On Now
Coming Up
  • Sat., Aug. 27, 2016 6:30 PM EDT Live Pregame Show Gerry Sandusky, Stan White and Qadry Ismail preview the Ravens' preseason matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Sat., Aug. 27, 2016 7:00 PM EDT Live Game Audio Broadcast Listen to the live WBAL broadcast of the Lions vs. Ravens on BaltimoreRavens.com or in the Ravens mobile app.
  • Tue., Sep. 06, 2016 8:00 AM EDT Paint The Town Purple Help us paint the town purple! Visit M&T Bank Stadium on Tuesday morning or the Maryland State Fairgrounds in the afternoon to have your car stenciled with the official Ravens logo.
  • Wed., Sep. 07, 2016 8:00 AM EDT #FindTheFlock Scavenger Hunt Locate one of the six LED Ravens letters spread around Baltimore on Wednesday, Sept. 7 and you could win great prizes by using the hashtag #FindTheFlock! Clues will be provided Wednesday morning via the Ravens Snapchat account, so stay tuned and make sure to follow BLTRavens on Snapchat!
  • Fri., Sep. 09, 2016 5:00 PM EDT Countdown To Kickoff Party Presented By Miller Lite Grammy Award®-nominated rock band 3 DOORS DOWN will perform at the Ravens Countdown to Kickoff Party Presented by Miller Lite on Friday, Sept. 9 at Maryland State Fairgrounds. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. Open to all ages.
  • Sat., Sep. 10, 2016 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM EDT Ravens Report Hosted by WUSA-TV's Kristen Berset, Ravens Report, the flagship program of the Baltimore Ravens that showcases life in the NFL. Created by Ravens Productions, this magazine-style show features behind-the-scenes access to Ravens players and coaches as they prepare for each week's opponent.
  • Sat., Sep. 10, 2016 7:30 PM - 8:00 PM EDT Ravens Wired See the plays, hear the sideline conversations and feel the hits on Ravens Wired, the only behind-the-scenes show featuring a Ravens player wired for sound during each week's game. Go behind the Ravens bench for in-game adjustments and inside the locker room for Head Coach John Harbaugh's post-game speech. Produced by Ravens Productions, Ravens Wired is hosted by Comcast Sportsnet's Brent Harris.
  • Sun., Sep. 11, 2016 1:00 AM - 1:30 AM EDT Ravens Unscripted Ravens beat writers Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing join our host to tackle the latest Ravens headlines and hottest topics. Each week's show, brought to you by Ravens Productions, also features a special guest, including prominent sports media, front office staff, players or other Ravens insiders.
  • Sat., Sep. 17, 2016 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM EDT Ravens Report Hosted by WUSA-TV's Kristen Berset, Ravens Report, the flagship program of the Baltimore Ravens that showcases life in the NFL. Created by Ravens Productions, this magazine-style show features behind-the-scenes access to Ravens players and coaches as they prepare for each week's opponent.
  • Sun., Sep. 18, 2016 1:00 AM - 1:30 AM EDT Ravens Unscripted Ravens beat writers Ryan Mink and Garrett Downing join our host to tackle the latest Ravens headlines and hottest topics. Each week's show, brought to you by Ravens Productions, also features a special guest, including prominent sports media, front office staff, players or other Ravens insiders.

News

Print
RSS

How Dennis Pitta Would Help Offense

Posted Dec 5, 2013

If TE Dennis Pitta can play this Sunday, he’ll boost the red-zone offense and be big on third down.


The potential return of tight end Dennis Pitta this Sunday means more to the Ravens than quarterback Joe Flacco getting his BFF back.

“He is just a good player,” Flacco said.

“He’s got good body presence and a lot of things that he does well in his routes that give you a good indicator. He catches the ball, he runs well, [and] he separates. There are a lot of things that he does well. I think overall he just helps your whole offense.”

Head Coach John Harbaugh said Pitta went to New York on Tuesday to visit with doctors and determine if he’s ready to play.

Pitta has been ramping up the amount of work in practice and Harbaugh said he’s “pretty hopeful that he can play on Sunday.”

Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier is on alert for Pitta to suit up.

“He’s one of those move tight ends who can be a matchup nightmare for a defense trying to cover him with a linebacker or even some safeties,” Frazier said. “He’s a very good route runner, and he’s got good hands as well. It seems like Joe really likes to get the football to him, so he presents some problems.”

Here’s where Pitta could specifically help the Ravens offense:

Red Zone

The Ravens are 24th in the NFL when it comes to scoring touchdowns in the red zone. They get in the end zone 48.7 percent of the time.

They’re often getting points thanks to kicker Justin Tucker, and rank eighth in red-zone scoring efficiency, but getting just three points instead of seven could bite them.

Pitta is a big-time red-zone target. Of his nine touchdown receptions last year, including three in the playoffs, seven came from 20 yards or within.

He has a knack for finding the end zone. During the regular season, he caught just eight passes inside the 20. Six were for touchdowns.

Third Down

Baltimore has done reasonably well on third down, converting 37.6 percent of the time (17th in the NFL). The Ravens have done especially well lately. They were 10-for-17 on third down against the Steelers last week.

Pitta should help the Ravens take another step forward in that category.

Nearly half of his receptions last year were for first downs (29 of 61) and he had the third-most first-down catches on the team behind Anquan Boldin (45) and Torrey Smith (38). Pitta had just two fewer targets on third down than Boldin last year.

Pitta has a knack for making tough catches in traffic, which helps him haul in passes when defenders are waiting to hit him right at the first-down marker.

In The Slot

With Boldin in San Francisco and Pitta out, the Ravens have had a revolving door of players in the slot, which doesn’t make life easier on Flacco. They started with Brandon Stokley and have rotated Marlon Brown, Deonte Thompson, Tandon Doss and Dallas Clark in that position.

The plan when the Ravens traded Boldin to San Francisco was to use Pitta to help fill his role, often splitting him out wide as a wide receiver. It’s a position Pitta has thrived in, and can help settle with his return.

Pitta was excellent in helping with the Ravens’ short passing game last season. Of his 83 regular-season targets, 58 were on passes thrown between one and 10 yards. He caught 42 passes for 410 yards in such situations compared to eight receptions for 185 yards on passes thrown more than 11 yards.

“He’s very very versatile in terms of the kind of routes that he can run,” Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell said.

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.

Related News

Recent Videos

Recent Photos