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Healthy Owen Daniels Feels He Can Return To Pro Bowl Form


New Ravens tight end Owen Daniels may seem like a grizzled veteran, but he's only 31 years old and just one year removed from a Pro Bowl season.

Now healthy after a broken fibula ended his season prematurely last year, Daniels feels he can return to his previous form in Baltimore.

"I went to the Pro Bowl after 2012 and felt really good, physically, that season, and I felt really good going into last season," Daniels said. "I feel really good this season."

Daniels got off to a strong start last year, catching 24 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns through the first five weeks.

But Daniels broke his fibula in Week 5 in the fourth quarter against the San Francisco 49ers. Somebody landed on him after a reception and it snapped. Daniels jogged off the field thinking he had a charley horse, but received the bad news a day later.

The injury, combined with the Texans' poor season, made for a rough year in Houston, and Daniels was released on March 11.

But that's behind him now. Daniels has been proving himself on the field at Ravens organized team activities (OTAs). He looks like the Daniels of old that used to give Baltimore's defense trouble.

"I'm kind of getting older now, but my body feels good after coming off last year," Daniels said. "The injury is a non-issue. I had to knock some rust off the first couple days after not playing football since last October, but I'm feeling better as I go along through OTAs."

Daniels should see a lot of action alongside starter Dennis Pitta. Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak loves using two tight ends and coached Daniels for eight seasons in Houston.

It's unknown exactly how Daniels will be used. Will he play the same role he did in Houston? Will that go to Pitta? Either way, Kubiak will get him the ball.

"When O.D. [Daniels] is on the field, when he's been healthy, he's been very productive in this league," Kubiak said. "When you have [Daniels] and Dennis, you get balance. That's one of the great things going on right now. We have a chance to be very balanced offensively – outside, inside with those two guys."

For Daniels, it's about proving he can be reliable and consistent again. That's what he's been throughout his entire career.

"I look to contribute whatever way I can," Daniels said. "I've always tried to be someone who can be relied upon in crucial situations, when it's third down and you need to stay on the field. That's what I'm focusing on now. Every play is important.

"You don't want to have it be that you're making plays one day and then they can't find you the next day. Be the same person every day."

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