Ravens backup QB Schaub hopes experience comes in handy
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) There are few jobs in the NFL that offer less potential playing time than backup quarterback on the Baltimore Ravens, the role Matt Schaub has assumed in the twilight of a lengthy and productive career.
Schaub threw 10 passes with Oakland last season. The 34-year-old might see even less action this year, since Joe Flacco has never missed a start over the last seven seasons.
''I know where I am right now, especially on this team with Joe and what he's accomplished through his career,'' Schaub said Tuesday. ''I just want to come in here and help this team win another championship in any capacity that I can.''
His 11 years of experience might come in handy on the field this season, but for now Schaub's contribution is spreading the knowledge he's gained over 139 NFL games, including 90 starts.
''Joe and some of those guys, the veterans on the starting offense, they're focusing on what they need to do to be ready in Week 1,'' Schaub said. ''We're doing the same, but in my position there are so many young guys so you're trying to help them on the side.''
Not long ago, Schaub was Houston's starting quarterback for seven years running. In 2013, however, he was benched as the Texans stumbled through a 2-14 season.
Things got even worse last season with the Raiders. He arrived at camp as the potential starter but was beat out by rookie Derek Carr. Nine of Schaub's 10 passes came during mop-up duty in a 52-0 loss to St. Louis, and he finished with an embarrassing 27.9 quarterback rating.
''It was a tough year in general. There were a lot of things going on away from football that a lot of people don't know about,'' Schaub said, declining to elaborate. ''I learned a lot from it. I've grown as both as a football player and as a person.''
Being with Baltimore, a team that has reached the postseason in six of the last seven seasons, has thus far been an uplifting experience.
''It's been a great transition,'' he said. ''First class organization from top to bottom.''
This gig might be exactly what Schaub needed after the two worst years of his career. His presence works pretty well for the Ravens, too.
''Matt's led his team to playoffs,'' Ravens quarterbacks coach Marty Mornhinweg said. ''He's had a couple years that didn't go quite the way he would have liked them to go. Now he gets to come here on what appears to be a very good football team behind a pretty good quarterback. This is a pretty good spot for him, and I think it's good for us, with all that experience he's had to date.''
Before Schaub arrived, Flacco's backup was Tyrod Taylor, who assumed the role as a rookie and lasted four years. Taylor threw 35 passes in Baltimore, 25 of them in the 2012 meaningless season finale (the Ravens' playoff fate had already been decided).
Schaub may not get on the field much more often. If he does, the Ravens would be OK with it.
''We hope we don't need him,'' coach John Harbaugh said, ''but if we do need him he's going to play well.''
Being a backup quarterback after starring in Houston hasn't been easy for Schaub, although he's ready to make the best of it.
''You definitely want to be on the field and play, but I know my role,'' he said. ''I feel I have some experience under my belt where I can really provide some assistance, so I'm looking forward to that. But I wouldn't say it ever gets easy, because you want to be out there and play.''
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