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Ravens part ways with Shiancoe, Harewood in first wave of cuts

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Ravens part ways with Shiancoe, Harewood in first wave of cuts

Posted on 25 August 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

Needing to trim their roster to 75 players by Tuesday’ 4 p.m. deadline, the Ravens wasted no time Sunday by parting ways with 12 players including veteran tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and offensive lineman Ramon Harewood.

The timing of the decision to part with Shiancoe is a strong indication that starting tight end Ed Dickson is making strong progress after making his return to the practice field on a limited basis last week. Dickson suffered a partially-torn hamstring on Aug. 4, prompting the Ravens to sign veteran tight end Dallas Clark to improve their depth. Shiancoe had struggled to catch the ball consistently despite a strong performance in the third preseason game, and the Ravens will apparently go with a more blocking-minded third tight end in veteran Billy Bajema or rookie Matt Furstenburg.

Harewood began the 2012 season as the Ravens starting left guard on the offensive line before falling out of favor and spending much of the season on the game-day inactive list. A restricted free agent this past offseason, he wasn’t offered a tender but instead re-signed on a one-year contract that included a reported $320,000 signing bonus.

Other cuts included wide receiver Tommy Streeter, running back Damien Berry, wide receiver Rashaad Carter, guard Jack Cornell, linebacker Bryan Hall, tackle David Mims, cornerback Moe Lee, defensive end Will Pericak, linebacker Meshak Williams, and wide receiver Gerrard Sheppard of Towson.

Hall shed upwards of 50 pounds this offseason after converting from defensive tackle. Originally an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas State, Hall spent his rookie season as a member of the Ravens’ practice squad in 2011 before making the 53-man roster as a defensive tackle last season. He was active for five regular-season games last year, collecting three tackles.

Streeter, a sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft, spent his rookie season on injured reserve with foot injury but never showed enough ability in practice to suggest he could be an NFL wideout and had fallen behind the likes of rookies Marlon Brown and Aaron Mellette on the depth chart.

The Ravens also placed linebacker Adrian Hamilton on injured reserve with a wrist injury, which is beneficial to their roster crunch at the linebacker position.

Baltimore announced the signing of quarterback Dayne Crist, which is nothing more than depth for Thursday’s preseason finale after backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor left the Carolina game to be evaluated for a possible concussion. Third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie and potentially Crist figure to receive extensive action against the St. Louis Rams.

Despite Tuesday being the deadline to go from 90 to 75, many teams will release select veterans a few days earlier than that to allow them to potentially catch on with another team. Baltimore released veteran cornerback Chris Johnson early last week.

Following Sunday’s announcements, the Ravens have 77 players on their preseason roster and will have to make a couple more moves, but those shouldn’t be surprising with offensive lineman Ryan Jensen, defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore, linebacker Jameel McClain, and tight end Dennis Pitta all dealing with long-term injuries at the moment.

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Some clarity offered despite Ravens’ ugly offensive showing

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Some clarity offered despite Ravens’ ugly offensive showing

Posted on 23 August 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

BALTIMORE — To harp on the negatives of an ugly offensive performance in the Ravens’ 34-27 preseason loss to the Carolina Panthers would be stating the obvious.

Turning the ball over three times in the first half is a recipe for losing to any team in the NFL and certainly didn’t make coach John Harbaugh and his coaching staff happy about the starting unit’s performance in the third preseason game that’s typically viewed as the dress rehearsal for the regular season. The Ravens know they have plenty of progress to make with their offense and little time to do it before traveling to Denver for the opener on Sept. 5.

“We obviously turned the ball over and you lose more games than you win in this league when you do that,” quarterback Joe Flacco said. “With what we did tonight, we’re not going to win a lot of football games doing that. At the same time, it was just a lot of miscommunication, and I felt like we did a lot of really good things, too.”

The sixth-year quarterback contributed to the woes, tossing two first-half interceptions, but he’s right about the big picture stemming from Thursday’s game. Unlike last week’s performance against the Atlanta Falcons in which the only tangible positive from the starting offense was a 77-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith, the Ravens can feel encouraged by a few developments against the Panthers.

Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda returned to action and felt no ill effects from the offseason shoulder surgery that sidelined him through the first half of the preseason. The offensive line looked markedly better with him at right guard, evident by a nine-play, 69-yard opening drive that resulted in a 1-yard touchdown by running back Ray Rice. The line once again struggled when the veteran departed after the first couple series of action, which is a concerning statement about its overall depth.

Despite the shaky performance of the offensive line, second-year center Gino Gradkowski appeared to play solidly and it looks as though the 2012 fourth-round pick has all but locked up the starting job in the competition against A.Q. Shipley, who was relegated to playing time only after the starting offense was removed.

Slot receiver Brandon Stokley was targeted three times, making three catches for 43 yards and moving the chains with two of those receptions. Questions remain whether the 37-year-old can gain the necessary separation to make consistent contributions, but Stokley ran crisp routes and showed the consistent hands he’s had throughout his 15-year career.

His ability to work in the slot appears to be a godsend following the long-term hip injury to tight end Dennis Pitta at the beginning of training camp and the disappointing preseason of third-year receiver Tandon Doss, who was responsible for one of Flacco’s two interceptions when he failed to make the proper site adjustment on a coverage. It was apparent Thursday that Stokley has leapfrogged Doss on the depth chart as the first option in the slot and has solidified a spot on the 53-man roster.

“He runs great routes,” Harbaugh said of Stokley. “He does a great job of getting loose and getting open against pretty much every coverage. It was good to see.”

Perhaps even more encouraging — and definitely more surprising — was the performance of rookie wide receiver Marlon Brown, who led the Ravens with four catches for 59 yards and reined in a 24-yard touchdown catch in heavy traffic. An undrafted free agent out of Georgia, Brown suffered a torn ACL in his final season with the Bulldogs and was unable to participate in the scouting combine or pre-draft workouts, which contributed to him going undrafted in April.

Despite a rookie camp tryout with the Houston Texans, Brown eventually signed with the Ravens and was limited in spring workouts as he is still in the process of working his way back to where he was prior to the knee injury suffered last November.

“We really liked him from the beginning,” Harbaugh said. “When we first saw him on tape — I saw him — he jumped off the tape, but he had the ACL [injury]. He’s come back from that thing quickly, and he’s playing well.”

Recently receiving more practice time with the first-team offense due to his own improvement as well as the failure of other young receivers to distinguish themselves this summer, Brown and seventh-round rookie Aaron Mellette received extensive first-half action after veterans Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones were pulled earlier than expected. It was clear the Ravens were in more of an evaluation mode than you’d expect for the third preseason game, but Brown didn’t squander the chance.

Catching all four passes thrown his way by Flacco, Brown showed solid route-running ability in sitting down in the window of a zone coverage for a first-down completion early in the first half and showed excellent timing with the starting quarterback on a deep out route early in the third quarter. However, the play that had everyone excited was his ability to use his 6-foot-5 frame to haul in a high throw in tight coverage over the middle of the field before taking it the rest of the way for the touchdown midway through the third quarter.

Truthfully, it would still be a stretch to view Brown as one of the Ravens’ top receiving options — it was only one preseason game, mind you — but you can’t teach his type of height and the Ravens have to be salivating about the possibility of using the big rookie as a red-zone target. Regardless of how Brown will ultimately fit, it’s become highly unlikely that the Ravens can sneak him onto the practice squad and he’s produced more than other young receivers fighting for roster spots anyway.

“It’s just that I know the offense a lot better,” Brown said. “I’m able to understand the calls and I’m more in sync with the quarterback. I’m working every day with him. Last week was the first week I went with the ones. I feel like the more practice and the more reps I get with them, the better it will be for me.”

Beyond Stokley and Brown, the Ravens saw an uneven performance from their veteran tight ends as Dallas Clark dropped a pass and looked uncomfortable working in the offense while Visanthe Shiancoe turned in his strongest performance of the preseason with two catches for 21 yards on three targets. Harbaugh even went out of his way to compliment Shiancoe’s blocking, which has come under scrutiny throughout his career and could be a factor in determining whether he makes the 53-man roster.

The tight end position remains nearly as difficult to figure out as wide receiver with Ed Dickson still working his way back to full strength from a partially-torn hamstring and Shiancoe and Clark trying to prove they can be real factors in the effort to replace Pitta’s production.

The Ravens offense emerged from Thursday’s performance with still far too many questions than you’d like at this late stage of the summer. Flacco has struggled to build chemistry with a revolving-door group of pass-catchers, the offensive line hasn’t performed well without Yanda, and it’s impossible to trust anyone beyond Smith and Rice as productive receiving targets at this point.

Three turnovers in the first half only augmented the concerns that were already there with offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell’s unit, but the Ravens will point to the performances of Stokley and Brown as possible pieces to the offensive puzzle. And it’s important to remember that the Ravens didn’t exactly game-plan for the Panthers after remembering Smith was targeted only once before his early departure.

As we already thought before the third preseason game, the Baltimore offense remains a major work in progress with time running out before the games start to matter and three-turnover first halves are excruciatingly unacceptable.

“We’ve just got to execute better,” Stokley said. “We moved the ball well, [but] we just shot ourselves in the foot, committed turnovers and drive-killers. We’ve got to get back to practice, work on those types of things, and get them corrected. If we do that, I think we’ll be alright.”

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Ozzie Admits Mistake with Recent Signings

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Ozzie Admits Mistake with Recent Signings

Posted on 13 August 2013 by Brett Dickinson

Now Ozzie Newsome is one of (and probably the best) General Manager in the NFL, for his entire career in Baltimore.  But that does not make him impervious to mistakes. His “Achilles Heel” has always been the pass-catcher situation; namely Wide Receiver.

He has made smart moves in the past to find targets for Joe Flacco, Trent Dilfer and Steve McNair, such as Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin and Shannon Sharpe.  But none of them had the monster careers that Baltimore fans hoped for.  Add in his track record in the draft with receiving threats (i.e. Travis Taylor, Mark Clayton, Patrick Robinson, Demetrius Williams, etc.) and you could say Ozzie has been somewhat unsuccessful filling that spot.

Most recently, Anquan Boldin was due $6 million for the 2013-14 season.  After a failed attempt to renegotiate Boldin’s contract, the Ravens sent him Super Bowl foe, San Francisco 49ers, for a 6th round pick.  The move was made thinking that the young core, namely Torrey Smith, Tandon Doss and Dennis Pitta, would take their games to the next level.  The team has already lost Pitta for the season, and seem to be underwhelmed by the rest of pass-catchers.

Since Training Camp began, Baltimore has signed a trio of aging veterans, who made a living across the middle of the field (Brandon Stokley, Visanthe Shiancoe and Dallas Clark).  The argument would be that those signings were to supplant what was lost in Pitta’s tragic hip injury.  But the team had already brought in Shiancoe, before their up-and-coming star TE went down.

Ozzie found the need to bring three guys, on the wrong side of 30, to fill the void left by the key losses of their TE and top WR in 2012. Though the organization did not want to pay Anquan Boldin, they sure have spent a lot of time and effort trying to find a replacement.  Unless one of the young players, like Aaron Mellete, Deonte Thompson or Tommy Streeter, begins to wow the Ravens’ brain-trust, those vets will see a lot of time in 2013.  

Anyone is hoping to see the 2007 version of any of those signings walk through the doors in Owings Mills, will be highly disappointed.  Stokley had a somewhat of a rebound season, but had the luxury of playing with Peyton Manning (again), Shiancoe caught zero passes for the Patriots in five games and Clark played his first full season in three years for Tampa Bay in 2012.

The fact that Ozzie started digging at the bottom of barrel, for players no other team wanted, shows a lack of confidence in the players currently on the roster.  Hindsight is always “20/20,” but moving on from a trusted big-game target, like Anquan Boldin, looks like a bigger mistake several months later. His production is clearly already missed and Ozzie has realized that.  Let’s just hope it has not been “too little, too late.”

 

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Your Monday Reality Check: Look, I love Brandon Stokley and all…

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Your Monday Reality Check: Look, I love Brandon Stokley and all…

Posted on 12 August 2013 by Glenn Clark

I can’t stress this part of this enough.

I LOVE Brandon Stokley. If he ran for governor of the State of Maryland I would vote for him. Hell, I’d register under the names of six or seven dead guys as well so I could just keep voting for him.

If he hadn’t re-signed with the Baltimore Ravens, I probably would have offered to invite Stokley and his family over to the Glenn Clark compound for dinner. I would have offered to grill. My fiancé and I are partial to kabobs, but if Brandon Stokley was coming over we would have grilled a meal called “anything he wants.” We probably would even use real plates instead of the regular paper plates that we regularly use when we eat outdoors.

I REALLY love Brandon Stokley. I’ve been planning a “Bachelor Road Trip” with my best friend recently before I get married. If he wasn’t going to be playing football this Fall, I would have asked him to come along. I could just envision the two of us chugging beers at a Lone Bellow show in Memphis and belting out every word to “Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold” before posing for goofy pictures together at Graceland the next day.

You know as well as I do that my outpouring of love is going to have to be followed by a sentence that starts with the word “but.” I’m just trying to delay it because I would to make sure my love for Brandon Stokley is fully conveyed.

There are only roughly 150 current or former NFL players who can claim to have won a Super Bowl for the city of Baltimore. We’ve lost a number of the Super Bowl V champion Colts, we’ve lost a couple of the Super Bowl XXXV champion Ravens as well. The fraternity gained 55 or so new members earlier this year, but remains incredibly exclusive.

Of those 150 or so members, even fewer can claim to have scored touchdowns in a Baltimore Super Bowl victory. Tom Nowatze, John Mackey (who is the only member of this group to have passed away), Duane Starke, Jermaine Lewis, Jamal Lewis, Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta and Jacoby Jones (two) join Stokley on the very exclusive list. Stokley’s TD haul in Super Bowl XXXV will forever be special

Whether Brandon Stokley ever rejoined the Ravens or not, I would like to think he would have never had to pay for another beer or dinner in our city. If that meant I had to personally purchase every one of those beers and dinners, I would be willing to. That’s how much I love Brandon Stokley.

Okay, now here’s the “but” of it.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Old friend Stokley officially rejoins Ravens at stadium practice Sunday

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Old friend Stokley officially rejoins Ravens at stadium practice Sunday

Posted on 11 August 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

BALTIMORE — The man who caught the first touchdown in Ravens Super Bowl history officially reunited with the team who drafted him as wide receiver Brandon Stokley was present for Sunday’s practice at M&T Bank Stadium.

The 37-year-old receiver who played in Baltimore from 1999 through 2002 watched practice but didn’t participate as the Ravens held their second public practice of the summer. Earlier in the day, the Ravens officially announced a one-year contract with Stokley and waived wide receiver Marcus Rivers to create room on their 90-man preseason roster.

With the foot injury to wide receiver Deonte Thompson and the questions surrounding the wide receiver position, Stokley’s addition became a no-brainer in the Ravens’ minds.

“It gives us experience,” coach John Harbaugh said. “It gives us a guy who can catch balls in the slot and has done that over a number of years. He’s done a great job of that. It’s an asset for us. More than anything, it’s a need potentially in a certain area, but we still have guys who are in the process of stepping up there.”

Stokley had a solid season with former Indianapolis teammate Peyton Manning in Denver last year, catching 45 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns.

For the veteran receiver, Sunday felt like a homecoming as Stokley recalled arriving in Baltimore 14 years earlier as a fresh-faced rookie taken in the fourth round of the 1999 draft out of Louisiana-Lafayette. It only took 384 catches, 5,224 yards, and 39 touchdowns for the 15th-year veteran to come full circle.

“This is where I started. A lot of old, good memories,” said Stokley, who believes he can provide the Ravens with a target who can help move the chains and provide another option inside the red zone. “It’s just a great organization, great fans, just all around a great place. I’m just trying to come in here and work hard, do my best, and hopefully help out in any way that I can.”

Of course, Stokley’s first run with the Ravens didn’t include the opportunity to play with a franchise signal-caller like Joe Flacco as Stokley played with the likes of Tony Banks, Trent Dilfer, Chris Redman, and Elvis Grbac. In four seasons with Baltimore, he caught just 60 passes before joining Indianapolis where he caught 139 passes while playing with Peyton Manning over the next four seasons.

Stokley was quite complimentary of Flacco after being reminded by reporters that he was on the opposing sideline in Denver when the Baltimore quarterback connected with Jacoby Jones on the 70-yard touchdown to force overtime in the divisional-round thriller against the Broncos.

“He’s unbelievable,” Stokley said. “You saw what he did last year in the playoffs. That run that they went on was awesome. It takes a special quarterback to do that.”

Thompson out, Pierce possible for Atlanta game Thursday night

Harbaugh confirmed that Thompson’s left foot sprain wasn’t something that will keep him sidelined for an extended period of time but ruled out the second-year receiver for Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Thompson injured the foot making a 5-yard catch in the second quarter of the preseason opener against Tampa Bay and didn’t return. He was seen wearing a walking boot following the game and hasn’t practiced since. It appears, however, he will be ready to play in the all-important third preseason game in less than two weeks.

“Deonte sprained his foot. It’s not serious,” Harbaugh said. “We’re going to hold him out of this game and re-evaluate him on Friday [to] see where he’s at. I would expect him back for the Carolina game.”

The Baltimore coach also confirmed reports that the injury to running back Bernard Pierce’s knee wasn’t serious, labeling the injury as a bruise. The second-year back tweaked his knee on a 20-yard touchdown early in the second quarter of Thursday’ game and didn’t return.

Despite not practicing over the last two days, Pierce still has a chance to play against the Falcons, according to Harbaugh.

Dickson on mend, no timetable for return

Sunday marked a week since Ed Dickson suffered a slightly-torn hamstring tear and while he’s not ready to announce a date for his return, the fourth-year tight end continues to make progress in rehabbing the injury.

“Every little thing I can do, I’m taking it day by day,” Dickson said. “This type of injury with a muscle, you’ve got to take it day by day. I’m doing all the little things, staying conditioned, and trying to catch as many balls as I can.”

Dickson has taken some consolation in knowing he can take his time recovering fully after the recent veteran additions of Visanthe Shiancoe and Dallas Clark, but the 2010 third-round pick said it’s been frustrating being sidelined after the season-ending loss of Dennis Pitta on July 27.

Asked whether he was confident that he’d be ready to go for the start of the regular season as Harbaugh has previously said, Dickson wouldn’t speak in specific terms, only expressing concern that he doesn’t want the injury to linger into the regular season.

“I can’t make any predictions,” said Dickson about his availability for the season opener on Sept. 5, “but I’m working hard to do that. I’m trying my hardest to get back out there. It kills me. I’m hard on myself.”

Absences growing at practice

The Ravens were without 13 players for Sunday’s stadium practice as linebacker Courtney Upshaw was a new absence to add to the list.

Joining him as non-participants were wide receivers Thompson (foot) and Marlon Brown, Pierce (knee), tight ends Dickson (hamstring) and Pitta (hip), offensive linemen Marshal Yanda (shoulder) and Ryan Jensen (foot), cornerback Chris Johnson (undisclosed), linebackers Bryan Hall (hamstring) and Jameel McClain (neck), and defensive linemen Marcus Spears (undisclosed) and Kapron Lewis-Moore (knee).

Johnson had practiced on Saturday before once again being sidelined for Sunday’s workout.

Odds & ends

Kicker Justin Tucker continued his outstanding training camp as he connected on field goals from 20, 39, 48, 35, 52, and 58 yards. He then proceeded to miss attempts from 64 and 67 yards even though each kick had more than enough distance. The NFL record for the longest field goal is 63 yards. … A day after being chastised for lackadaisical play by Harbaugh, rookie wide receiver Aaron Mellette turned in his strongest practice of the summer, making consecutive difficult catches on a slant pattern and sideline route during 7-on-7 drills and topping those receptions with an outstanding leaping catch over the middle for a long gain while working with the second-team offense a few minutes later. … With Thompson sidelined, the Ravens primarily used Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, and Tandon Doss in their three-wide sets, but David Reed also received some reps with the first-team offense. Harbaugh said after Sunday’s practice that they’re going to take a closer look at Doss in the slot after using him in the slot and on the outside in the first couple weeks of practice. … As he did in his first tour of duty with the Ravens, Stokley will wear No. 80 and plans to practice on Monday. … The Ravens announced approximately 25,000 fans were in attendance for Sunday’s open and free practice at M&T Bank Stadium.

 

 

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Visanthe Shiancoe

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Life After Pitta

Posted on 29 July 2013 by timjones60

 Yesterday the Ravens announced the addition of local standout and former Minnesota Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe to help minimize the damage that was suffered with the loss of star tight end Dennis Pitta. To many this move was obvious because of the fact that Shiancoe had appeared at the Ravens practices as an observer. Many took this as a sign that the free agent tight end was on the verge on returning to Baltimore after playing his college ball at Morgan State.

In my opinion the writing is on the wall that Shiancoe’s stint with the Ravens will not go past this season. With Dickson and Pitta both in contract years, Dickson may well play his way out of the Ravens if he performs like most are now expecting him to so he can replace the production lost by Pitta. However the Ravens have already looked into developing players like former Maryland tight end Matt Furstenburg. We can not forget about special teamer Billy Bajema as well. So I look at Shiancoe as an inexpensive band-aid who can hopefully come across the middle with out hearing footsteps (see Ed Dickson).

So with losing Pitta, we lose Flacco’ security blanket and almost a third of his passing touchdowns. The fact that the Ravens lose that much production, we can look for the Ravens to add another slot receiver, or even change the offense with the soon to be addition of Vonta Leach. No matter what Jim Caldwell will have to change some aspect of his offense and time will tell if Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense will be able to flourish.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Newsome has few flaws, but Pitta injury exposes one

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Your Monday Reality Check: Newsome has few flaws, but Pitta injury exposes one

Posted on 29 July 2013 by Glenn Clark

Before you even bother, I’m very aware of how silly it is to criticize one of the best General Managers in NFL history.

I’m even more aware of how silly it is to criticize a General Manager less than six months removed from seeing his assembled talent claim the second Super Bowl title of his tenure.

So I have an idea for you as you rad ahead. Every time you see the terms “Ozzie Newsome”, “Newsome”, “Ravens General Manager”, “Ravens GM”, “Hall of Fame former TE” or anything that would make you think I was referring to “The Wizard of Oz”, insert (in your mind) the phrase “who just won the Super Bowl and is one of the greatest executives in league history” immediately behind his name.

For example…

Ozzie Newsome (in your head: “who just won the Super Bowl and is one of the greatest executives in league history”) will be meeting with the media Monday to discuss his induction speech for Jonathan Ogden at the Pro Football Hall of Fame next weekend.

Got it? This will go a long way to making sure you understand that despite some criticism I will offer the rest of the way, I’m very aware of the greatness of Ozzie Newsome. Is everyone together on this?

The road to defending the Vince Lombardi Trophy hit a serious bump for the Baltimore Ravens Saturday. As you know, TE Dennis Pitta was lost for the entire 2013 season when he suffered a hip injury in a collision with S James Ihedigbo during the first padded practice of Training Camp.

Since the column (and the radio show) are titled “Reality Check”, I’ll remind you that the season did not end for the Ravens Saturday, despite how many of your friends that root for teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers or Washington Redskins will want you to believe it did. The Ravens are very much still in the mix to win the AFC North with the Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, and in a down conference they will have as much a chance as any.

For that to happen, the Ravens will need to replace the production of two of their top three pass catchers last year (RB Ray Rice tied Pitta for second with 61). The group they look to in order to make up for it doesn’t inspire a particularly strong amount of confidence.

WR’s Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones are both capable if not complete options. Smith made major strides in his all-around game in his second season and could well be primed for a breakout year as QB Joe Flacco’s top target. Jones has long been a decent third receiver option in the NFL, but has never been able to consistently match his superb level of kick returning.

This is the part where we get to the “flaw” I referred to in the headline.

TE Ed Dickson immediately moves to the top of the depth chart with Pitta’s injury. He, recently signed Visanthe Shiancoe, little used Billy Bajema and undrafted rookie free agent Matt Furstenburg fall in line behind that. Shiancoe is well known (thanks in large part to a nationally televised “wardrobe malfunction”), but played in just four games with the New England Patriots in 2012 and didn’t have a single catch. Shiancoe appeared to be on the verge of retirement at the age of 33. Dickson was though of highly enough coming out of Oregon in 2010 that he was drafted a round ahead of Pitta, but he is coming off a season where he had just 21 catches for 225 yards and no TD’s.

Then there are the rest of the receivers. Tandon Doss, Deonte Thompson, LaQuan Williams, Tommy Streeter and Aaron Mellette are the guys fighting for a legitimate chance to make the 53 man roster coming out of Camp.

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In wake of Pitta injury, Ravens ink veteran TE Shiancoe to one-year deal

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In wake of Pitta injury, Ravens ink veteran TE Shiancoe to one-year deal

Posted on 28 July 2013 by Luke Jones

(This blog brought to you by Atlantic Remodeling. Visit www.atlanticremodeling.com to learn about their Red Cent Guarantee!)

The awful news of tight end Dennis Pitta potentially being lost for the season after suffering a dislocated hip on Saturday was followed by the signing of veteran tight end Visanthe Shiancoe a day later.

After general manager Ozzie Newsome visited with Shiancoe in Owings Mills on Friday, his signing to a one-year deal became a no-brainer with Ed Dickson moving to the top of the depth chart and the Ravens looking for another experienced tight end to fill the void left behind by Pitta. The Morgan State product is entering his 11th season in the NFL and has caught 243 passes for 2,677 yards and 27 touchdowns in time spent with the New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings, and New England Patriots.

Shiancoe spent last season in New England but did not record a reception in four games as Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez topped the Patriots depth chart. His best season came in Minnesota in 2009 when he made 56 receptions for 566 yards and 11 touchdowns playing with future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.

The veteran will wear No. 81, the jersey formerly worn by wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

At 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, the veteran should provide quarterback Joe Flacco another target in the red zone, but the question will be how much Shiancoe has left at this point in his career.

 

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