Former Houston Texans quarterback/new Oakland Raiders quarterback Matt Schaub was formally introduced to the Bay Area media this evening following the trade between the two teams becoming official. Courtesy of the Raiders' official team site, here's a link to the full transcript of the press conference (complete with video of the presser). As is my custom, I've cherry-picked a few excerpts for your immediate perusal below.
QB Matt Schaub Opening Statement: "Thank you, thank you. I’m very excited to be here. First I need to say thank you to the Houston Texan organization for the past seven years for being so great to me and my family. On the same token, very thankful to Mr. [Mark] Davis, Reggie McKenzie, Dennis Allen and Dan Ventrelle for bringing me here and giving me this opportunity with the Oakland Raiders. I’m very excited. My family is very excited. I’m very excited to get to work in such a manner that we can win a championship here in Oakland. I’m very excited to be a part of this team, a lot of veteran leaders and a lot of talent. The offseason so far has proven the will to win around here and the players that are being brought in. I’m very excited to be a part of this organization."
Q: How important was it for you to get a fresh start after last year? How excited are you to start somewhere new?
Schaub: "Very important. A fresh start can do a lot of things for a player and a team. I’m one of those guys. Last year did not go at all how I had planned, given my prior nine years before that. I’m looking for a fresh start. I’m excited about the opportunity here and the players on this team, the coaches, the plan and the direction. Reggie has brought in a great mix of young players as well as veteran leaders and proven players in this business and I’m excited to be a part of the direction that this team is heading."
Q: A lot of fans are seeing your 2012 and seasons before that with 4,000 passing yards. Last year with the Lisfranc injury and the fans turning on you and pick-sixes, how is your confidence? What is going to take for you to get back to the 2012 Matt Schaub?
Schaub: "Foot’s great, healthy. Excited about this opportunity, moving on. The past is the past. I can’t do anything about that except move on to bigger and better things. I’m excited for what the future holds here with Oakland. Just excited to get to work. I’m happy to be here and I’m very confident in my abilities and the players on this team. Just excited to get to work with them through the offseason here and enter training camp ready to go."
Q: When a season goes bad, especially a team with Super Bowl expectations, it stinks for everyone on the team but it’s really hardest on the quarterback. Did you learn anything about yourself through that?
Schaub: "I think so. Anytime you go through a lot of positive things or negative things, you’re going to learn from it, as a person and as a player. Anyone that’s been in this business for any amount of time knows there’s going to be ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys. It’s how you deal with them and how you move forward. I’m excited to move forward. I’m excited for what we have building here and the future. I’ve definitely learned from it and I’m just ready to move forward."
Q: What do you bring to the football team? What can Raider fans expect from you?
Schaub: "I think I bring a lot of experience, a lot of knowledge of how to play the position, how a successful offense works and how it operates consistently. I think I’ve done it for a few years now at a high level at the quarterback position. Just a level of leadership to help set a direction that Dennis Allen and Greg Olson will help set for the team and for the offense. But, as the quarterback, you have to step in the huddle and demand things out of your teammates and set a course. I think that starts in the offseason. I think it starts with how you prepare and how you work at your craft and how you demonstrate to them that if they just bust their tail day in and day out that at the end of the day, you are going to give them a chance to win. That’s what we’re here to do and that’s the direction we’re going."
Q: You mentioned the need for the fresh start. Was there any part of you that thought you might be back with Houston at all?
Schaub: "I don’t know. Listen, I’ve been in this business for 10 years now and I’ve seen a lot of crazy things happen. So, you never really rule anything out, but I am just excited that this opportunity presented itself and that I am here. Just excited for the direction and the places that we’re going."
Q: The last winning quarterback here was 12 years ago, Rich Gannon. A lot of guys have come through here and with back-to-back four-win seasons, do you think you’re the guy that can lead this team to a winning record?
Schaub: "Without question, I think I’m that guy. That’s one of the most unique and intriguing aspects of coming to this organization is the rich and storied tradition that they have here, especially at this position. There are so many great quarterbacks that have played here, played at a championship level. It’s just great to possibly be a part of that and make my name here, but also with the organization and be a part of this special situation."
Q: What does it say that this team went out and traded for you? They didn’t wait until you got released, and you’re hearing that you were their number one option? What does that mean coming into this situation knowing that?
Schaub: "It means everything. It’s that belief, it’s that factor that they believe that I can come in here and compete and do that job and be a player that can make a different on this roster and help them win football games. As a player in this business, there is no greater compliment to have an organization and a coaching staff and ownership believe in you, in that regard. To go out and seek a trade and bring you in and be willing to get you, I’m definitely very thankful for that."
React to the image of Bearded Matt Schaub wearing all black and/or what he had to say as he starts a new chapter of his professional football career.