In a piece today about former Texans coach Gary Kubiak, our Ravens reporter Jamison Hensley said Kubiak is bringing some much-needed unpredictability to Baltimore's offense.
The premise might raise some eyebrows among Texans fans given that the Texans' offensive predictability was something opponents talked about last season. A few of the infamous pick-sixes came as a result.
Hensley used some numbers, though, to take a look at the matter of predictability in another way. He looked at the diversity of formations, which was nearly nonexistent for the Ravens last year.
You didn't have to be Bill Belichick to know how the Ravens were going to line up last season. The Ravens went with three wide receivers, one tight end and one running back on 806 snaps, which was the most of any NFL team last season.
Some of it had to do with the Ravens' personnel last season, and part of the reason was the team's ineffectiveness in its usual two-back alignment. As a result, the Ravens lined up in that formation 74 percent of the time.
Compare that to formations run by Kubiak when he was the Houston Texanshead coach from 2006 to 2013:
3WR, 1 TE, 1 RB: 28 percent
2WR, 1 TE, 2 RB: 26 percent
2WR, 2TE, 1 RB: 26 percent
It's difficult to get more balanced than Kubiak's offense over the previous eight seasons. If he continues to use these multiple formations as frequently this year, Owen Daniels (No. 2 tight end), Marlon Brown (No. 3 wide receiver) and Kyle Juszczyk (fullback) all will play significant roles.
What I think will be interesting to follow is how both Kubiak and former Texans quarterback Matt Schaub fare without each other. Would Schaub have been more effective with more freedom in a different system? Was Kubiak's playcalling a result of Schaub's limitations? Splitting them up is a great way to find out.