TEs should find more room in Raiders' zone

TEs should find more room in Raiders' zone
November 7, 2012, 4:15 pm
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The catches have only come to a halt for the Ravens' tight ends.

The targets, too.

After Dennis Pitta opened the session on a tear, the position has become a non-factor.

“The tight ends can be more productive. That’s something that they are working really hard," coach John Harbaugh said. "I’d like to see a few more plays out of them, and I know they feel the same way. They want to see a few more plays."

Harbaugh has had conversations with Pitta and Ed Dickson, both of whom are in the starting lineup.

Pitta has gone from 18 catches for 188 yards and two touchdowns in the first three games of the season to 14 catches for 121 and no touchdowns in the last five.

In fact, Pitta has had exactly 33 yards receiving in each of the last three games.  Dickson has had issues with drops and has just 10 catches for 85 yards. He has failed to score a touchdown and never has had more than two catches in a game.

"Those guys are fully capable of making spectacular catches," Harbaugh said. "So to me, they can make every catch. We need those guys to be a big part of it.”

With the renewed emphasis on the running game with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, the attempts could get fewer and farther in between.

"We've got to be more involved in the offense. If you don't get a whole lot of opportunities then there's not a whole lot of room to make plays," Pitta said. "That's kind of how we feel. We'd like to be more involved. If we're not given those there's not a lot of plays to be made."

Sunday's game vs. the Oakland Raiders, who play a lot of zone defense, should give the tight ends room to navigate. The Ravens' tight ends have had more trouble with man coverages.

"Going against certain teams they give you certain things and you're able to take advantage of some looks that they give you," Pitta said.