Raiders May Play Schroeder in Houston : They’ll Force-Feed Him Their System With 18-Hour Days
The Raiders introduced newly acquired quarterback Jay Schroeder Monday afternoon and promised to put him to work immediately.
“We’ll start tonight, with the numbering system, and work 18 hours a day to see how fast he can pick things up,” Coach Mike Shanahan said at a press conference.
Shanahan said Schroeder, acquired in a trade which was consummated at 10 p.m. PDT Sunday, will not start Sunday’s game at Houston. But he might play, depending on how much he grasps the Raider offensive system.
“He’s big, strong, physical and can throw the ball down the field,” Shanahan said. “He has the qualities you want, he’s competitive. . . . He’s played in some big games . . . and we think he can get the job done.”
Schroeder, 27, was a Pro Bowl quarterback with the Washington Redskins in 1986, then had an up-and-down season last year before losing his job to Doug Williams. The latter took the Redskins through the playoffs and won the Most Valuable Player award in the Super Bowl.
Schroeder said he’s been requesting a trade since February.
“I went to the people in Washington and asked, if I wasn’t going to get to play there, for an opportunity to play somewhere else,” Schroeder said.
That opportunity was much discussed. Shanahan said the Raiders and Redskins first talked trade in April, and that talks were ongoing.
Finally, the Raiders sent tackle Jim Lachey, acquired a month earlier from San Diego, and two conditional 1990 draft choices to the Redskins for the unhappy passer. But not until Lachey played left tackle for the Raiders Sunday in a season-opening 24-13 win against San Diego.
“If Jim Lachey would have gotten injured, the deal was off, so it was a risk,” Shanahan said. “But this is a game of risks.”
Schroeder’s arrival seems to redefine the role of second-year man Steve Beuerlein, the Raiders’ starting quarterback in the opener.
“The quarterback situation is very competitive,” Shanahan said. “I’m very pleased with Steve’s progress, but in the NFL today, you have to have two or three quarterbacks.
“We had a chance to get a person who has won big games, been in championship games, and it was a situation we couldn’t pass up.”
Schroeder, who grew up in Pacific Palisades, about 20 miles from Raider headquarters, and played two seasons at UCLA, said he is excited about the trade.
But he cautioned that he is not a “savior” for the Raiders.
“I’d like to think of myself as somebody that can play the game,” he said. “My style seems to fit with the style here, and we’ll go with that. But it’s not one guy out there. It’s 11 guys on offense, 11 guys on defense and all the special teams.”
Asked what led him to insist on a trade from the Redskins, Schroeder described it as a personal problem between him and Coach Joe Gibbs.
“It was just between me and Coach Gibbs, not the players,” he said. “It was a tough situation, and things just built up and made it difficult for us to work together.”
After his Pro Bowl year in 1986, Schroeder suffered a bruised shoulder last year, then shared the position with Williams for most of the season.
“There were a lot of combinations, what with getting hurt early, Doug coming in and playing well. The team rallied, but we struggled, no matter who was at quarterback,” Schroeder recalled. “We both wound up playing a lot and it came down to the last game of the season.”
Was it tough leaving the Redskins?
“It’s always tough to leave a Super Bowl team, especially one where you have a lot of friends,” Schroeder said. “But I think the players understood I needed a chance to play someplace else.”