Ravens to face Browns backup QB McCown again
— 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
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.
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