Sunday, July 28, 2013
Anyone surprised Ravens added Shiancoe?
By Jamison Hensley
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced that the team has lost tight end Dennis Pitta (dislocated hip) for the season and signed tight end Visanthe Shiancoe to a one-year deal.
"Dennis is out for the year," Harbaugh said. "It's the type of thing he's not going to be able to come back from this year. There's enough damage in there."
When asked if Pitta would be ready for next season, Harbaugh said: "It would be really, really rare for something you couldn't be back next year."
The addition of Shiancoe falls into the surprised-but not really surprised category. Let me explain. It was expected that the Ravens would sign Shiancoe after he watched the Ravens practice Friday and then Pitta went down with the season-ending injury Saturday. But I am surprised that the Ravens weren't linked to Dallas Clark at any point.
Clark had 47 catches for 435 yards and four touchdowns for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and played under Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell when they were both with the Indianapolis Colts. Maybe the Ravens did reach out to Clark and things didn't work out. Maybe the Ravens felt Clark didn't have anything left. Either way, the Ravens brought in Shiancoe for the minimum of $940,000.
Shiancoe, a 10-year veteran, brings experience to a team that has only one tight end who has caught more than 15 passes in an NFL season (Ed Dickson). But Shiancoe's production has dropped the past three seasons. He didn't make a catch in four games with the New England Patriots last season.
Shiancoe is expected to compete against journeyman Billy Bajema, undrafted rookie Matt Furstenburg and former practice squad player Alex Silvestro for the backup job behind Dickson.
Harbaugh ruled out the possibility of using the injured reserve-designated to return option on Pitta like the Ravens did with linebacker Ray Lewis from a year ago.
"I would say no at this point," Harbaugh said. "He's out for the year."
Pitta sent a message from his Facebook page: "Asking for prayers for a speedy recovery and heal time as I go through this ordeal. Ravens will always be Ravens and if it turns out that I am out for the season I have confidence for other teammates to step up and do their part. Keep the faith!"