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Training Camp Battles: Tight End

Tight end has to be one of the more exciting positions to watch this year. The Ravens drafted two top talents in Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, both will be competing for a spot behind Todd Heap.  Yet, they both could be that “number two” tight end. By all accounts both these rookies have the skills to contribute and could see playing time this year.  Cam Cameron must be up to his sorcery designing ‘double tight end sets’ and ways to get all three players on the field at once. 

Who’s In the Mix:

Todd Heap, 6-5, 250 (veteran)

The only issue with Heap has been his health. The good news is that it has been reported that he is feeling healthy as opposed to last year at this time when he had back issues heading into training camp. The second half of last year Heap seemed like he returned to his consistent form.

Dennis Pitta, 6-4, 245 (rookie)

A versatile player, can line up in the H-back spot or split out. A real threat in the middle of the field. He’s hoping his outstanding college production will translate to the Ravens playbook.

Ed Dickson, 6-4, 250 (rookie)

A bit faster and may be considered the more explosive of the two tight ends, will be able to stretch the field. He will be looking towards his speed and play-making ability to impress coaches.

Davon Drew, 6-4, 260 (second year)

His career to make it on the first team takes a step back with Pitta and Dickson in the mix.  Will have to an outstanding camp for any chance.

Edge:Todd Heap. Of course Heap will be the front runner and most likely the number one starter. He has the benefit of understanding Cameron’s offense along with familiarity with Flacco and years of NFL experience.

The competition between Pitta and Dickson might be more about who has a better understanding of the playbook rather than about who has the better skill sets. Both have great hands and speed, if there was one negative that came out by draft experts was that both would have to improve on blocking. However, each brings something to the table and if all goes according to plan both rookies will contribute this year.

Related News On the TE Competition:

“They’re versatile,” said Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta explained. “Both (Pitta & Dickson) guys can split out, and they move around the line of scrimmage. They can play around the point of attack. They can play on the line of scrimmage. I mean, they’ve done it all.”

ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper said Dickson and Pitta will pair up to make an impact this year. “Baltimore went from a team with few options in the passing game to borderline loaded,” Kiper said. “It’s hard to say who will get the early edge, but both Dickson and Pitta have the ability to get downfield. They’ll compete for attention from Joe Flacco and everybody wins.”

During the Ravens’ voluntary off-season conditioning program this week, tight end Todd Heap had a big smile on his face, not a painful grimace. Feeling the healthiest he has in a while, Heap is entering the spring with a renewed vigor that simply wasn’t there at this point last year. “The main thing I was worried about last year was my back. It was tough to get through the off-season…“I’m 10 steps ahead of that already.”

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One Response to “Training Camp Battles: Tight End”

  1. rocky says:

    Yes, it will be exciting watching Cam’s sorcery with his tightends!
    Good to hear Heap’s healthy, he’s a real warrior, never complains and just goes out and gives it his best!
    The rookies will battle it out, but I have so much confidence in Cam and TE coach Wade Harman (in his 12th season) to make the right decision as to who should be in there!

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