For Tandon Doss, progress came slowly over three uneven years in Baltimore. Now the Ravens former fourth-round draft pick is moving on to Jacksonville, where he hopes his NFL career can finally reach its potential.
Doss signed a free-agent deal with the Jaguars Tuesday after the Ravens did not tender him an offer as a restricted free agent.
“[Jacksonville] just seemed like a place where I could compete for a spot and show what I can do,” Doss told the Florida-Times Union.
He definitely didn't always have that chance with the Ravens, but when he did, he failed to make the most of it.
Doss, who was frequently praised by coaches for strong hands, had several ill-timed drops, and it seemed he lost the confidence of Joe Flacco and the coaching staff. He played 20 offensive snaps over the last four games this season and had one catch over the final six games.
Doss, who has described himself as "the most impatient guy in the world," had to essentially watch and wait his turn for two years behind Anquan Boldin.
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When Boldin was traded before last season, Doss figured his time as the Ravens slot receiver had arrived. But an underwhelming training camp and a fierce competition at wide receiver left him the odd man out, and he was among the final roster cuts last August.
Doss was re-signed after Jacoby Jones sustained a knee injury at Denver, and Doss had his moments, most notably an 82-yard punt return touchdown against Houston. But he never did establish himself as a go-to receiver, finishing the season with 19 catches for 305 yards.
Over three seasons with the Ravens, Doss had 26 catches for 428 yards and one touchdown and averaged 15.3 yards on 27 punt returns.
With the re-signing of Jacoby Jones, presumably to handle the majority of returns, and the signing of Steve Smith, presumably to be the starting slot receiver, Doss' options in Baltimore were even more limited.
Still, Doss said of his time in Baltimore: “It was a great learning experience. You learn from the best, the guys who have done it. You take what they do and apply it to your game.”
Doss, whose 15.6-yard punt return average led the league, is joining a Jaguars team that ranked last in the league in punt returns. So that could definitely be a place where Doss makes his mark.
"It’s always good to have that in your pocket and able to utilize it, Doss said, "because the coaches always say the more you can do, the more you’ll be on the field."