NFL Team Report - Oakland Raiders - INSIDE SLANT


Only one rookie quarterback will start an NFL season opener this week, and he wasn't a first-round draft pick.

Derek Carr, a second-round selection from Fresno State, will be under center for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday for the season opener on the road against the New York Jets.

Carr beat out veteran Matt Schaub, who was expected to be the starter after being acquired in the offseason. Schaub, who was slowed by an elbow injury in the preseason, spent the past seven years starting for the Houston Texans.

"There were a lot of factors involved," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of the decision. "It's not an indictment on Matt Schaub. Derek Carr is mature beyond his years. We feel very comfortable with him helping us win football games."

Emphasizing that the decision is permanent, not subject to week-to-week changes, Allen added, "Derek is the starting quarterback."

Carr, 23, appeared in three of the Raiders' four preseason games. He completed 30 of 45 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. He was sacked twice.

In last week's exhibition finale, Carr went 11-for-13 for 143 yards with three touchdown passes against the reigning Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

Schaub was 24-for-47 for 218 yards with an interception and no TD passes in the preseason. He didn't appear in the Seattle game.

Asked how the Seattle game impacted the decision, Allen said, "Well, it was a factor in it, it certainly was, 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. We've seen him grow by leaps and bounds, and I think he's ready to accept the challenge."

As for Schaub, Allen said, "He's disappointed. I think any competitor would be. He's handling it like a pro. It's not an easy situation to be in. He understands how things operate. He'll be ready when his number's called."

Schaub replaced Carr's brother, David, as the Texans' starting quarterback for the beginning of the 2007 season. After the 2006 season, the Texans decided to move on from Carr and made a trade to acquire Schaub from the Atlanta Falcons.

Last season, Schaub appeared in 10 games, with eight starts, and he completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,310 yards with 10 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions. Over his career, which began with three seasons in Atlanta, Schaub has a 64 percent completion rate with 24,254 passing yards, 130 TD passes and 84 interceptions.

The Raiders acquired him in March in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick. Schaub will earn a guaranteed $8 million this year.

SERIES HISTORY: 40th regular-season meeting. Raiders lead series, 21-16-2. Jets won 37-27 last December with Geno Smith completing 16 of 25 passes for 219 yards, a touchdown and an interception and rushing for 50 yards and a touchdown. For the Raiders, Marcel Reece had 19 carries for 123 yards including a career-long 63-yard touchdown run. The last Raiders road win against the Jets was 34-13 in 1996.

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NFL Team Report - Oakland Raiders - NOTES, QUOTES


--Running back Latavius Murray, who spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a foot injury, has become the answer to the question "What do the Raiders do if Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden get hurt?"

Murray, 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, has both breakaway speed and the power to break tackles. He had 41 yards in eight carries, most against the first-team Seattle defense, in the preseason finale and has been one of the pleasant surprises of training camp and the preseason.