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Dennis Allen: Matt Schaub on par with Manning, Rivers

On Monday's edition of the "Around The League Podcast," Dan Hanzus unfurled a bizarre theory that the Oakland Raiders remain convinced the 2013 NFL season never happened.

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How else to explain the firm belief of the Raiders' braintrust that a quarterback outplayed by Case Keenum and Terrelle Pryor last season is the new face of the franchise?

Coach Dennis Allen has now doubled down in his glowing assessment of Matt Schaub's standing among NFL quarterbacks.

"We have a quarterback now that's on par with the quarterbacks in this division," Allen said Tuesday at the NFL Annual Meeting, per Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News.

You want to rainbow curve that one by us again, coach?

AFC West stars Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers placed Nos. 1 and 2 in Gregg Rosenthal's 2013 Quarterback Index. Schaub was 31st, behind the likes of former Texans backup Keenum and current Raiders backup Matt McGloin.

More troubling is the lack of confidence Schaub has shown in his arm since Thanksgiving of 2012. In Gary Kubiak's scheme that relies heavily on roll-outs, Schaub brought up the rear in Pro Football Focus' play-action metrics -- he managed 4.0 yards fewer per attempt than Keenum on such passes.

Absurd comparisons notwithstanding, the Raiders have another quarterback reclamation project on their hands.

Here's what else we learned from Allen on Tuesday:

» Asked by Around The League if it's crazy to sign nine free agents as starters, Allen acknowledged that he and general manager Reggie McKenzie realize it's not a good idea to "build your team through free agency."

Faced with the NFL's most talent-deficient roster, the Raiders decided they needed viable starters to remain competitive while they develop draft picks.


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» Asked to identify those young "foundation" players, Allen named tight end Mychal Rivera and linebacker Sio Moore.

» As it turns out, signing LaMarr Woodley was not a hint that Allen will slide into more 3-4 looks in his base defense. The Raiders view Woodley as a 4-3 end, increasing his weight to the 270 to 275 range.

"That's what he was in college," Allen explained, "and really body-type-wise, they always had to kind of keep (his weight) down in Pittsburgh and that's maybe one of the reasons he had some injury issues."

» Allen wants to see 2013 second-round draft pick Menelik Watson win the right tackle job, which would move big-ticket free-agent signee Austin Howard inside to guard. Howard has never played guard in an NFL game.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" broke down all the latest news at the NFL Annual Meeting.

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