Ravens to face Browns backup QB McCown again

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GROGAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— When the Ravens travel to Cleve­land on Sun­day, they will be fac­ing a Browns team with­out its start­ing quar­ter­back. That’s not good news for Bal­ti­more.

Cleve­land starter Robert Grif­fin III was placed on in­jured re­serve Mon­day af­ter suf­fer­ing a bro­ken bone in his shoul­der dur­ing the Browns’ sea­son opener the pre­vi­ous day. Backup quar­ter­back Josh McCown will start against the Ravens Sun­day.

Bal­ti­more has some fa­mil­iar­ity with McCown, who started both games it played

OWINGS MILLS

against Cleve­land a sea­son ago.

McCown has played against the Ravens three times in his 14-year jour­ney­man ca­reer, hold­ing a 2-1 record against them.

Bal­ti­more head coach John Har­baugh heard about Grif­fin’s in­jury be­fore he ad­dressed the me­dia Mon­day.

“I don’t have the full scout­ing re­port on Josh McCown other than to say that he’s had a lot of suc­cess against us,” Har­baugh said. “We know what kind of a player he is. We know how good he is and he’s been su­per good against us, so we know we’ll have our hands full and it will be all hands on deck to get ready for the of­fense led by Josh McCown.”

McCown, 37, led the Chicago Bears to a 23-20 vic­tory over the Ravens in 2012 in place of in­jured quar­ter­back Jay Cut­ler. Bal­ti­more of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Marc Trest­man was Chicago’s head coach.

He split two games against the Ravens as the Browns’ sig­nal caller last year, but only be­cause Bal­ti­more de­fen­sive end Brent Ur­ban blocked a field goal try and safety Will Hill re­turned it 64 yards for a touch­down as time ex­pired.

McCown had torched the Ravens when the teams met nearly two months ear­lier.

He threw for 457 yards and two touch­downs in a Week 5 game at M&T Sta­dium, mark­ing the third most sin­gle-game pass­ing yards the Ravens have given up in fran­chise his­tory. The Browns won 33-30 and over­came a dou­ble-digit sec­ond­half deficit be­hind McCown.

He hit tight end Gary Barnidge for an 18-yard score that Barnidge caught be­tween his legs with 12:23 left. McCown then found Isiah Crow­ell for a 22-yard touch­down with 2:53 left that gave the Browns a 3027 lead.

“He’s been on fire against us,” Har­baugh said. “He’s thrown the ball up in the air and the guy catches it be­tween his feet for a touch­down last year. I just re- mem­ber this guy hav­ing no con­scious, just throw­ing the ball in there and com­plet­ing passes against us. We have a lot of re­spect for him.”

If the Ravens looked ahead to the Browns game be­fore Sun­day’s 13-7 Week 1 win over the Buf­falo Bills at all, the scout­ing re­port would have sug­gested that the team was open­ing the sea­son against con­sec­u­tive mo­bile quar­ter­backs. Buf­falo’s Ty­rod Tay­lor evaded a hand­ful of would-be sacks and Grif­fin III made a num­ber of im­pres­sive plays with his legs dur­ing a pro­lific rookie sea­son with the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins.

“I think it changes the way you ap­proach the quar- ter­back part of it, but Hue Jack­son is still the [head coach] and we have tons of re­spect for Hue Jack­son. Hue Jack­son is a ring­mas­ter, so to speak,” Har­baugh said. “He’s very cre­ative. He finds ways to at­tack a de­fense at your weak­est spots.”

Jack­son is in his first sea­son as the Browns head coach af­ter spend­ing the past four years as the of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor of the Cincin­nati Ben­gals, another AFC North ri­val. He served as Bal­ti­more’s quar­ter­backs coach dur­ing Joe Flacco’s rookie sea­son in 2008.

Fol­low Sean Grogan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

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