The Baltimore Ravens run a tight end heavy offense. Joe Flacco and company relies on the versatility two tight end formations create in both the running and passing game. It was expected during the offseason that the Ravens would have one of the premier tight end duos in Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, but it was not to be.
Dennis Pitta is currently recovering from a broken and dislocated hip. Ed Dickson has faltered underneath the pressure of being the number one guy. Billy Bajema, the third string tight end, has proven to be nothing more than a blocking asset. Finally, newly signed Dallas Clark is proving that he is past his prime and cannot hold onto the ball.
The Ravens are supposedly looking into former Giant and Patriot tight end Jake Ballard, but perhaps the answer lies within their own team. Perhaps the answer is Matt Furstenburg.
Matt Furstenburg, a speedy undrafted free agent, looked good this preseason. A fan favorite, Furstenburg graduated from Maryland where he worked with a string of inept quarterbacks his senior year, only catching 16 balls for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Furstenburg is capable of much more than that, however. He showed off solid hands during the preseason and open practices with a certain toughness that Dickson and Clark lacked against the Denver Broncos.
Ultimately, nobody knows the players on the roster better than GM Ozzie Newsome, but one would think there is nothing Jake Ballard can offer, besides more experience, that Matt Furstenburg can not offer. With the speed to stretch the field, the toughness to go over the middle, and the hands to actually catch the football, Furstenburg may be the biggest hope for the Ravens’ offense.
He certainly cannot play any worse than what the Ravens have at tight end right now.