Ravens Want to Make Mitchell Trubisky's First Road Start Unpleasant


The Ravens take seriously their credo of treating visiting fans well.

Opposing rookie quarterbacks, however, not so much.

The Ravens have devoured rookie quarterbacks at M&T Bank Stadium over the team's history. They've never lost to one at home under Head Coach John Harbaugh.

Now Chicago Bears rookie Mitchell Trubisky, the No. 2-overall pick in this year's draft, will be the next challenger. After making his NFL debut last week, Trubisky will play the first road game of his professional career in Baltimore, and the Ravens intend to make it an unpleasant experience.

"We respect all of our opponents, but we're definitely going to try to take advantage of his first road start and him being in our house," linebacker C.J. Mosley said.

Baltimore is a perfect 9-0 against rookie signal callers since 2008, including a win against DeShone Kizer and the Cleveland Browns in Week 2. Kizer was picked off three times and sack/stripped once in that game. He missed a large chunk of the game because of a migraine.

Dating back even further, the Ravens have only once lost to a rookie quarterback at home in their 22-year history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That quarterback was the Arizona Cardinals' Jake Plummer in 1997.

When asked what makes playing in M&T Bank Stadium so difficult, Harbaugh pointed to the knowledgeable crowd and trademark Ravens defense.

"Our defense putting pressure on quarterbacks in ways that make them think and trying to do that under the dome of the sound, which makes it harder to communicate," Harbaugh said.

The more thinking a quarterback has to do, the better. And for a rookie, there's generally a lot more thinking required, especially playing against a very versatile defense that disguises coverages.

"We want to make it intimidating, make it hard for those guys to communicate, to make it hard for him to decipher what the coverage is on the back end and let the guys up front get after him," veteran cornerback Brandon Carr said.

"I see a rookie quarterback with a lot of upside, a lot of potential. At the same time, we'll give him different looks and show him different ghosts out there to see if we can get some balls off him."

The Ravens aren't taking Trubisky lightly. In fact, they're quite impressed.

Making his NFL debut versus the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football this week, the North Carolina product flashed his potential. Trubisky was 12-of-25 for 128 yards, one touchdown and one costly interception late in the game. He also ran three times for 22 yards.

The stats weren't great, but the talent was visible.

Last year was his first season as a starting college quarterback. Trubisky threw for 3,748 yards and threw 30 touchdowns to just six interceptions. It was impressive enough one-year production to make the Bears trade up to draft Trubisky.

"He is athletic. He is a talented thrower. He can move – a very athletic guy," Harbaugh said. "He made a lot of his plays with his feet and his arm on the run. He looks like a dangerous quarterback."

"This guy has a great future in this league," Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees added Thursday.

Mosley said the Ravens are particularly focused on making sure Trubisky doesn't beat them with his legs. Last week, Raiders quarterback EJ Manuel scrambled for one key first down and used his mobility to elude pressure and hit wide receiver Michael Crabtree on the run for a long touchdown. Baltimore believes Trubisky is capable of the same.

In his 15th season, veteran outside linebacker Terrell Suggs was asked if there's an advantage to playing a rookie quarterback.

"Not in this day and age," he said. "These guys have kind of been in NFL packages since they were in high school. Some definitely catch the game faster than others, but if he is starting under center for them, they think he is the best man for the job.

"So, he can definitely play at this level, and that is how we are addressing it."

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