“It’s about getting opportunities to run routes, to make plays, to get the ball thrown our way,” Pitta said. “Obviously, there are things you can do better. Ed and I both know that. We would love to be more involved.”
The Brigham Young product couldn’t pinpoint why the tight ends have become more of an afterthought in recent weeks, but the renewed commitment to establishing Ray Rice in the running game against the Browns certainly factored into the equation in Week 9.
Certain defenses match up better against athletic tight ends than others, but Pitta is clearly itching for more opportunities to make plays in the second half of the season.
“It’s hard to say,” Pitta said. “Going against certain teams, they give you certain things and you’re able to take advantage of some looks they give you. At the same time, we’ve shifted our focus to running the ball more and getting the ball in Ray’s hands.”
D. Reed returns to practice with uncertain future
After beginning the regular season on the physically unable to perform list after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee last December, return specialist and wide receiver David Reed returned to the practice field on Wednesday.
The Ravens have a 21-day window in which Reed can now practice before they must place him on the 53-man roster, waive him, or leave him on the PUP list for the remainder of the season. Where the third-year player fits in the Ravens’ plans remains to be seen as the team appears set at the return positions and Reed has never established himself as a viable option at wide receiver.
For now, he’s focused on proving to the organization that he’s 100 percent healthy and worthy of a roster spot.
“I’m not worried about what they have to do [or] the decisions they have to make,” Reed said. “That’s what they have to do upstairs — that’s their job. My job is to come in and play and try to do the best that I can.”
Return specialist Jacoby Jones has excelled on kick returns and is currently second in the NFL with a 35.9 yards per return average. Against the Cowboys in Week 6, Jones returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown to set a franchise record and tie the NFL mark.
Reed is hoping to become a factor in the return game as well, but he will likely need to distinguish himself in other special-teams roles if he is to carve out a spot on the active roster. Ball security was a major issue last season as he fumbled two kickoffs in Seattle to lose his kick returner job in the middle of the season.
“I want to be back there again, but Jacoby’s been doing a great job at it,” Reed said. “You can’t take anything away from him. Hopefully I can just come in and add onto that. Maybe we can both do it. Who knows? Coaches have to make that decision and whatever happens, happens.”
Odds & ends
The Ravens released quarterback Dennis Dixon from their practice squad and signed former Patriots tight end Alex Silvestro on Wednesday. The 23-year-old Rutgers product played in one game for New England during the 2011 regular season and has split time between defensive end and tight end as a pro. … After drawing his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty of the season in Cleveland on Sunday, Harbaugh said he will have some assistance in maintaing his cool during games. “I put a couple of players in charge during the game to keep an eye on me. I’m sure they’ll be happy to do that.”… Ron Winter will be the referee for Sunday’s game. … The Ravens own a 4-0 all-time record against Oakland in Baltimore and a 5-1 overall edge in the regular-season series. In their only playoff meeting, Baltimore defeated Oakland in the AFC championship in January 2001 to advance to Super Bowl XXXV. … During the Harbaugh era, Baltimore owns a 27-5 record against teams with sub-.500 records. The Raiders enter Week 10 with a 3-5 record.