Joe Flacco Benefiting From Backup, And Tutor, Matt Schaub


For the past four years, the quarterback room at the Ravens' practice facility was populated by Joe Flacco, the starter; Tyrod Taylor, Flacco's backup; and rookies such as Keith Wenning.

In other words, it was Flacco and younger guys with less experience.

That won't be the case in 2015.

After Taylor became a free agent and signed with the Buffalo Bills in March, the Ravens filled the No. 2 job with Matt Schaub, a veteran who has thrown for more than 24,000 yards in the NFL since 2004.

Flacco, 30, is obviously still the starter, a franchise cornerstone and the dominant figure in the quarterback room, but Schaub, 34, has a lot to add to the conversation. Although Marc Trestman is now the Ravens offensive coordinator, the groundwork for their West Coast-style offense was laid by Trestman's predecessor, Gary Kubiak, in 2014, and Schaub started 88 games for Kubiak as a member of the Houston Texans between 2007 and 2013.

"Matt has a lot of reps under his belt running this offense," Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said at the team's mandatory minicamp last month.

Schaub didn't just play for Kubiak in Houston; he excelled, earning two Pro Bowl invitations while recording three seasons with more than 4,000 passing yards and leading the Texans to a pair of division titles.

He eventually lost his job and then spent most of the 2014 season on the Oakland Raiders' bench, but with his experience in all elements of the Ravens offense, from reads to routes to footwork, he can help Flacco.

The two have already spent hours together this spring during Organized Team Activity practices and minicamps at the Under Armour Performance Center. Schaub was a regular participant.

Asked about Schaub's input, Flacco said,* *"I think I've always had a good relationship with the backups on this team, and it's always good to have those guys to bounce things off of and have a different opinion on things and just get conversation started. I think Matt's been great for that."

Flacco continued: "This is Marc's [Trestman] offense, and Matt's been in it with Gary [Kubiak] and I've been in it with Gary, so we know certain things that are carried over."

While Harbaugh also stressed that Trestman is running the offense now, he agreed that Schaub should be able to help Flacco.

"The foundation of the offense is the same (from Kubiak to Trestman)," Harbaugh said. "Joe and Matt are two guys kind of in the same place in their life. They're early thirties, they have young families, they're the same height – almost – they kind of look sort of alike. Although, I wouldn't tell either one of them that; they'd be insulted. They enjoy being around each other."

The Ravens stand to benefit.

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