The Ravens have never faced Cincinnati Bengals quarterback A.J. McCarron, but they are plenty familiar with him. Ravens linebackers Courtney Upshaw and C.J. Mosley were teammates of McCarron at Alabama and Ravens coach John Harbaugh felt like he got to know the second-year signal caller a little bit when the team worked him out ahead of the 2014 draft.
Harbaugh thought enough of the former Crimson Tide standout to tell McCarron that he reminded him of New Orleans Saints perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees.
McCarron "looked at me cross-eyed a little bit, like, 'What the heck are you talking about?'" Harbaugh recalled. "I felt like when I watched him play, he reminded me a little bit of Drew Brees. I think he wanted to say, 'Yes, but I'm 6-3. Drew Brees is 5-11 and 7/8 maybe.' I said, 'No, I'm talking about your accuracy and your decision-making,' and how quick his release is. He really has a quick release. His accuracy, his decision-making at Alabama were really good, and you see that with the Bengals so far."
Since replacing an injured Andy Dalton, McCarron has completed 59-of-88 passing attempts for 672 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions over the past three games.
"I was watching the game Monday night and it definitely reminded me of him playing at Alabama," Mosley said. "Very confident back there, reading coverages, zipping it into double coverage, things like that. So it's going to be fun to play against him. This is my first time actually playing against a quarterback I played with before, so if I hit him I might give him a little tap on the helmet and tell him good job, but it'll definitely be a fun thing to play against him."