Friday, April 4, 2014
Ravens make case for NFL's top TE tandem
By Jamison Hensley
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- The pairing of Owen Daniels with Dennis Pitta gives the Ravens their best one-two punch at tight end in their history.
Could Pitta and Daniels be the best tight end tandem in the NFL? Ravens coach John Harbaugh wouldn't argue against it.
"To me, the sky's the limit," Harbaugh said at Friday's introductory news conference for Daniels. "We're not going to downplay anything that we're capable of accomplishing. These are two of the best tight ends in the National Football League, who fit this offense really, really well. Hey, no promises. We've got to go out and do it and prove it. Use your imagination and you guys know football. You know where this is going."
In 2012, the last time Pitta and Daniels had a full season, they each topped 60 receptions and five touchdowns. If the Ravens could get a combined 100 catches from them this season, it would be quite an accomplishment. Only the New Orleans Saints had a tight end combination with more than 100 catches last season, and Jimmy Graham accounted for 86.
Besides the Ravens, the other top tight end tandems in the league are the Indianapolis Colts with Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen (if he's healthy); the Denver Broncos with Julius Thomas and Jacob Tamme; and the Cincinnati Bengals with Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert.
But Pitta and Daniels have a more proven track record.
"I think being able to play alongside Dennis is going to be awesome," Daniels said. "We're going to be a great tandem. [Being] very versatile in what we do individually is going to make it tough on defenses to prepare."
Pitta and Daniels have a good shot at becoming the most productive tight end tandem in Ravens history. The Ravens have had five seasons in which two tight ends have totaled more than 80 catches. The most was 95 catches in 2005, when Baltimore's tight ends were Todd Heap (75 receptions) and Daniel Wilcox (20).