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Old 12-29-2008   #1
IlliniJen
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Default So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

I have this almost irrational belief that Matt Schaub is the answer at QB and more than that, he will turn that proverbial corner and be a great QB in the coming years, despite his turnover woes.

That being said, have the last couple of games absolve him of mistakes made this year and are we now confident that he's our franchise QB for the next five or so years?

Pros:
  • I really like that he's able to move the ball, which is such a nice change of the early years of 3-and-out, but he also has much improved weapons around him.
  • He also seems able to make a ton of different throws.
  • Poise under pressure seems to be there, even when the O-line isn't playing up to snuff.
  • Appears to be a leader on offense rather than just being the guy under center.
  • Really good on the play action.
  • Doesn't lose confidence after making mistakes, attacks the game.
  • Can score in crunch time.

Cons:
  • Turnover prone.
  • I'm not convinced he has the arm strength to throw great deep balls.
  • Durability issues in his first year, unavoidable injuries in his second year.
  • Too many grounding penalties, needs to figure out how to better get rid of the ball under pressure.
  • Not too mobile.
  • Red zone conversion lacking, both due to turnovers and play calling.
  • Woeful inability to protect the ball when under pressure and on the run when trying to make a throw, resulting in too many fumbles.

His decision making seems solid most of the time and he's able and willing to zip the ball into tight coverage and I think he's a smart and tough enough guy to really work on limiting turnovers. He needs to get better at feeling WHERE pressure is and making the judgment to pull the ball into his body instead of holding it out trying to make a pass, which allows the defender to easily swipe it out of his hands. I think these things can be learned, practiced and coached.

I honestly feel like he could be a Drew Brees type of player. If y'all remember, Brees came into the league with SD and stunk it up for a couple years. I thought he was a bust, but then he turned it around and the game, as he said, slowed down for him.

What do you all think? This had been and up and down season for QBs on our team. First Matt stunk, then Rosencopter was our savior, then Rosencopter showed us all why he is destined to be a back up, then Matt was okay, maybe we needed to draft another QB and start all over again, and now Matt seems like he's the QB this team needs.

He has been inconsistent, which frustrates me because I have, as I have stated, an irrational belief that he's "the guy" for this team, and I was never this loyal or faithful in Mr. Mittens. Has Schaub answered his critics, or can we expect to see another up and down year next year plagued with turnovers?
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Last edited by IlliniJen; 12-29-2008 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Added a "pro" to list: scoring in crunch time, thanks DHC!
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Old 12-29-2008   #2
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

I think Schaub is the guy. I've always been a Schaub guy.

I was also worried about durability, but this season answered all that for me. I don't count cheap shots to the knees as him being injury prone.

The reality is - Schaub got his head kicked in a LOT this season... against Pittsburgh, against Tennessee, etc, etc - and he kept getting up over and over again.

I agree with your pro and con lists. Schaub, especially in the last quarter of the season - has started to show some serious leadership skills. I love how pissed off he was on the sideline in Oakland. I love how he verbally dressed-down Slaton and the offense on Sunday - and responded by setting an example HIMSELF, playing better and better as the game wore on.

It's pretty hollow if a guy is screaming at his teammates and he himself isn't playing well - but Schaub shook off a shaky start to have a great game again.

Plus:

Game-winning drive against Miami.
Game-tying drive against Jacksonville.
Game-winning drive in Green Bay.

That's not just a good QB - that's a WINNER.

For a guy who missed what - five games? Three game-winning/game-tying drives to end games is pretty impressive.

He just HAS to cut down the picks and fumbles. He did well to minimize that at the end of the year, but as a whole it seems he still has a long way to go to accomplish that.
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Old 12-29-2008   #3
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

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Originally Posted by DiehardChris View Post
It's pretty hollow if a guy is screaming at his teammates and he himself isn't playing well - but Schaub shook off a shaky start to have a great game again.

Plus:

Game-winning drive against Miami.
Game-tying drive against Jacksonville.
Game-winning drive in Green Bay.
Regarding the screaming at his teammates and getting angry, that can play out very poorly if you're not respected or seen as a leader, or it can be quite effective if the guys are behind you. I'm still not really sure how his teammates view him, but I would hazard to guess if random players were asked who the team leaders are, Schaub's name would be on that list.

I did forget to list as a "pro" his ability to convert in crunch time as you mentioned. That's a quality I admire and fear in other QBs like Peyton Manning, so I have no problem with a QB who can score with the game on the line, going 90 yards if need be. It's a great confidence builder for the QB, the team and the fans.
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Old 12-29-2008   #4
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

The most talented QB in the world with all the pros cannot help you win if you cant stay healthy.
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Old 12-29-2008   #5
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

Yeah, the screaming can go the other way easily... all I can say that listening to player appearances on various Houston radio programs - Schaub's name is always the first that comes up when players are asked who some of the more vocal leaders are. Eric Winston is always talking up Schaub's status as a leader on his weekly radio show.
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Old 12-29-2008   #6
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

Once MS got his timing down with his WRs, he appears to be very accurate. At the beginning of the season, you could see that he and AJ were not on the same page on the timing routes and AJ's reads. I think that was becuase of AJ's getting back up to game speed from his injury and limited time together in the preseason. You could see it again a little when MS first got back from his knee injury. Without looking at the actual numbers, I think he did a better job of checking down this year and spreading the ball around based on what the defense was giving him. I saw less "forced" balls into double coverage. He did a much better job of throwing the ball away instead of taking the loss/sack, but did have a few more grounding penalties than I would like after coming back from the injury. I think he keeps a cool head on the field and has earned the respect of the team.
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Old 12-29-2008   #7
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

I'm feeling very comfortable with Schaub right now and the prospects for the Texans with him as their QB.
Granted he's still making some mistakes but he's really only got about a year and a half of starting experience dispite being in the league for 5 years. He made some really sweet throws yesterday and I saw what I perceived to be his best velocity yet on a couple passes.
But Schaub is limited without a strong arm, but Chad Pennington has an even weaker one and he's been an outstanding QB, especially as of late.
Durability ? I'm concerned to but after getting busted up real good the last 2 seasons he's lookin none the worse for the wear right now ?
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Old 12-29-2008   #8
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TEXANRED View Post
The most talented QB in the world with all the pros cannot help you win if you cant stay healthy.
He did stay healthy this year. Taking two cheap shots into a knee is an injury most anyone would have sustained and in no way is indicative that Schaub was "injury prone" this year. If anything, he appeared tougher than last year, which is very encouraging.
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Old 12-29-2008   #9
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

I'd say the single biggest knock on Schaub is the turnovers. He's thrown 10 picks and fumbled the ball 10 times, losing 4.

That's 14 turnovers this year in "10.5" games. Not good. He was also sacked 23 times this year. That's not real good either and has a direct effect on the fumbles (and some effect on the picks as well).

In the first 7 games of the season he was a mess. He was sacked 16 times and fumbled 8 times. He also threw 8 of his ten interceptions during that stretch. Can you guess what we didn't do very well early in the year?

The answer would be "run the football".

Once we got a running game that could be generally relied upon to do damage on a weekly basis the team kind of came back together. Over the last four games Schaub threw 2 picks and fumbled the ball twice, losing one of them. He was sacked 7 times over the last four weeks which is still not great but it's an improvement over the pace of the first 7 weeks.

The answer seems obvious. Protect the QB and he can do the job. Run the ball and it becomes a lot easier to protect the QB. Gary Kubiak is on record repeatedly as saying they must run the football. Now we can for the first time since he got here. Next year should be pretty fun to watch.

I believe he's the answer at QB for the Texans
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Old 12-29-2008   #10
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

I've been in his corner from the beginning too, and I do believe he's our guy. His arm strength could be better, obviously. How many times did we see AJ waiting for the ball to get to him? That's not a deal breaker for me though, he makes up for it with his ability to spread the ball around. As far as his turnovers go, it seemed like that slowed down once we found a running game. You're going to throw more interceptions and get more forced fumbles on sacks if you're forced to pass the ball alot, it's just the law of averages. The jury is still out for me on if he'll be a GREAT quarterback, like say P. Manning. That's just so rare in the league. I do think he's a good QB and will be a very good one eventually. To be honest, I never really thought he was injury prone. Guys were teeing off cheap shots left and right on him last year when he kept going down, and the blow to the knee earlier this year was obviously cheap too. Obviously teams think they can just get away with it with the Texans because while I don't watch a tremendous amount of football outside of the them, the games I do catch I don't see it happening anywhere near as often as it happens to us. Correct me if I'm wrong on that.
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Old 12-29-2008   #11
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

4th best passer rating in the AFC. YPA of 8.0. 66.1% completion. sounds good to me. he's not perfect, but QB's don't fall out of the sky and there's probably 20 teams that would love to have a guy like Schaub starting.
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Old 12-29-2008   #12
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

He got better in the turnover aspect since he came back from the knee injury this year. I think he's our guy, but I still want a guy like John Beck or Troy Smith as our #2
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Old 12-29-2008   #13
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kastofsna View Post
4th best passer rating in the AFC. YPA of 8.0. 66.1% completion. sounds good to me. he's not perfect, but QB's don't fall out of the sky and there's probably 20 teams that would love to have a guy like Schaub starting.
This is the killer for me...he's THIS CLOSE to being THE GUY. Turnovers are the key. If he can cut them down, he could be, dare I say, an elite QB in this league. Well, our RZ playcalling needs to improve so we put up some scores, but I really do feel he could get there.

His long ball strength is a bit worrying because I'm not sure if it's his arm or his accuracy. I thought he was a decent long ball guy last year, so I'm a bit puzzled. Perhaps my perception is just a bit off.
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Old 12-29-2008   #14
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

It totally depends on what you mean by the real deal.

He's not Manning, Brady, or Rothlesberger. But he's not Jackson, Bulger, or Dilfer either. I don't think he can be an elite qb because he doesn't have the elite qb arm strength.

If you're ok with a top 10 QB, he can be that guy. For me, that's good enough as I don't want to be picking in the top 10 anymore to nab one of the elite qbs. And, yes, while it's possible to get an elite qb out of the top 10 picks, it's much, much harder to find that guy.
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Old 12-29-2008   #15
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TEXANRED View Post
The most talented QB in the world with all the pros cannot help you win if you cant stay healthy.
The most talented QB in the world with all the pros cannot help you win if your WRs, TEs, RBs, drop or fumble the ball.

That being said, MS certainly had his share of mishaps this year, but, so have all the others. Once they all pull it together, with some better play calling on the part of Kubes, we'll see greatness on the field, in all aspects of our offense. I truly believe that!! Our O is starting to click, and it's a beautiful thing to see!!
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Old 12-29-2008   #16
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

He has a stronger arm than Pennington, so there goes that argument.
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Old 12-29-2008   #17
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

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He has a stronger arm than Pennington, so there goes that argument.
Your maw maw probably has a stronger arm than Pennington.
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Old 12-29-2008   #18
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

Yes, Matt Schaub is the real deal if he can stay healthy. The key to our offense is the running game and as long we can run the ball I think Schaub will be a successful qb in the league.
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Old 12-29-2008   #19
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

Schaub is the real deal, especially so far as the Texans are concerned. We have a QB who can get it into the hands of our main playmaker on the offense (AJ), and that for me is a massivee start. If he had played as he had, without the great relationship he has with AJ, maybe there would be the odd question, but for me, when he drops back to pass, I'm pretty sure that he's not going to throw a poor ball.

When you take into account that he has had some pretty vile shots, it only strengtherns the claim that he is a very able starting QB, and is the future for the Texans, and lets us look to other positions in the draft and FA.
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Old 12-29-2008   #20
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Default Re: So, is Schaub the real deal yet?

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His long ball strength is a bit worrying because I'm not sure if it's his arm or his accuracy. I thought he was a decent long ball guy last year, so I'm a bit puzzled. Perhaps my perception is just a bit off.
As a frame of reference, lets compare him to the best in the league this year (1st number completion % on passes thrown over 20 yards and 2nd number % of pass attempts thrown over 20 yards):

Rivers 40.7/11.3
Pennington 44/7.1
Warner 51.4/5.8
Brees 44/9.6
P. Manning 31.8/11.9
Rodgers 37.5/10.4
Schaub 41.9/8.1

Looks to me like he is right in the mix. The two standouts are Warner who evidently is only pulling the long ball out when he is certain of it and Manning who is heaving it out there and praying.

PS--having a WR wait on a ball doesn't mean the QB just had no more arm strength. Hitting someone 35 yards down field is a gigantic guessing game. He has overthrown receivers as well--doesn't mean he has a strong arm--just that he misjudged it a bit.
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