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Opener 'Frustrating' For Tight Ends


Tight end Dallas Clark ran open across the middle of the field with a path to the end zone.

Quarterback Joe Flacco zipped a pass right to Clark's chest, but the third-down pass bounced off his hands and the Ravens ended up settling for a field goal just before halftime.

That's the way the night went for the tight ends in Thursday's 49-27 loss to the Denver Broncos.

"It's frustrating," Clark said. "It's disappointing. Your first game you want to come out and play well and we just didn't make enough plays to give us a chance."

Clark and Ed Dickson had their struggles Thursday night, as they both dropped passes and did not appear to be in sync with Flacco at times.

"A lot of things didn't go right," Dickson said. "I'm more critical of myself than anything, and I feel like I didn't put myself in position. It seemed like I was a step behind the ball all night."

Thursday was Dickson's first game since the Super Bowl, as he tore his hamstring during training camp and missed the entire preseason. He showed no lingering signs of the injury, but said he still needs to develop a rhythm with Flacco.

Dickson finished the night with one catch for 13 yards, but he was targeted with four other passes. Dickson got his hands on all of those attempts, but was not able to reel them in the catches. He took big hits on two of the incompletions, but stressed that he needs to make those tough grabs.

"If I'm going up the seams and I get hit, I have to catch the ball," Dickson said.

Clark had a much better night statistically, finishing with seven catches for 87 yards. Clark was targeted a team-high 12 times, and he also had passes bounce off his hands. Clark took a big hit over the middle of the field on one target, which led to an incompletion, and he also had the drop right before halftime.

He's a veteran known for having reliable hands, and he wanted to avoid those miscues during his first game as a Raven.

"It's disappointing and you just have to get the next one," Clark said.

The Ravens are counting on big seasons from both Dickson and Clark after tight end Dennis Pitta's hip injury. Pitta was expected to be one of Flacco's go-to targets, now Clark and Dickson will have to make up for the loss if his production. 

The Ravens like to work out of two tight end sets, making it important for Dickson and Clark to establish chemistry with Flacco. Both of them figure to be valuable components of the passing game, and they will have to shake off a tough performance in the opener to get on track for the rest of the season.

"We'll go back to the drawing board and get it right," Dickson said.

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