CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 01: Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens hauls in the touchdown in front of Nate Clements #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals during their game at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 24-16. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
1.) Dennis Pitta has the best hands on the team.
Many fans seem to think that Anquan Boldin has the best hands on the Ravens and up until this season I would have agreed. However, Dennis Pitta has come out of nowhere as the front runner to overtake Boldin in the hands department. Boldin had some untimely drops this season and Pitta catches everything within reach. I do not remember seeing a flat out drop from him all season. Early in the season Quarterback Joe Flacco said of Pitta: "He's just an easy guy to throw to". Maybe that is because Flacco's margin for error is much wider with the sure handed tight end.
Not only does Pitta catch everything thrown his way but he has a unique ability to naturally box out defenders with his body. Many fans are starting to compare him to Todd Heap because of his pension for making the big play at the right time but I think Pitta actually has a much higher ceiling than Heap did, even before his injuries.
Dennis is more athletic than he looks. He is capable of making any catch and always meets the ball at the highest point. This seems to come naturally for him, which is great because many players have to practice very hard to master these skills and sometimes never quite figure it out.2.) Joe Flacco has natural chemistry with Pitta.
It was very apparent in the AFC Championship game who Joe Flacco was the most comfortable with when the season was on the line. Dennis Pitta. When Joe had to get down the field he turned to Pitta because he knew if the ball was in his area he was going to be the one to catch it. Even when Flacco was simply throwing the ball away on a busted play he would heave it in Pitta's direction in hopes that he would somehow come down with it.
All season Cam Cameron has been starting Ed Dickson over Pitta. Maybe it is because Dickson is a bit faster. Maybe it's because Dickson was drafted a round earlier than Pitta and the team expects him to progress into a better player, I don't know. What I do know is that Dennis Pitta has outplayed his tight end counterpart this season.
Towards the end of the season When Joe Flacco decided to grow his mustache one player stuck right beside him and made himself look just as ridiculous. Do I need to say who that was?
These two are fast becoming friends and the coaches should make sure they are on the field together as much as possible.
3.) Ed Dickson is dropping the ball.
Maybe Ed Dickson is feeling the heat too. Right about the time that Flacco and Pitta were growing their twin "Musti," Dickson started to drop some easy catches. Not only was he dropping easy balls but he was dropping them in key situations. It could be a fluke. I did not watch Dickson in college and I don't know if he has always had a problem with drops but he certainly did this season. That can definitely get in your head when you have the most sure-handed guy on the team playing behind you. Hopefully he will fix it in the off season.
I'm not saying that Ed Dickson should be benched. Both of these guys have the potential to be top flight tight ends. There are plenty of times that both players can be used at the same time. There are also many occasions where Dickson may be the better option for some plays. At this point however, I think Pitta has earned the right to at least be considered for the starting job. The guy has been lights out and he simply does not drop the ball.
Who should start at tight end for the Ravens in 2012?
Ed Dickson (22 votes)
Dennis Pitta (350 votes)
Someone else (2 votes)
374 total votes