Skip to main content
Houston Texans

Schaub not fazed by Atlanta matchup


Matt Schaub played the first three seasons of his NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons.

It's referred to in media circles as "coach-speak." It is the ability to answer a question without answering it. It goes like this:

"It's special in the fact that you get an opportunity as a team to bounce back from a tough loss last week, you go out on the road in a tough environment and go after our third win."

This from a player who is going back for the first time to Atlanta, where he played for the past three seasons as a backup to Michael Vick. Now Vick is gone and so is quarterback Matt Schaub, who steadfastly denies that playing in the city where he started his NFL career is any different than playing in Houston or Dallas or Green Bay or Seattle, ad nauseum.

He refuses to say that the city where his parents live means anything more than anywhere else in the world. And the team that traded him to Houston for draft picks has struggled to an 0-3 record as he returns.

Doesn't that mean just a little bit to Schaub?

"I'm not going to let you know about that," Schaub said of his innermost thoughts. "I'll keep that inside. But it'll be special to go back and play against those guys and see those guys because we spent a lot of time together. But at the same time it's another game."

{QUOTE}Coach Gary Kubiak doesn't think it will matter at all to Schaub.

"He'll handle it like a pro, just like he handles everything else," Kubiak said adding that he also doesn't expect Schaub to try to do too much against the Falcons.

"No, I don't worry about that. We'll talk about that. That kind of kid, I don't see him going down there trying to prove a point by any means. He's going down there, trying to play his position and give us the best chance to win. Like I said, right now we have to sit down and figure out what gives us the best chance this week with our situation and some the things we have going on. We have a lot of work to do here tonight and tomorrow."

Schaub coyly admits that being in Atlanta at least affords him some extra insight into the Falcon talent.

"I know a little about their team, their personnel," he said. "I don't know much about their scheme because it's a new staff. I'll have to watch film to learn about that.

"But I know the guys. I know what they do well. At the same tie, they know me. They faced me for a few years when I was running the scout team so they know my tendencies and what I like to do. So it's a double-edged sword. You just have to recognize that and still go out and execute."

Schaub also admits he knows the embattled Vick, whose legal troubles mount by the day after he pleaded guilty to charges of dog-fighting.

"We were close," Schaub said. "Obviously the starter and backup quarterback have to be close especially when you're around the facility preparing for the game. We spent a lot of time around the facility watching film and making sure we were on top of the game plan.

"It was very unfortunate. He's not that type of guy. It was something myself and a lot of people didn't know about."

Another Texan admits he will have a special feeling when he plays the Falcons. André Davis, filling in for injured wide receiver Andre Johnson, will face former Virginia Tech teammate DeAngelo Hall, now a Pro Bowl cornerback for Atlanta.

Hall got in some trouble last week when he was called for three penalties totaling 67 yards on one possession, then got into a heated sideline discussion with coach Bobby Petrino and one of his assistants. Hall said Wednesday the team had fined him $100,000 and he might have to sit out one or two quarters of the Texans game

"He just lost his cool a little bit," Davis said with a smile. "He's a very fiery player. He's always been very confident and that's what makes him a great player and I'm just looking forward to going up against him.

"I went up against DeAngelo a bunch of times when he was a freshman in college and I was a senior. I know he's improved tremendously since then and been to a couple of Pro Bowls. I have been one of his biggest fans. I like to see my Hokie buddies doing well."

A for Schaub, it will still be the same old game, the regular excitement felt 16 times a year in the NFL.

"It's another opponent, and that's the way we're approaching it," Schaub said. "It's obviously a place I've been and I know the guys well there, so it's going to be exciting to go back there and play. But again, we've got to keep it in perspective that it's one part of our season."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Carley is a veteran Houston sportswriter who has covered the NFL for more than 25 years. He has worked for such newspapers as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Houston Post, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the National Sports Daily covering such teams as the Dallas Cowboys, the Houston Oilers, the Los Angeles Rams and the Oakland Raiders.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content