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Visanthe Shiancoe Next Up At Tight End


Dennis Pitta's out for the year. Now Ed Dickson's sidelined for a week or so.

With a diminishing tight end corps, the Ravens will turn to recent free-agent addition Visanthe Shiancoe.

Shiancoe has seen extensive time with the first-team offense the past couple of practices, and will likely see a lot of snaps in Baltimore's first preseason game in Tampa Bay.

"I'm going to keep building my building, brick by brick, and keep working hard every day just like I am now," Shiancoe said. "They're throwing me in there whenever they feel I'm ready."

Shiancoe's got to get ready in a hurry.

He said the toughest part of the job so far has been learning the Ravens offense's terminology. The concepts are the same, Shiancoe said, but it's a different language.

"Everything is about reps and repetition and gaining confidence in yourself and in the quarterback and in the offense, and just in the whole stew," he said.

Shiancoe, 33, spent his first four years as a New York Giant, then the next five in Minnesota, where he had his best seasons. In 2009, he caught 56 passes for 566 yards and 11 touchdowns. Shiancoe spent last season with the New England Patriots and saw time in just four games and didn't make a catch.

He's shown growth early on at Ravens training camp. Shiancoe and quarterback Joe Flacco connected on a red-zone touchdown Sunday when the two seemed to read a coming blitz. Shiancoe had a couple of tough catches in Monday's practice too. He could be a valuable red-zone target.

"I'd say he's done a really good job, but there is a learning curve," Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

"He physically looks like he is in good shape. He is running routes well. He catches the ball well, and he's learning the offense. That's not easy. He's not up to full speed because he's not there mentally yet. But we sure have a lot of talent and ability. He's doing a good job."

Harbaugh said the Ravens don't plan on signing any more tight ends before Dickson returns. In addition to Shiancoe, Baltimore has veteran Billy Bajema, rookie Matt Furstenburg and first-year player Alex Silvestro.

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