Marc Trestman looks busy with offense in first minicamp with Ravens

Coordinators Marc Trestman and Gary Kubiak run the same West Coast offense, but their styles appear to be different in practice.

Kubiak, who left the Ravens during the offseason to become head coach of the Denver Broncos, was fairly quiet in practice, but everyone knew it was his offense and he was running the show. There were times when he would stand back to observe.


Trestman is more involved and certainly more emotional. He is constantly jogging in and out of the huddle, usually chatting with a quarterback or receiver.

He is the fourth coordinator in eight NFL seasons for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Flacco always seems unnerved by the transitions, and said he didn't know Kubiak or Trestman long enough to make comparisons.


But he said Trestman has installed a lot so far — more than expected.

"They are their own guys," Flacco said. "They have their own offenses, they have their own way of systematically installing things. I think Marc is trying to throw a lot at us right now and see how well we react to it all, and eventually we're going to get it all and it's all going to come together.

"He wants to run a lot of the stuff right now that we're going to be running during the year, so rather than going through and base-install, base-install, base-install and gradually building up, we're kind of getting a lot of stuff."

Harbaugh defends Flacco

For some strange reason, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh thought he had to defend Flacco when asked about the different coordinators the quarterback has worked under.

Maybe the question was too long. It was harmless, one that even supported Flacco. Maybe Harbaugh was trying to set a tone and declare that he wasn't going to answer any more Flacco-Trestman questions for the rest of the season.

But Harbaugh was in midseason form Thursday, going on a tirade that was strange, disrespectful and at times amusing, especially when he called Flacco a "superstar."



"Joe Flacco has been a great quarterback from the day he got here," Harbaugh said. "Joe Flacco is a great player, he is only going to get better. I think he is hitting his stride, hitting the peak of his career. I wouldn't want any other quarterback in the National Football League. End of story. So just write that, be done with it and that's the last time I want to hear about it. This guy is a superstar in the National Football League."

And Harbaugh is the best head coach since Vince Lombardi.


Veterans a luxury at OTAs

Head coaches should consider it a luxury when veterans attend OTAs, because they aren't mandatory.

The Ravens were without 18 players Thursday, including the entire starting offensive line, but wide receiver Steve Smith was on the practice field along with veteran inside linebacker Daryl Smith.


It was good that both participated because the Ravens have a lot of inexperience at receiver and linebacker.

But it's easy to understand why veterans don't participate. Denver's left tackle, Ryan Clady, tore his ACL this week and might miss the season. The NFL, with all of their various minicamps, can wear down players.

Regardless of whether a player is a rookie or veteran, the body needs time to rest.

Schaub not sharp

Got a glimpse of backup quarterback Matt Schuab for the first time, and he didn't look nearly as sharp as when he was the starting quarterback of the Houston Texans from 2007 to 2013.

A lot of his passes were low and he has always had a weird throwing motion, but it looks even worse in practice, like he is throwing a shotput. But it was only one day and one practice, and it has to get better.



Taliaferro looks lean

Second-year running back Lorenzo Taliaferro looked like a player who had a good offseason in the weight room. A year ago when he reported to training camp, he looked a little heavy, even though he had quick feet.

In practice Thursday, he looked long and lean and appeared more confident. Maybe he'll step up and prove he can be No. 2 behind starter Justin Forsett.

As for Forsett, this guy always seems to know where the creases and cutting points are when he runs, even in practice.

A fight in May?


It was strange seeing a fight break out in an OTA practice, but not once you recognized one of the participants was guard-center Ryan Jensen.

He got in a lot of fights a year ago in training camp. This time, his opponent was Casey Walker, a second-year defensive tackle out of Oklahoma.

Gentlemen, please, don't waste the energy. At least wait until the equipment goes on.

Pitta not close

Tight end Dennis Pitta, recovering from a major hip injury, did some light work on the sideline but he has a long way to go before he gets back on the football field.

Sometimes, he made me ache watching him try to cut during individual drills in the end zone.


Upshaw heavy, but fluid

Outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, who has struggled with his weight during the previous two seasons, looked a little heavy, but moved well on the line of scrimmage.

Upshaw became one of the team's top players at the end of last season. He is known as being a run stopper, but started to emerge as a pass rusher in the final four regular-season games.

The Ravens need him to be in good shape when training camp opens this summer.

Rookies impress

It will be interesting to see what happens when the Ravens put the equipment on, but guard Kaleb Johnson, a rookie out of Rutgers, had a quick first step and is explosive off the ball.


Rookie Za'Darius Smith, a rookie outside linebacker and fourth round pick out of Kentucky, also had a presence about him. A lot of rookies look lost, but not this kid.

"He's a good fit for our defense, so I'm excited about seeing how he does," Harbaugh said. "Again, this is like all those guys, once we get the pads on, we'll know a lot more. But so far, so good."