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Damage Control: Ravens tight end corps.

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Detroit Lions v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Tonight the Ravens lost TE Benjamin Watson to an Achilles tear. The loss is huge as he and Flacco had a real connection. I was able to see in person the connection grow with Flacco & Watson, and it started to really flourish; Unfortunately it was short-lived. The big question now, how do the Ravens move past?

Crockett Gillmore will need to take the next step. No longer can he be the starting caliber player, but instead be a starting tight end. I know that doesn’t quite make sense, so let me break it down.

Being starting caliber means he’s CAPABLE of starting. But being the starting tight end for Baltimore means something else, at least to me. It means he can’t be dropping the low passes or blocking well enough. It means he’s making plays and executing blocks on defensive ends and linebackers. It means being reliable to the team. Crockett has shown he’s capable of it, but now proving it is the step Gillmore needs to take.

Dennis Pitta needs to get healthy. Looking back, what a foolish injury. Getting in a fight with the rookie linebacker and taking a swing or two that fractures a finger is ignorant. Dennis hasn’t played a game in over two seasons now, and he’s now sidelined from punching a teammates pads or helmet. Either way, during camp he looked right back into the form he was before the hip injuries.

Maxx Williams - The second rounder is now on his second season. The sophomore tight end displayed great catches and blocking capabilites behind Crockett Gillmore last season. I expect a lot from him, as his draft position is a spotlight. Ozzie Newsome didn’t just take him in the second round, but he traded up in the draft to make the pick. To me that means he should be making plays and giving the Ravens something to lean upon.

Nick Boyle & Darren Waller - Both players with big suspensions. If one or both make the roster I expect them to quickly get on track in games to help lessen the blow wherever possible. Nick Boyle last season was a stud, and Darren Waller is a freak athlete in practice. Both can still practice during the regular season, which means they best be ready come time their number is called.

Overall

Baltimore may have the deepest tight end group in the league. The loss of Ben is tremendous, but if any team is capable of filling the loss it is the Ravens. The Ravens were in the works of moving on from Dennis Pitta by drafting and picking up tight ends. With Dennis back the loss of Ben is lessoned, though still heartbreaking.