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Dennis Allen says starting Derek Carr was performance motivated

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Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into this week, Dennis Allen was steadfast in saying that whether or not Matt Schaub is the Raiders starter was very much dependent upon whether he was healthy. Well, all that talk was just that as today Matt Schaub was healthy and today he officially named Derek Carr the starter.

"We made the decision to go with Derek Carr as the quarterback," said Allen. "There was a lot of factors involved in that. It's not and indictment on Matt Schaub at all. I still feel very confident in Matt Schaub. I think it says more about where we feel Derek Carr is and his progression. After watching him all throughout training camp and in the preseason, you just see a guy who continues to develop and continues to be mature beyond his years as a quarterback and a guy that we feel very comfortable putting him out there and helping us win football games. So, we made that decision and we'll move forward with that."

He went on to say that this is not a temporary arrangement until Schaub is ready or otherwise.

"Derek's the starting quarterback. We feel very good and very confident about where he's at and his ability to go out and lead us to victory."

This comes on the heels of Derek Carr's outstanding performance on Thursday night in which he led the Raiders on four-straight touchdown drives to start the game, including throwing three touchdown passes. Dennis Allen said was simply the culmination of the progress he's seen from Carr over the past few months.

"[The game] was a factor in [the decision to start Carr]. It certainly was" he said. "But we've seen signs of Derek Carr's development from the day he stepped on the campus here until where he's at right now and we've seen him grow leaps and bounds and I think he's ready to accept the challenge."

Noticing what Carr brought to the table seemed evident to the coaching staff early on based on his moving up the depth chart ahead of last year's starter, Matt McGloin, after just one week of OTA's. That rise continues today.

There are a lot of similarities to the situation last preseason when Matt Flynn also got a sore elbow and was benched in favor of Terrelle Pryor. But that's pretty much where the similarities end.

Last year Flynn lost his job. This time, Derek Carr won it. Another difference could be in how the two deal with it. Flynn moped around about his demotion last year. Then after he had a terrible performance in his one start in week four, it only got worse. It eventually led to his being cut.

Despite Allen Schaub being excused from the team this weekend for personal issues, according to Dennis Allen, Schaub is handling things well.

"Well, he's disappointed," Allen said of Schaub. "I think any competitor would be. But he's handled it like a pro. Listen, it's not an easy situation to be in. But he's a real pro, he's been around football a long time, he understands how things operate, he's gonna continue to go out and work and compete and he'll be ready when his number's called."

He said Schaub will be the primary backup for the opener against the Jets ahead of McGloin.