A lot of names populate the list for 2014 Comeback Player of the Year, but are people forgetting about Matt Schaub?
Oakland Raiders and Schaub have a chance to be a great NFL story
The basis of becoming Comeback Player of the Year is simple. For it to happen a successful player must undergo a period of turmoil, pick himself up and return to have a great season. However, beyond that the player must also have a great NFL story to go with it. Last season, Philip Rivers was faced with a new coaching staff in San Diego who had different ideas and designs. The season was make-or-break for him and Rivers responded with his fifth Pro Bowl. A year before that Peyton Manning was coming off his fourth neck surgery and playing for a new team for the first time in his career. He ended up going 13-3.
Now the stage is set for Matt Schaub. The two-time Pro Bowler helped bring the Houston Texans out of the doldrums to playoff legitimacy. Many felt he could lead them to a championship in 2013. Instead he crashed and burned, throwing just 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in ten games. To say it was a disaster is an understatement, especially to Texan fans. The team soon traded the 32-year old to the Oakland Raiders, a storied franchise with a recent history of hard luck at the quarterback position. In many ways its a perfect match. Schaub needs them to regain his pride as an NFL starter. They need him for his winning experience. Perhaps together they can make some noise around the league. If anything else it makes for a great story.
Dennis Allen and Greg Olson hold keys to Schaub’s comeback
As with most turnaround, much of the responsibility falls on the coaches. Does Matt Schaub still have the ability? That is for Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen and his offensive coordinator Greg Olson to find out. Both have expressed deep confidence in what Schaub can do for their team, but fans for other teams have heard that line before. What it comes down to is whether or not they put their new quarterback on a leash. Either they do that by taking the ball out of his hands with the running game, or simply putting another player in as the starter if he struggles. In the end it will be their patience and hard work that determines how high Matt Schaub can climb towards respectability again.
Is it possible? Very much so, but for it to happen will take a “commitment to excellence.”