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Tandon Doss' Expectation is to Start

The third-year starter believes there's an opportunity for more playing time this season.

Tandon Doss is vying for the No. 2 receiver spot this preseason.
Tandon Doss is vying for the No. 2 receiver spot this preseason.

Tandon Doss has noticed the success teammate Torrey Smith has had.

In two seasons, Smith has been an integral part of the Ravens' offense, ever since he exploded for three touchdowns in his first three career catches in a 2011 game against St. Louis.

Doss, who came into the NFL in the same 2011 draft class, wants to share in Smith's glory. In year three, Doss, competing for the No. 2 receiver spot, knows it's time to assert himself as a viable option in the passing game.

"I came here with high expectations and I still have the same expectations I had on day one," Doss said. "That was to become a starter, knowing everything was in my power to do that. The competition between the young guys is great. Torrey's been doing his thing and building on his success. Just watching him and how he's developed so far is very motivating for me because I came in with him and I just want the same things."

Doss has gotten off to a strong start in training camp thus far. He's worked in with the first team quite often, though the Ravens are rotating four different receivers in the rotation. Smith has been the only constant on the first team.

One advantage Doss has over the other competing receivers -- Jacoby Jones, Deonte Thompson and David Reed -- is his versatility with the X, Y and Z receiver positions.

Doss essentially shadowed Anquan Boldin the last two seasons, with the Ravens training him as Boldin's primary backup. Boldin was the slot man in three-receiver sets, a role Doss has an upper hand to fill -- especially with Dennis Pitta likely out for the season with a dislocated and fractured hip.

Doss said he learned a lot from Boldin, who acted as a mentor to him.

"I've never seen somebody work that hard, just off the field," Doss said. "Everything he did, he taught me a lot. Honestly, that's a different type of breed right there. He's a beast. You really can't replace him. I'm just looking to fill in, do my thing and be my own player."

At the same time, Doss said when he found out the Ravens traded Boldin to the 49ers, that it was a feeling of mixed emotions. Though Boldin helped him learn how to play the position at the NFL level, he would now have an opportunity to play more.

And with that, the added plays for Doss in practice have come.

"We take a lot of reps," coach John Harbaugh said. "He had a lot of balls thrown to him, so there were a couple in there - I remember a couple drops - but I sure remember a lot of catches. He looks fast to me. He looks more explosive than he's probably ever looked before."

Doss expects there to be varied packages based on the receivers' skill sets. The talent level is level, at least at this time, behind Smith, with plenty of options to mix in and out.

With the potential for added playing time, Doss is hoping to make that next leap in year three.

"You're always going to have confidence in yourself," Doss said. "I'm not here to plead everybody's expectations. I'm going to do what I do. That's the only thing I can do. I can control what I can control and that's making plays on the football field."

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