The Ravens are in their first week of OTA’s, with Thursday’s practice open to the media. While full-contact drills are not allowed, the wide receivers and tight ends in particular will want to show they are picking up new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak’s passing attack quickly.
Wide receivers Torrey Smith and Steve Smith, and tight end Dennis Pitta are expected to be primary go-to guys for quarterback Joe Flacco. However, it is difficult to predict which players will get the most opportunities. Kubiak is a coordinator who likes variety in his formations, whether it’s multiple tight ends, empty backfields, three wide receivers, or other variations. Kubiak will get a better look at which players fit best with certain packages.
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Marlon Brown led the Ravens in touchdown receptions last season with seven. However, with Jacoby Jones, Aaron Mellette, and rookie Michael Campanaro all vying to be part of the wide receiver mix, Brown enters his second season with no guarantees. Meanwhile, the running backs like Ray Rice and rookie Lorenzo Talieferro will get a taste of how Kubiak plans to use them in the passing game, as well as the running game.
Pitta is a proven pass-catching tight end, but so is Owen Daniels, a free agent acquisition who played for Kubiak in Houston. The Ravens also drafted a tight end, Crockett Gillmore, who has intriguing size and talent, and they signed a free agent tight end, Phillip Supernaw, who played for Kubiak in Houston.
The Ravens believe they have created more competition and depth offensively, after they underperformed last season. Kubiak is trying to identify his most reliable playmakers. While it’s only May, a good way to impress Kubiak early is to look good at OTA’s.