in the passing game. In 2012, Schaub connected on 124 competitions to tight ends on the Houston Texans. In Oakland he should have two options in Rivera and David Ausberry. In training camp, the Raiders are hoping one of those guys step up and take the position over.
Rivera came on last season as a rookie and developed into a very strong option in the passing game, finishing with 38 catches for 407 yards and four touchdowns. Now Rivera is using that solid rookie season as a springboard to accomplish more and help his team win.
“I worked out every day and I kept my mind on football every day,” Rivera said. “I used the 4-12 season as a motivating factor. I want to win in this league, that’s a goal of mine. I want to win in this league and I want to be one of the best tight ends in this league, and I see that that’s attainable. I can get that.”
In order for Rivera to make that jump and become one of the best in the league, he and Schaub will have to get on the same page in camp and carry that relationship through the regular season. They have begun that process of getting more comfortable with each other. With Schaub's history of using tight ends and Rivera's desire to be great, the Raiders may have something brewing for 2014.
“I knew that we were going to make a quarterback change and things were going to happen, and when Matt Schaub was that guy, the first thing I did was look at how many tight ends he’d thrown to, how many times,” Rivera said. “The sky’s the limit with this offense.”
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Tags: David Ausberry, Football, Matt Schaub, Mychal Rivera, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, training camp