Upon learning that Gary Kubiak was going to be the Ravens' new offensive coordinator, backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor took steps to familiarize himself with the West Coast offense.
That included spending five weeks this offseason being tutored by former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia, a West Coast disciple who played for the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Garcia was named the Montreal Alouettes' quarterbacks coach this week.
"I learned a lot from Jeff, just how to play the game," Taylor said. "He was such a good quarterback in this league and he's been in a couple of West Coast offenses. So, he was able to give me his insight on it.
"I just picked his brain and able to learn a lot from him and just better myself as a player. I always feel like I can throw the ball and I focused a lot of my accurate and placement where the receiver can catch it and run with the ball."
Besides being coached by Garcia, who passed for 25,537 yards, 161 touchdowns and 83 interceptions in 11 NFL seasons, Taylor said he bulked up to 214 pounds through an emphasis on weightlifting to be able to withstand punishment in games.
"With my style of game, I have to be durable," Taylor said. "I have to be able to take a hit."
Taylor is entering the final year of a four-year, $2.155 million rookie contract, and this could be his last year with the Ravens. For his career, Taylor has completed 19 of 35 passes for 199 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions for a 47.2 quarterback rating.
The former Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year from Virginia Tech has rushed for 139 yards and one touchdown. He struggled during a 41-7 loss to the New England Patriots last season where he completed just one of four passes for two yards and had an interception returned for a touchdown.
During the first preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers, Taylor completed 13 of 21 passes for 116 yards, one touchdown and one interception and was sacked three times.
"I think I did some positive things out there," Taylor said. "I look forward to coming out there this week and continue getting better."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun