Matt Schaub Quiets Criticism In Ravens Debut

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John Harbaugh has said throughout the summer he's liked what he's seen from backup quarterback Matt Schaub. The veteran signal caller echoed that sentiment last week by telling reporters last week he was having a good training camp.

But some pundits questioned Schaub's ability because of the interceptions that had dogged him at times in practice.

Schaub did his part in Thursday's preseason opener against New Orleans to quiet some of that criticism.

"Training camp has been great. I don't know what anybody else thinks, but I know it's been going well," he said after the 30-27 victory. "I don't look at it as a chance to redeem myself. I just have to go out and prove I can play in this league. That's what everyone has to do, no matter if you're a rookie or if you're a 20-year veteran. You have to come out every day and prove you deserve a spot."

Schaub opened the game with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Michael Campanaro on his first drive, and then followed it up with back-to-back scoring drives. He finished the night 11-of-18 passing for 134 yards with a touchdown and interception.

"He played really well, and kind of proved himself, which is nice to see," Harbaugh said.

Schaub was sharp throughout the night. His biggest mistake came on the opening drive of the second half when he attempted a pass to wide receiver Jeremy Butler who was in single coverage. Saints cornerback Damian Swann jumped in front of Butler to come up with the interception, and the young receiver could have put himself in better position to fend off the defender. 

"[Schaub] probably could have had a little more help, in terms of the receiver coming back for the football, and we all know that," Harbaugh said. "And that's a young guy [Butler] who's going to learn that." 

Schaub played five full drives, and the Ravens score on three of them. The offense twice stalled inside the red zone and had to settle for field goals, which Schaub pointed to as an area where he wants to improve.

"It was great to get all the reps that I got. There's certainly a lot of things that we have to work on, as you can imagine," he said. "But I thought for a first game, we have really progressed well."

The 34-year-old quarterback also garnered praise for how he conducted himself in the huddle. He's a former Pro Bowl starter who has played in plenty of big games throughout his career, and that experience give him instant credibility when he steps in front of a young offense.

"He came in and he just has such command of the huddle and the offense," Campanaro said. "It's a big relief just having someone with experience. We all know what Matt's done, taking teams to playoffs and things like that. It's great being out there playing with a guy like that."

The Ravens wanted to get a good look at Schaub in the opener, as his snaps will likely decline over the next two games when Joe Flacco and the first-team offense see increased time. Schaub will now look to build off* *his solid debut, and continue to convince the coaching staff that he's a quality option if Flacco were to go down for any amount of time. 

"I'm feeling really good about where I am," Schaub said. "It's always an adjustment coming to a new team, but this is really a great organization. I have to continue to build on each practice and take that into games."

Football is back! Check out the best photos from M&T Bank Stadium as the Ravens battle the Saints in the first preseason game of the 2015 season.

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