Gary Kubiak brought two of his former Houston Texans coaches – Quarterbacks Coach Rick Dennison and Tight Ends Coach Brian Pariani – with him to Baltimore.
Now the Ravens are bringing in “player-coaches” to help teach the system as well.
First and foremost, Baltimore signed players to play. But it’s no coincidence that the Ravens added players with a strong understanding on Kubiak’s West Coast offensive scheme.
Tight end Owen Daniels spent eight years with Kubiak. Running back Justin Forsett had one year (which was his best season) in Houston. Wide receiver
“What guys like Owen and Justin bring to the table as far as knowing the offense and being able to bring their insight into that with our players – that is going to be big for us,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said.
“They’re here to play, but those other things, that is a big part of it, too.”
Kubiak has released his playbook to the players, but they have been unable to work on it with the coaching staff. They can’t begin to do so until April 21.
In Kubiak’s opinion, they have a lot of catching up and work to do this offseason to all get on the same page. While Kubiak has adapted his system to Harbaugh and the Ravens’ offensive principles, there will be a change in scheme, language and some techniques.
Those are all things Daniels, Forsett and Jones will be able to help with at their respective positions.
Harbaugh has also talked about adding a third quarterback that has a history with Kubiak. That would put a former Texan at every offensive position except on the offensive line. Center
Having help at tight end is especially critical considering Kubiak likes to use a lot of multiple tight end formations.
“He understands our schemes very well,” Kubiak said specifically of Daniels. “So, he should be like a coach on the field helping us make the transition.”
Daniels said he plans on reporting to Baltimore at the start of voluntary workouts in a couple weeks. That way he can start help tutoring some of the other players in Kubiak’s ways.
He said he’s never been the type of veteran that holds back information. He wants to help his teammates and the team.
“I’m looking forward to getting to work with the guys and helping them out and bringing them along a little bit faster than without me here,” Daniels said.
“I’d hope that I have a pretty good grasp of this offense after eight years and that I can communicate to the guys in a way they can understand and just take it and run with it. I know we have smart players here, and they won’t have a problem learning it, but it doesn’t hurt to have someone who has been in it for a while.”
Forsett said the coaches have already talked to him about being a teacher to other players in the meeting room. Kubiak’s outside zone run scheme gives running backs different options on each play, and they need to learn how to read where lanes are going to open up and make quick decisions.
“Being able to come here and help the other guys out, bring people along with the system that we run with the concepts, terminology, things like that – I’m here for that, as well as being able to compete on the field,” Forsett said.