On Now
Coming Up
  • Fri., Feb. 12, 2016 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EST Poe Grams Poe will be available to surprise your loved one at work, home, or school. Poe will be stocking up for your Valentine at Giant Food, Smyth Jewelers, and Merritt Athletic Clubs to create a memorable experience that your loved one won’t forget!
  • Sat., Feb. 20, 2016 10:00 AM EST Cheerleader Prep Clinic The purpose of the clinic is to provide prospective cheerleaders with the best preparation for try-outs on March 5th.
  • Sat., Mar. 05, 2016 9:30 AM EST Cheerleader Tryouts Come join us and become part of the best cheerleading program in the NFL!
  • Sat., Mar. 12, 2016 11:00 AM EST Playmakers Tryouts The Playmakers are the Ravens promotional team. Come join us and become part of the best organization in the NFL.
  • Sat., Apr. 02, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Marching Ravens Tryouts Come join us and become part of the best marching band in the NFL!
  • Sat., Apr. 02, 2016 2:00 PM EDT Torrey Smith Charity Basketball Game Former Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith announced that his annual charity basketball game will return to Baltimore on April 2 at Royal Farms Arena.
  • Thu., Apr. 28, 2016 8:00 PM EDT NFL Draft The 2016 NFL Draft will be held from April 28-30 in Chicago, IL.
  • Fri., Apr. 29, 2016 7:00 PM EDT NFL Draft The 2016 NFL Draft will be held from April 28-30 in Chicago, IL.
  • Sat., Apr. 30, 2016 12:00 PM EDT NFL Draft The 2016 NFL Draft will be held from April 28-30 in Chicago, IL.
  • Thu., Jun. 02, 2016 8:00 AM EDT Ravens Beach Bash This summer will mark the 5th annual Ravens Ocean City Beach Bash, presented by Miller Lite, June 2-4 in Ocean City, Md. Join Ravens Players, Cheerleaders, Playmakers, Band, Mascots and talent from 98Rock and Miller Lite as they turn Ocean City into Ravenstown for the weekend.

News

Print
RSS

Who Will Replace Anquan Boldin?

Posted Mar 17, 2013

The Ravens could turn to tight end Dennis Pitta in the slot, and also look to young talent.


Veteran Anquan Boldin was the top target for quarterback Joe Flacco the last three seasons.

But now Boldin is gone after getting dealt to San Francisco, leaving the Ravens with a big hole at wide receiver. 

So who’s going to replace him?

One option is to put tight end Dennis Pitta in the slot, using him in a role similar to what Boldin has played the last couple seasons.

“Well certainly Pitta has done a really good job,” said former NFL general manager and current NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly. “I think that’s an area that could be utilized more going into the future and be just as productive in that role as a go-to guy who can move the chains.”

Over the last two seasons, Pitta has emerged as primarily a pass-catching tight end with great hands and the ability to haul in catches in traffic. He had 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns last year, compared to Boldin’s 65 catches for 921 yards and four touchdowns.

Like Boldin, Pitta excels at working the middle of the field to find the soft spots in the defense. The Ravens have experimented with him in the slot in the past, as he played receiver for two games in 2011 when Boldin was out with a knee injury. He had six catches for 62 yards and a touchdown during that stretch. Pitta also played some wide receiver during his college career at BYU.

Regardless of whether Pitta lines up at tight end or receiver, he is a likely candidate to take Boldin’s spot as Flacco’s go-to target when the Ravens need to pick up a key first down.

“Pitta can do that,” Casserly said. “There’s no question about that.”

With Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones on the roster, the Ravens already have speedy wide receivers to work the edge, allowing Pitta and some of the other young receivers to work the middle of the field.

“When you look at the receiver corps, speed is certainly a big issue there that they’ve got now,” Casserly sad. “They’re faster now than they were a couple years ago.”

In addition to Pitta, the Ravens also have young receivers who have been waiting for an opportunity to get on the field.

Tandon Doss, a 2011 fourth-round pick out of Indiana, has shown promise in his limited opportunities the last two seasons. He finished last season with seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown, and the Ravens have high hopes for him.

Second-year receiver Deonte Thompson is also another option. He came to Baltimore as an undrafted free agent last year and caught the attention of coaches in training camp with his blazing speed and big-play ability. 

Thompson opened the season as the team’s starting kick returner, but then Jones took over the job and Thompson struggled to get back on the field. He was inactive for every game after Week 5.

“Tandon Doss is a good, young prospect,” Casserly said. “You’ve got Deonte Thompson who is an explosive-type receiver. So you’ve got some guys there to work with.”

The Ravens could also look to add another player to the mix through the draft or free agency. The Ravens may look to make a late signing, similar to what they did last year with Jones.

Drafting a receiver is an option, although Casserly expects the Ravens to go with defense early. 

“I don’t think [wide receiver is] a primary concern,” he said. “I think they’ve got bigger needs, with the inside of that defense and at the safety position. I think if they can add one, that would certainly be good to get some more competition in the mix because they have some inexperience there in trying to replace Boldin.”

Whoever the Ravens end up using to replace Boldin, Casserly emphasized that part of the responsibility will fall on Flacco to make up for Boldin’s absence. He is the franchise quarterback and getting paid as such, and  it’s on him to carry the offense no matter who is playing receiver.

“From an overall point of view,” Casserly said, “paying Flacco puts you in position to a degree, like Indianapolis [with Peyton Manning] and New England, that you’re going to be a quarterback-driven offensive team.”

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