Clifton Brown on impact of Pitta loss, Shiancoe signing
Former Morgan St. tight end Visante Shiancoe signed a one-year contract with the Ravens, and participated in Sunday’s practice.
Shiancoe’s signing comes in the aftermath of the Ravens losing tight end Dennis Pitta for the season with a fractured hip. Even before Pitta’s injury, the Ravens had interest in Shiancoe as someone who could help their tight end depth. Shiancoe was at the Ravens’ facility Friday’s, sitting next to general manager Ozzie Newsome during practice. After Pitta went down during Saturday’s practice, signing Shiancoe became more urgent, and he looked forward to helping the Ravens’ offense.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity, and I’m just ready to work,” Shiancoe said following practice.
Asked why joining the Ravens appealed to him, Shiancoe said, “No. 1, they are champions. You can’t beat that. They have a great team. They lost a couple of guys, but with Ozzie’s personnel staff, he knows how to bring in some good guys. They are pretty stacked on defense. They have a good offense. I just see a good opportunity here. That’s what I see.”
Shiancoe is a 33-year-old, 10-year NFL veteran who played just four games for the Patriots last season, hampered by a hamstring injury. However, his best season was with the Vikings in 2009 when he caught 11 TD passes from Brett Favre. The Ravens hope Shiancoe can develop similar red zone chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco, who lost one of his favorite red zone targets in Pitta.
Ed Dickson is now the starting tight end, joining Shiancoe, Billy Bajema, Matt Furstenburg, and Alex Silvestro as the other tight ends in camp.
For now, Shiancoe will join practice and try to familiarize himself with the Ravens’ offense as quickly as possible. Coach John Harbaugh was already impressed with Shiancoe’s conditioning.
“He blew away the conditioning test,” Harbaugh said.
Shiancoe said that his work ethic was one of his strengths.
“I’m going to bring everything I’ve got,” Shiancoe said. “Nothing is given. You have to earn everything. That’s what I’ve come here to do.”