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Charles Woodson: 'Every man on the team is counting on' Matt Schaub

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Can Matt Schaub reinvent himself in Oakland? (USATSI)
Can Matt Schaub reinvent himself in Oakland? (USATSI)

More NFL offseason: Training camp dates, locations | Latest news, notes

Charles Woodson is entering his 17th NFL season and he's seen plenty of quarterbacks over the years. Now in his second stint with the Raiders, where he began his career in 1998 before heading to Green Bay in 2006, Woodson has high hopes for a team that managed just four wins last season.

And those hopes rest largely on the shoulders of quarterback Matt Schaub, who was run out of Houston after a forgettable 2013 season that ended with him on the bench wondering how everything went so wrong so quickly.

“I think every man on the team is counting on him being the guy,” Woodson said during an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “You know, you bring him over from Houston, and it's been duly noted about the struggles that he had last year. But you can't discount the year that he had before last year so we're looking at last year as being an anomaly and that not being the true Matt Schaub.”

The year before last, Schaub started 16 games, completed 64 percent of his passes for 4,008 yards, 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The Texans went 12-4 and made it to the divisional round of the playoffs. According to Football Outsiders, Schaub ranked 12th in quarterback efficiency, just ahead of Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton and Alex Smith.

And then in 2013 the wheels fell off. By the time it was over, Schaub was relegated to the sidelines after throwing 10 touchdowns against 14 interceptions (including pick-sixes in four straight games). He fell to 35th in Football Outsiders' QB efficiency ratings, ahead of Josh Freeman and EJ Manuel.

Back in March, shortly after the Raiders traded for Schaub, coach Dennis Allen called his new quarterback as good as any in the AFC West.

"It's pretty obvious that we feel good about Matt Schaub as our starting quarterback," Allen said at the time. "We have a quarterback now that's on par with the quarterbacks in this division."

Just to be clear: That list includes Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Alex Smith.

While Allen may have high expectations for the veteran, the Raiders drafted Derek Carr in the second round of the May draft. And through minicamps and OTAs Carr has been wholly impressive. So much so that he'll enter training camp as the No. 2 quarterback behind Schaub.

For how long will depend largely on whether we see 2012 Schaub or, god help us all, the 2013 version. Let's just hope he's more excited about this new opportunity that he is about moving tickets.

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