NAPA — The anointed starting quarterback for the Raiders is strengthening his hold on the position this training camp instead of losing it.
Matt Schaub is showing signs that last year’s disastrous season in Houston might have been an aberration as he looks in complete command as Oakland’s starter.
The performance comes in stark contrast to what happened with Matt Flynn last summer. Acquired to be the starter in the offseason, Flynn lacked the necessary arm strength in training camp and ultimately lost his job to Terrelle Pryor before getting cut early in the season.
Despite the presence of big-armed rookie Derek Carr, Schaub is showing no signs of giving up the starting position with the Raiders.
“Schauby’s getting his mojo back,” said Raiders defensive tackle Antonio Smith, who was a teammate of Schaub’s in Houston during his highest and lowest moments as a pro. “He’s getting his confidence back. He’s starting to believe in himself again.
“He’s starting to throw with confidence. Those are things you need to be a successful quarterback. You would be surprised just much a mindset is important in this game. ... The moment you are doubting yourself is the moment you start throwing a lot of interceptions and stuff.”
That’s exactly what happened to Schaub last season with the Texans when he set an NFL record by having an interception returned for a touchdown in four straight games.
Schaub threw 14 interceptions in all while losing the starting job to Case Keenum and posting a 73 passer rating that was his lowest in seven seasons as a starter.
After starting the season with back-to-back wins, the Texans lost their final 14 games and traded Schaub to the Raiders for a sixth-round draft pick in March.
Schaub has put 2013 in the past and is focusing instead on reviving his career in Oakland where he is enjoying the opportunity to learn a new offense under coordinator Greg Olson after spending seven years running Gary Kubiak’s system in Houston.
While Schaub lacks the true No. 1 receiver he had in Houston all those years with Andre Johnson, he is excited to work with Oakland’s group that includes James Jones, Rod Streater, Denarius Moore and Andre Holmes.
“We’re still trying to mold what our offense is going to be and what each guy’s role in it will be,” Schaub said.
Raiders moving to Texas? Owner Mark Davis was among Raiders officials who visited San Antonio to speak with city representatives about moving the team there, the San Antonio Express-News reported.