Head Coach John Harbaugh
Statement: "We are pleased and happy that Matt [Schaub] decided to be a Raven. When he and I first talked, it was a lot about mutual respect and the tough games we played against each other. It was like, 'Remember that play? How did you see him open?' It was a fun conversation. The bottom line is Matt is a very good fit for the Ravens. He knows the basics of the offense we will run; he has been in it for the bulk of his career. We believe he'll complement Joe [Flacco] very well, and we know he'll be a good fit with Marc Trestman and Joe. When you can add a committed, smart, dedicated, experienced and proven player at quarterback like Matt, it's a good day for the Ravens."
QB Matt Schaub
On if he had any preconceived notions of the Ravens before signing with the team: "Let me start by saying I'm greatly thankful and appreciate this opportunity from Mr. [Steve] Bisciotti and Ozzie Newsome for making this happen and having me be a Raven. In my talks with coach [John] Harbaugh and Marc Trestman and Marty Mornhinweg – the quarterbacks coach – [I am] just very thrilled to be a part of this team and for this opportunity to help bring a championship to Baltimore. As far as preconceived notions, I just know that it's an outstanding organization. It's right up there at the top of the list across the league as far as how the organization is run, the foundation, the baseline of what the Ravens are all about. So, to be a part of that is outstanding, and [I am] really excited about the opportunity. Going against the team for so many years, I know what coach Harbaugh is all about, what he preaches on a daily basis. And just a lot of teammates, former teammates that I've had, have played for the Ravens. Understanding the locker room makeup will be a great fit for me and something that I'm really excited about getting to work on."
On his free agency process: "Free agency process, it's a crazy one. It's one that I – in my 12 years in the league – haven't experienced until this year, because both [of] the last two moves I've made have been via trade. So, this is kind of unchartered waters for me. It's definitely an interesting process. It's tough to remain patient throughout it, because as a player you just want certainty, you want definition in where you're going to be and what your role is and you just want to get to work. The past few weeks have been very stressful. They've been tough, because you just want to know. You just want to know where you're going to be. Going through that process with some other teams and Baltimore as well, it was a new experience for me, but one that I embrace, and I enjoyed the whole process, but Baltimore just stood out the whole time. It's a great fit for me as far as the offense is concerned, as far the type of player Joe is and how we'll mesh in the QB room. I feel like we're going to have one of the best rooms in football, and we're going to grow, and we're going to compete, and we're going to help each other get better. I am hoping that will lead to wins on the field for this team."
On if he thought about not playing this year and how he keeps his confidence level high: "Just leaning on past experiences. As a player, whether it's in the context of a game, a season, you're going to have an ebb and flow, you're going to have some peaks, you're going to have some valleys, you're going to have some really good times, you're going to have some tough times. But how you handle those is what's going to carry you through. That mental toughness – if you want to call it that – is something I feel I've always had. I've just fought through things. I've leaned on some really great times that I've had in my career. Did I have a tough year in 2013? I sure did. Things snowballed, I forced things, I pressed a lot and things got away from me as a player and us as a team, but I feel I've learned from it. I grew as a person and as a player from those experiences, and I'm just looking for the next opportunity. I have a ton of football left in me. I know I can still play at a high level, so I'm looking to contribute in any way possible to the Ravens organization."
On his elbow injury last season and if he considered signing with the Falcons: "My elbow is fine. It's something throughout the course of training camp of all the throws that you make and all the work you put in is just something that came about the third week of the preseason there. [I] gave it a little rest, and it was fine throughout the season. It didn't hinder me at all, so it wasn't even a factor. As far as the free agency process, there were a lot of teams involved. I won't necessarily say … Atlanta was in the mix. It was a team that was interested, but there were a handful of teams. I'm just very thrilled about being a Raven and being a part of this organization."
On QB Joe Flacco: "Having played against this team for five or six years, it seems like we've had either one game a year, sometimes two if you include the playoffs. Being out on the field early, Joe was always out there early when I was out there throwing, so we always have a conversation – five- or 10-minute-long conversation – and then meet after the game. There's a mutual respect there. And viewing him from afar and his career, I just know … I can see how he prepares, how he goes about his business and his demeanor and how he operates as a quarterback in the huddle, and I feel like we have similar styles in that regard and view the game similarly. You can see that in the way he plays and how he executes his job. Also, hearing from former teammates, former coaches – Owen Daniels was there last year who's a good friend of mine; Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison and Brian Pariani moved from Houston to there – so guys that I know expressed that to me as well."
On whether it will be difficult being a backup quarterback for the first time in a while: "Right, it has been a while, and it's a new role for me throughout my career since I left Atlanta. But it's a great opportunity for me to maybe take a step back. Sometimes as a player, a coach, whoever you are in life, [you have to] take a step back and just view things and take a deep breath and move forward and get that next opportunity and grab the bull by the horns, so to speak. I'm excited about it. I'm excited about being a part of a rich tradition-based organization that has shown year-in and year-out to be a winner, just a couple of years removed from winning a Super Bowl. The pieces of the puzzle are there, so I'm just excited to go to work on that and work towards the next one. But in this role as a backup, you still mentally and physically have to get yourself ready to play, because at the drop of a hat, that can happen at any moment. I know Joe has been healthy every game of his career, but you never know and you have to prepare each week as if you're going to be the guy in the huddle and taking those snaps. You don't get all the reps, but you've got to get those mental reps and be ready, because it could happen at the drop of a hat."
On whether he sees similarities between Gary Kubiak's and Marc Trestman's schemes: "Something that was expressed to me was that a lot of the core principles that Gary put in last year will remain in place, because it was so successful. And that, to me, is huge, because that's something that I know really well, and I can help young guys learn it. I can help some of the guys that just learned it last year for the first time learn it even better. I feel I have a lot of knowledge to present in that way. And talking with Marc over the last few days and Marty, some of the subtle nuances they're going to put in – [they] might have their own style – and some of the changes were really appealing to me, because it's what I do and some of what I've done over the last year or two. I'm just excited with the pieces that are in place on this offensive football team to get to work on that."
On whether he is looking forward to playing with college teammate DE Chris Canty again: "Yes, it has been forever, but I was thrilled when I saw he signed back with the team. [Canty is an] excellent player, so it will be great to team back up with him. I've had to face him a few times in my career. It's virtually impossible to throw the ball over or around that guy; he's so tall and long. But I'm excited to team back up with him, because he's a great person and a great teammate."
On how frustrating the last two seasons have been for him and how he has managed the criticism: "That's what this league is all about is criticism. You get too much praise in good times and you get a lot of criticism in tough times, and that's just the way it goes. You have to – as a player – continue to work and grow everyday as a person and player, so that's what has been my focus, as well as family and leaning on that side of things. But coming here last year [to] Oakland was an excellent opportunity for me, and I really enjoyed my time here. It was tough on the football side of things; I had a lot going on personally in my family life and everything that we're working through, but the football side I just work my tail off as best as I could to help the football team, and I just focused on the things that I could offer to help younger guys on the football team and within the organization. So, it's just something that you have to force yourself to remain positive [about], continue to work. I know what I can do as a player, and I know what I'm capable of, and it's just about finding that right opportunity and that right spot to display those things."