Matt Schaub's Oakland Press Conference: This Is Why They're The Raiders
If you recall, he had been in hibernation for an undisclosed (but not insignificant) amount of time when finally, the other meddling kids, Luke and Leia, hatched a plan to free him from the claws of Jabba the Hutt. When he was finally liberated from the body-shaped shackles, Solo had no idea where he was, where he'd been, or how long he'd been frozen in carbonite. (Hell, dude couldn't even see.)
How long was I out for? A day? A month? A decade? That had to be what Han was thinking, right?
Indeed, I always wondered what those first few unfrozen seconds felt like for Solo.
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Well, after Friday's press conference welcoming Matt Schaub to the Oakland Raiders, I no longer wonder.
On Friday, the Oakland Raiders, still presumably adhering to the mantras of "Commitment to Excellence" and "Just Win, Baby," traded a sixth round draft pick to the Houston Texans for Schaub.
Let me say that again in more poignant terms -- another NFL team gave up something of worth for the right to pay Matt Schaub $10 million to quarterback their team in 2014. Matty Pick-Six, Matty Ice Cold, Case Keenum's backup. That Matt Schaub.
MATT ..... SCHAUB.
And they didn't just trade a draft choice for him. They gave him a hero's welcome, 2014 style, complete with self congratulatory tweets from the organization, pictures of Schaub proudly sporting the silver and black, and a press conference which will live on YouTube forever (You do realize, Raiders, that shit is forever, right?) where words like "winner" and "championship" were used by and about Matt Schaub.
Also, "excited." Schaub used that word 16 times in the thirteen minute session, a damn near Tebow level of EER (Excited Efficiency Rating).
For any Texans fan who lived through the Crash of 2012, the Great Pick Six Barrage of 2013, and the Andre Johnson Walkout of 2013 (all events so traumatic, they deserve proper noun status), the whole spectacle was fairly surreal, leaving you wondering what universe you were in, what year it was, and exactly how long you'd slept the night before.
My immediate thought -- this is it, THIS is how Han Solo felt when he was released from the carbonite.
In case you missed it, here is the press conference in its entirety, along with a few of the money quotes, most of them from Schaub's new offensive coordinator Greg Olson, transcribed below, along with my thoughts on each quote (preceded by "SP"):
OLSON: "...we're obviously excited and we hope that the Raider Nation and the Raiders organization are certainly excited about this acquisition of this player. With that, I'd like to introduce your 2014 Raiders quarterback, Matt Schaub."
SP: Excited! .....
OLSON: "First of all, he's got a proven track record. When we went to identify that player, there are very few players in the league, and in the history of the league, if you look at what Matt's done..."
SP: Indeed, Schaub's done historical things....
OLSON: "The time that he's played, he's had nine seasons of a 90-plus quarterback rating, which I think there are only four or five players in the history of the league that have ever done that..."
SP: Actually, just two players who've done that, and neither of them are Matt Schaub. Peyton Manning, Brett Favre. That's it. Schaub's done it five times as a starter. (And let's not get started on how passer rating is really just the ultimate tool for selective confirmation bias, and stat that can be worked to benefit dink and dunk passers.)
Oh, also, he's done this....
OLSON: "Obviously he's had a tremendous amount of experience. He's at an age right now where most quarterbacks are in their prime. We feel like he's got a lot of football ahead of him. He's a proven winner. We weren't going to let last season deter us from the player and the track record that he has shown over his career."
SP: Proven winner.....
OLSON: "Like I said, he was our number one target from day one. It was just a matter of getting the deal done. Feel fortunate to have the player."
SP: Indeed, fortunate.....
OLSON: "It's exciting and it's funny you bring that up because, certainly in part of the evaluation process, when I looked at Matt Schaub, and obviously I've seen the player over the years, I have a lot of respect for way he plays the game. And when you look at him statistically, had he not had the season that he had last year in Houston, he wouldn't be sitting next to me here today. So, I feel very fortunate..."
SP: Oh, I hear ya, Greg...you have to be fired up that Schaub did THIS a shit ton of times last season....
....otherwise, you never would've been able to get him.
Seriously, an NFL offensive coordinator basically just said "Thank God the guy we just traded for was so horrific last season or the team whose season he torpedoed never would've traded him to us." Ladies and gentleman, the Oakland Raiders!
And finally, a Schaub soundbite that pretty much sums up this whole thing...
QUESTION: The last winning quarterback here was 12 years ago, Rich Gannon. A lot of guys have come through here and with back-to-back four-win seasons, do you think you're the guy that can lead this team to a winning record? SCHAUB: "Without question, I think I'm that guy. That's one of the most unique and intriguing aspects of coming to this organization is the rich and storied tradition that they have here, especially at this position.... "
SP: Indeed....since they last won a Super Bowl....Jay Schroeder, Jeff Hostetler, Jeff George, Rich Gannon, Kerry Collins....
SCHAUB: "....there are so many great quarterbacks that have played here...."
SP: ....Duante Culpepper, Marques Tuiasosopo, Aaron Brooks, Andrew Walter, JaMarcus Russell.....
SCHAUB: "....played at a championship level....
SP: ....Bruce Gradkowski, Jason Campbell, Carson Palmer, Matt McGloin, Terrelle Pryor....
SCHAUB: "....it's just great to possibly be a part of that and make my name here..."
SP: Great and appropriate!
Have fun, Oakland.
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