Baltimore Ravens’ fans were jumping for joy after the announcement that Owen Daniels was signed to help the load with Joe Flacco’s favorite receiver, Dennis Pitta. But just where will Owen Daniels fit into the offensive scheme of things with Gary Kubiak’s new vision for the Ravens?
Sure we all know that Coach Kubiak shared his Texans’ home with Daniels during his tenure there the last eight seasons, but Kubiak knows there’s no denying the chemistry that Dennis Pitta and Joe Flacco have had together in past seasons and the impact that – when they’re firing as a pair – the Ravens are on the top of their game.
Owen Daniels could be used in relief situations to give Pitta a break leading into 3rd down situations where they’ll be looking for short yardage opportunities. He is a veteran of the game and even being slotted into these situations, he knows the role he must play for the ravens this season.
If the ravens were pushing for quick slants to convert 1st downs, I’m sure both Daniels and Pitta could be used together, giving Harbaugh and Kubiak that much-needed versatility on offense to move forward.
Last season for Daniels didn’t really go to plan. He was injured for stretches of the season and only finished 2013 with 5 games played. Even though he was so limited to the Texans he managed to have 24/40 rec’s, 252 yds and 3 td.
However, the most concerning stat for Ravens fans will be his average yards in 2013, 2nd lowest in his career at 10.5, only his rookie year did he have fewer with a 10.4 average.
What the ravens will be looking for from Kubiak and Daniels together again, will be some of the 2011 magic where the Texans posted the 2nd best running game in the NFL and the franchise-record of 153.0 yards per game. That year Daniels played 15 games and put up 54/84 rec, 677 yds, 12.5 avg yds, 3 td and had 41 first down conversions.
Kubiak will be sure to run a hard-nosed running game, especially with the weapons he has to utilize in Baltimore. If Kubiak can get Pitta back to his high level of play (which he had before an injury ravaged 2013-14 campaign) next season, expect the sort of results that came with the accolades in Pitta’s 2012-13 Super Bowl winning season. He played 16 games, had 61/93 rec, 669 yds, 11.0 avg yds, 7 td and 21 first downs.
Combined together the Ravens will expect Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels to run for at least 800 yds and see Flacco target them together for over 150 times throughout the season.
Remembering that, if this duo of TE’s don’t work out, there is Gillmore Crockett – who was drafted in the 3rd round this year – and Philip Supernaw, who is also a one time Texan. These two guys are young and inexperienced so John Harbaugh will be praying to the Football gods that Dennis Pitta and Owen Daniels can get the job done in 2014.