When a team takes a quarterback as high in the draft as the Raiders chose Derek Carr (36 overall), they obviously were impressed with him. They obviously think he can be a franchise quarterback. So, when the team's offensive coordinator says that player is even more impressive than they thought when they drafted him, that means something.
"I really, really like him," Olson said of Carr in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. "Everybody knew he was accurate, but he is more accurate than we thought. ... We'll have to wait and see how he does against a live rush, but so far his intelligence, accuracy and quickness in getting the ball out has been excellent."
Olson had said before that draft that the Raiders were unsure of the quarterback they liked would fall to them in the draft, so they had to protect themselves by trading for Schaub. In doing so, they ensured they would have a starter in place for 2014 regardless of what happened in the draft. And Allen immediately named Schaub the starter.
Allen said all the way back in rookie minicamp that Carr's place as third on the depth chart was far from set in stone.
"We're going to let things play out," Allen said of Carr. "Obviously we brought Matt Schaub in and Matt Schaub is our starting quarterback. We feel very good about that. I've said this before, he's been a top 10 quarterback in this league and he's performed at a high level. We feel very good about that."
Since then, Carr has done nothing but impress Olson and Allen. So much so that Carr has taken some of the second team reps from last year's starter, Matt McGloin.
Now Olson is hinting that Carr's movement up the depth chart may not stop there.
"[Carr] is very intelligent, and he may not need to redshirt," Olson continued. "We like his comfort level. Right away, you can see that this is not too big for him."
This is all pretty familiar for the Raiders who went through the same thing last year. At that point it was Matt Flynn penciled in as the starter with Terrelle Pryor as the primary competition. Flynn folded and the job was handed over to Pryor. But then it was Matt McGloin who worked his way up the depth chart to take over as the starter.
At this point Schaub will have to show up big time with the upstart McGloin and the new rookie phenom nipping at his heels. The term "It's his job to lose" is quite appropriate in this instance. Matt Flynn got a very short leash last season and Schaub's leash may be just as short.
The Raiders would like for Schaub to be all they hoped he was but if he's not, Derek Carr is making a serious case to replace take the starting job.