Ravens tight end Ed Dickson lost out on a lot in the last week-more than what you would think.
Not only did he lose playing time in Baltimore’s Week 1 preseason loss to the Eagles 13-6 last Thursday due to an injury, but days later he lost his number #83-albeit giving it up willingly-to the recently acquired WR, Lee Evans of the Buffalo Bills who wore the number for nine years.
However, he told Glenn Clark on WNST this week that he could not have given it up to not only a better football player, but a stand-up guy.
“Lee Evans came in, and he’s kind of a soft-spoken guy,” Dickson said. “But he’s a real great individual. He came to me and took it to me-just as classy as anyone can take it and asked me if I was interested in changing numbers.”
Evans was acquired by the Ravens for a fourth-round pick less than 24 hours after the preseason game versus the Eagles-a game Dickson missed due to a hamstring injury, but it took time for Dickson to give up a number he wanted to have as a Raven for the long-term.
“I’m telling you it was really hard,” Dickson said. “I was that number my whole time in college, and I wanted to keep that number. But at the same time, I understand how it feels to him and I wanted to be a great teammate and help him out.”
Dickson will now wear #84-a number he wore in high school. And on top of that, he guaranteed that you’ll see him in uniform with it on versus the Kansas City Chiefs in the home preseason opener at M&T Bank Stadium tonight.
“You are definitely going to see me out there Friday night,” Dickson said,” competing and seeing the Ravens offense a little better than they were last week and I’m going to be out there trying to get a victory.”
Dickson-who was drafted by the Ravens in the 3rd-round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Oregon-was projected to be the starter going into this season after the release of two-time Pro Bowler Todd Heap, who spent a decade in a Baltimore uniform.
That was a moment this off-season when Dickson felt a vote of confidence coming his way.
“I thrive off those moments,” Dickson noted to Clark.
And despite his fellow 2010 draftee Dennis Pitta making several big plays in his stead last week, Dickson said both he and his fellow teammate think alike.
“Speaking on Dennis’ behalf, we thrive for those moments,” Dickson said.
Dickson said both he and Pitta have nobody in the world to thank but Todd Heap for his guidance in their rookie years.
“He was a great mentor,” said Dickson. “He did a great job of teaching us, and not basically forcing info on us.”
An outside critic would look at Heap’s departure and say that Dickson should be upset by Pitta gunning for his snaps and vice versa, but Dickson doesn’t feel that way at all.
“Man, I was proud to be tight end,” Dickson laughed. “Dennis is like my brother, so I was one of the first people that came up to him and congratulated him on that catch. [I told him] to stay in the game, make a lot of catches, and I knew he had it in him.”
The only thing missing Dickson said?
Making it a tag-team effort.
“We didn’t have a chance to showcase it-both of us,” Dickson said.
And Dickson knows his value going forward and the benefit he has of being in an offense ran by Cam Cameron that loves to utilize the tight end.
“I really love his offense,” Dickson said,” because he really gets the tight ends and other players involved. I wanted to learn and grow in his offense…so I’m real excited to get him back and he really is a great offensive coordinator.”