New Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak is about six weeks into installing his West Coast scheme in Baltimore, and he’s giving the group all they can handle during organized team activities (OTAs).
“I’m throwing the kitchen sink at them and then I kind of have to watch to see what sticks and what they do best,” Kubiak said after Tuesday’s practice. “Then we’ll come back for [training] camp and I’ll probably have to cut some things down.”
This offseason is the first time the Ravens have undergone an overall offensive scheme change since Head Coach John Harbaugh arrived in 2008. Even when the team replaced Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron with Jim Caldwell in 2012, the Ravens kept the same offense.
Kubiak has brought an entirely new system that he has years of experience orchestrating.
“They’ve been very receptive,” Kubiak said. “We have plenty of time from a teaching standpoint, plenty of time on the field. The key thing is their work habits. We’ve had almost everybody here every day, so that’s been very, very positive.”
The installation process takes place during practice and in the classroom work, and Kubiak acknowledged that he has to balance teaching the system while avoiding information overkill.
“That’s my challenge right now. It really is,” Kubiak said. “It’s finding out what we do best and making sure I don’t overload them. I did think it was very important that we challenge them mentally as well as physically throughout the course of OTAs.”
Kubiak’s influence is already evident on the practice field. During Tuesday’s practice, there was a point when the offense ran the same play multiple times to make sure they had it mastered.
“I told them that, I said, ‘I’m going to throw a lot at you. We need to make some mistakes. Let’s go make them hard, and we’ll figure it out and we’ll make sure that during opening day we’re doing what we do best. I think that’s been important and they’ve responded to that.’”
The system is new for mostly everybody, which is why he is pleased that every offensive player has attended the voluntary session, including proven veterans.
Additionally, players who have worked under Kubiak in the past are a key component. Tight end
“There are a few people in each place that kind of knows the way I’ve done things and how I do things,” Kubiak said. “Jacoby has been a big asset, Owen has been asset with Dennis [Pitta], and Justin [Forsett] has been a big asset with Ray [Rice]. I think the way things got situated before we got to work has been a big positive.”
The Ravens have two more days of OTA practices, and then a three-day mandatory minicamp next week to continue putting the offense into place before training camp opens in late July.
“I like what’s happening right now,” Kubiak said. “I’m just taking it a day at a time, but I think we’re building something. The greatest thing is the work habits are awesome. That’s all you can ask for as a coach.”