John Harbaugh Comes To Matt Schaub's Defense


Ravens backup quarterback Matt Schaub had a tough time during Organized Team Activities and minicamp – at least at the practices the media viewed.

Schaub has thrown fewer interceptions so far through training camp, but there has still been more than fans or Schaub would want to see.

Considering the camp performance has followed a couple turnover-heavy past years as a starter with other teams, Schaub has drawn the ire of Ravens fans before his first season with the team has even begun.

But Head Coach John Harbaugh continues to stand by his backup, and did so again after Wednesday's practice.

"I'm going to defend Matt a little bit, because Matt had some unbelievable throws out here today," Harbaugh said. "Matt had a good day today, but there's going to be interceptions."

Schaub threw one pick on a bomb intended for wide receiver Jeremy Butler during Monday night's M&T Bank Stadium practice. The throw was into triple coverage, tipped by safety Brynden Trawick and grabbed by undrafted safety Nick Perry. On Wednesday, Schaub tossed another, this time to reserve cornerback Quinton Pointer.

"That's going to happen in practice. I'm pretty fired up about our defense making a few plays, too," Harbaugh said. "But I feel great about Matt Schaub as a backup quarterback."

Schaub is the first experienced former starter the Ravens have had as a backup quarterback since Marc Bulger in 2010. For the past four years, they've had Tyrod Taylor, who is now competing to be the starter in Buffalo.

Taylor was an extremely athletic, mobile quarterback with a strong arm. The Ravens felt comfortable that he could win games if starter Joe Flacco went down because Taylor would bring his different, dynamic style. The opponent wouldn't be ready for such a drastic change.

Schaub, on the other hand, is experienced in the kind of offense new Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman is installing. Schaub is more in Flacco's mold, meaning there would be a smoother transition for the Ravens' offensive personnel if Flacco were to go down.

"Tyrod Taylor was just the kind of backup quarterback we wanted. Why? Because he's a good player. [He's a] totally different quarterback than Matt," Harbaugh said. "Matt is a heck of a backup quarterback, because he's a good player, and we feel comfortable that Matt can win for us."

After spending seven years as the Houston Texans' starter, Schaub is now with his third team in three years. He was a backup in Oakland last year and threw just 10 passes, two of which were intercepted.

Schaub attributed some of his early misfires to getting used to his receivers.

"I feel really good," he said following Monday night's open practice. "There's a comfort level within the offense, but I'm still working to get to know the guys and get a feel with the receivers and how they run all the routes."

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