OWINGS MILLS – Ravens coach John Harbaugh often arrives at the team’s practice facility by 5:30 a.m. One of the first players he usually sees is Matt Schaub.
Schaub has not played a snap yet this season, but he will be the starting quarterback Monday night against Cleveland, due to Joe Flacco’s season-ending knee injury. Watching Schaub study and prepare all season gives Harbaugh added confidence that Schaub will respond well to this opportunity.
“This is not a guy that has never played before,” Harbaugh said. “It’s not a guy nobody has ever seen. He has a track record in this offense too, and he’s a professional…We’re very fortunate to have him in this situation that we’re going into.”
A 12-year NFL veteran, Schaub had two Pro Bowl seasons with the Texans (2009 and 2012), before losing his starting job in 2013 due to poor play and a rash of interceptions. Schaub is eager to prove his confidence and his game are intact, preparing for his first start since 2013.
“I’m excited, looking forward to getting back on the field,” Schaub said following Wednesday’s practice. “You have to prove every day that you belong, whether you’ve played two years, 12 years, 18 – you have to prove every day that you still can do it and you can play at a high level and compete.”
Asked if he felt he might be rusty, Schaub said, “Maybe, I don’t know. I’m going to do what I can to make sure there’s not.”
Browns coach Mike Pettine said he was not selling Schaub short.
“He’s an experienced guy,” Pettine said during a conference call. “He has seen everything thrown at him over the course of his career. So, we’re expecting him to play at a high level.”
The Ravens hope that’s exactly what Pettine sees.