Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Ravens want Daniels to be 'like a coach'
By Jamison Hensley
In his first season with the Baltimore Ravens, tight end Owen Daniels will have more of a comfort level in the team's offense than the rest of his teammates.
Daniels followed new Ravens offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak from Houston to Baltimore, and all eight of his NFL seasons has been played under Kubiak. This is the only NFL offense that Daniels has ever known.
Kubiak brought two coaches (Rick Dennison for quarterbacks and Brian Pariani for tight ends) to help teach the nuances of his zone-blocking scheme and the new terminology. But there's a benefit of having a player who can explain this to teammates. It's why so many new coaches sign their former players, especially in the first few years.
"He should be like a coach on the field helping us make the transition," Kubiak said.
The Ravens didn't sign Daniels to a $1 million contract this year to be a player-tutor. They're paying him to convert third downs and catch touchdown passes.
It's an added bonus to have a player who is not only familiar with Kubiak's system but is willing to help teammates in the biggest change to the Ravens' offense since coach John Harbaugh was hired in 2008.
"I kind of embraced that when I was in Houston with the younger guys that were around. I wasn’t a vet that held back information," Daniels said. "I like to help my teammates and help the team, and I’m looking forward to it now. I’d hope that I have a pretty good grasp of this offense after eight years and that I can communicate to the guys in a way they can understand and just take it and run with it. I know we have smart players here, and they won’t have a problem learning it, but it doesn’t hurt to have someone who has been in it for a while.”
The only other Ravens player who has any experience in Kubiak's system is running back Justin Forsett, the team's No. 3 running back who played in Houston for one season (2012).