Ravens Give Marc Trestman Bears-Like Weapons


The 2015 draft marked the first time in the Ravens' 20-year history that the team took two pass catchers with their opening two picks.

You can bet that made new Offensive Coordinator Marc Trestman a very happy man.

Was Trestman particularly convincing before the draft?

"I just stood back and kept my mouth shut and hoped for the best," Trestman said with a laugh. "Certainly, we're excited about the guys we're bringing in here."

There's a certain familiar look to the rookie targets the Ravens added, suggesting Trestman may have had more influence in draft meetings than he's letting on.

They're big-bodied players much like the ones Trestman had as the Bears' head coach when Chicago was the second-highest scoring offense in the league in 2013.

First-round wide receiver Breshad Perriman is a 6-foot-2, 212 pounder who is a major deep threat that can go up, attack the football and bring down jump balls.

Ravens Wide Receivers Coach Bobby Engram agreed with Perriman's self-assessment that he's like Falcons receiver Julio Jones. Engram added 6-foot-3, 216-pound Bears receiver Alshon Jeffrey to the comparisons.

Second-round tight end Maxx Williams is a 6-foot-4, 250-pound pass-catching tight end.  Trestman had great success with 6-foot-6, 265-pound pass-catching tight end Martellus Bennett.

Baltimore later added another big-bodied wideout with sixth-round pick Darren Waller. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound has even more size than former Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall (6-foot-4, 230 pounds).

On Saturday, Trestman was asked whether he plans on using Perriman and Williams in the same way that he used Jeffrey and Bennett in Chicago.

"We'll have to see. They've got a ways to go," Trestman said. "They've got a job to earn, No. 1."

Trestman said Williams, who just turned 21 years old in April and declared for the draft after his sophomore season, still has "a lot of growing to do." Trestman praised his hands and ability to catch the ball anywhere on the field, from down the middle to the edges and in the red zone.

"So, we expect productivity out of him, certainly," Trestman said. "Breshad, the same way; he's got the size, he's got the vertical speed that Alshon had. Again, he's got room to grow and develop."

In his 2012 rookie year, Jeffrey had 24 catches for 367 yards and three touchdowns. He broke out with 89 catches, 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore.

Perriman could be in a position to contribute more than Jeffrey did as a rookie, as there is a starting wide receiver position open with the departure of Torrey Smith (a player Perriman is in the same mold of) in free agency.

The Ravens also gave Trestman a second rookie tight end with fifth-rounder Nick Boyle, who is more known for his blocking than pass catching. He is strong at the point of attack with his massive 6-foot-4, 270-pound frame.

Baltimore drafted two tight ends in part because it's unknown if or when Dennis Pitta will be able to return to football following his second major hip surgery. The other reason is because Trestman's offense – just like Gary Kubiak's – will rely heavily on the tight end.

"I think one of the reasons [is] Joe [Flacco] likes tight ends," Trestman said. "He likes to have a big-bodied guy in the middle of the field."

Trestman also says playing with two tight ends allows the offense to keep the base personnel in the game and forces the opponent to get out of complicated nickel packages. Opposing defenses have to be ready to defend the run just as much as the pass, and it allows offenses to move players around to create mismatches in the passing attack.

"It's real added value to have those types of players," Trestman said. "It's not a lost art, but it's something that certainly is relevant in today's game."

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