- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Ravens reporter
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Ravens could've done a little better. The better fit would've been Jason Campbell. His arm is stronger than Schaub's, and he's familiar with new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman as well as the division (having played for Cleveland and Cincinnati). The Ravens apparently were interested, but the sides couldn't come to a deal. Schaub would've been the second choice among the quarterbacks available.
Ravens could've done a lot worse. For those who are upset at the Ravens signing Schaub, all you have to do is look at the alternatives. Michael Vick looked disinterested last season. Matt Flynn has been a disaster everywhere except Green Bay. And Tarvaris Jackson has thrown 14 passes over the past two seasons. Schaub has a better track record than any of the current free-agent quarterbacks. He was a Pro Bowl quarterback only two years ago.
Confidence is key. The only way this becomes a good move for the Ravens is if Schaub can forget the past two seasons. Schaub has to find a way to rebuild his confidence after having five interceptions returned for touchdowns the past two seasons. He was benched in favor of T.J. Yates in Houston in 2013, and he was beat out by rookie Derek Carr for the starting job in Oakland last season. If he can't bounce back mentally, the Ravens just bought damaged goods. The Ravens have a good track record of signing veterans coming off a down season like wide receiver Steve Smith, linebacker Daryl Smith and tight end Owen Daniels. But Schaub is a different reclamation project. He hasn't won a game in 18 months.
Seamless transition. The Ravens said they're not going to change much with the offense after Gary Kubiak left for Denver, which is good news for Schaub. He played seven seasons (2007-13) under Kubiak in Houston, throwing over 4,000 yards three times and going to two Pro Bowls. The Ravens also won't have to alter the game plan if Joe Flacco gets injured. Flacco and Schaub are similar type of dropback passers. There would've been a major adjustment if long-time backup Tyrod Taylor ever had to play.
Pricey insurance policy. It always felt like the Ravens were tempting fate by going with an inexperienced and inexpensive backup like Taylor for four seasons. The problem with getting their most seasoned backup since Marc Bulger in 2010 is the cost. Schaub reportedly will receive $3 million for this season. We'll wait for the official contract numbers to come out, but that would put him among the top seven backups in 2015 payouts. In comparison, Taylor made a total of $2.1 million over four years as the Ravens' top backup. That's a significant bump at the backup quarterback position for a team with limited salary-cap space.
Probable nonfactor. Schaub will earn his millions holding a clipboard if 2015 is anything like the past seven seasons. Joe Flacco has never missed a start since joining the Ravens in 2008. His 112 consecutive starts is the third-longest current streak and the sixth longest in NFL history. Taylor was on the field for 120 snaps in four seasons, including six plays last season. The Ravens upgraded their insurance policy over Keith Wenning, a sixth-round pick from a year ago who spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad. But history says the Ravens likely won't have to hand the ball to Schaub.
Matt Schaub has to find a way to rebuild his confidence after having five interceptions returned for touchdowns the past two seasons.