6 Reasons Ravens Signed QB Matt Schaub
The extreme reactions to Matt Schaub signing as the Ravens' backup quarterback were amusing.
It ranged from people saying Schaub is the wrong move for too much money to people actually believing Schaub will compete with Joe Flacco for the starting role.
The reality is somewhere in the middle.
Schaub is not the Super MVP quarterback Flacco is, but he's a solid insurance policy that could win should Flacco should miss a game or two for the first time in his eight-year career.
"For those [complaining] about Matt Schaub as backup QB signing, what did you expect? Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers to be Flacco understudy?" asked WNST's Nestor Aparicio.
Here are six reasons that the Schaub-Ravens marriage makes sense:
1) You can't expect Flacco to stay healthy forever.
"Flacco is a tough guy who deserves credit for his durability, but never missing a start in seven seasons takes more than just toughness," wrote CSNBaltimore.com's Clifton Brown. "It takes good fortune. At some point, you have to expect Flacco to miss some action, even if it's just a few games."
2) Schaub upgrades the backup quarterback spot with Pro Bowl experience, and could win games if called upon.
Schaub represents the most-experienced backup Flacco has had since Marc Bulger in 2010. Prior to signing Schaub, the Ravens would have gone into the season with 2014 sixth-round quarterback Keith Wenning as Flacco's primary understudy. Not only is the two-time Pro Bowler an upgrade over Wenning (who the Ravens like and want to develop more), but 105.7 The Fan's Ken Weinman says Schaub is "much better than Tyrod [Taylor]."
Added Brown: "If Flacco misses some time next season, what happens in those games could mean the difference between making the playoffs or not. If Flacco misses significant time, the Ravens are toast anyway. But who would you rather have starting in a crucial game in December, Matt Schaub or Keith Wenning?"
3) The money is better than initial reports indicated.It was originally reported that Schaub's one year-deal was worth $3 million (cap space reportedly at $8.1 million), but that didn't tell the whole story. It was later revealed Schaub can make UP TO $3 million. He got a $1 million base salary, a $1 million signing bonus and $1 million in playtime incentives, per Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. That means the only way he'll get that last million is if he has to put down the clipboard and jump on the field. In other words, he'd have to earn it. That $2 million is almost the same amount that Taylor earned in all the four years he backed up Flacco ($2.1 million), but you get what you pay for. "It always felt like the Ravens were tempting fate by going with an inexperienced and inexpensive backup like Taylor for four seasons," wrote ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
4) Schaub knows the Ravens' offensive system and is the same type of pocket passer as Flacco.The Ravens don't plan on making many changes to the new offense Gary Kubiak implemented last year. Schaub played in that same system under Kubiak in Houston for seven seasons and excelled, throwing for 4,000 yards three times. Additionally, Schaub is the same type of drop-back pocket passer as Flacco, so the offense wouldn't have to adjust like it would have with Taylor. Hensley says Schaub represents a "seamless transition."* *
5) The backup quarterback market was thin, and the Ravens could have done a lot worse."For those complaining about Schaub, [the] only other options really were Jason Campbell, Michael Vick and Matt Flynn," wrote The Sun's Jeff Zrebiec. In Hensley's estimation, Campbell would have been the better fit because he has a stronger arm, and is familiar with Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman and the division after playing for Cleveland and Cincinnati. The Ravens apparently tried to get a deal done with Campbell , but the two sides couldn't come to an agreement, according to Hensley and Zrebiec.
"Schaub would've been the second choice among the quarterbacks available," Hensley wrote. "Michael Vick looked disinterested last season. Matt Flynn has been a disaster everywhere except Green Bay. And Tarvaris Jackson has thrown 14 passes over the past two seasons. Schaub has a better track record than any of the current free-agent quarterbacks. He was a Pro Bowl quarterback only two years ago."
6) Ravens have a history of helping veterans turn around their careers after a down season.The two main knocks on Schaub are that he is coming off an elbow injury that has hurt his arm strength, and he's lost his confidence after throwing five interceptions returned for touchdowns in the past two years. He lost his starting job in Houston in 2013 and was beaten out by rookie Derek Carr in Oakland last season. "The only way this becomes a good move for the Ravens is if Schaub can forget the past two seasons," wrote Hensley.
The Ravens obviously think he can, and they have a history of providing an environment that allows veterans to turnaround their career after a down season (see Steve Smith Sr., Daryl Smith and Owen Daniels).
Ravens Held Talks With Veteran TE Rob Housler
The Ravens and veteran free agent tight end Rob Housler have mutual interest in a potential deal after preliminary contract discussions, according to Wilson.
The two sides did not settle on a final deal, but Wilson reports they are expected to keep talking in search of a financial compromise.
"The former Arizona Cardinals starter could be a good fit for new Ravens Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman as an athletic pass-catching tight end," wrote Wilson. "Housler's role diminished as a receiver last season."
Housler caught just nine passes for 129 yards and no touchdowns in 15 games (seven starts) last season, but he's previously been more productive. He snagged 45 passes for 417 yards on 68 targets in 2013, and caught 39 for 454 yards and a touchdown as a rookie.
Standing in at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Housler ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.46 seconds) among tight ends at the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine.
Kiper: Marcus Peters A 'Perfect Fit' For Ravens
Washington cornerback Marcus Peters would be the "perfect" fit for the Ravens with the No. 26 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, says ESPN's Mel Kiper.
The draft guru named 11 perfect player-team marriages, which factored in more than the players' ability. Kiper also considered the developmental plan for players within specific organizations. In Kiper's estimation, the Ravens would be as good for Peters as Peters would be for the Ravens.
Draft analysts consider Peters to be the best cornerback in the draft on film, but he comes with behavioral concerns. He was kicked out of the Washington football program after a sideline tantrum and missing team meetings. He reportedly frequently got into arguments with coaches.
The Ravens have a need at cornerback, and Peters could immediately compete for a starting role, or at least be the No. 3 corner behind Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb. Baltimore could provide the right structure for Peters to flourish.
"The Ravens were decimated by injuries in the secondary last year," Kiper wrote. "Peters is as talented as any cornerback in this class and just needs to be in the right program to flourish. He'll get that in Baltimore."
What are the chances that Peters actually falls to the Ravens at No. 26? The Philadelphia Eagles (No. 20), Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 22), Detroit Lions (No. 23) and Carolina Panthers (No. 25) all could use help at corner and may snag him.
"[It's] possible, but he could be gone by No. 26. If he's there, it's an easy call," wrote Kiper.