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They don’t have a chant like Todd Heap yet, but if they keep it up, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta may one day.
With their mentor standing inactive on the sidelines, Dickson and Pitta put on a show and played a big role in the Ravens’ offensive awakening Sunday afternoon.
The second-year tight ends had near identical nights. Dickson caught six passes for 46 yards with a long of 14. Pitta made six receptions for 44 yards and a long of 12.
Add it up and it’s a Heap-like effort in his prime – 12 receptions for 90 yards.
“It’s always good to have a good game versus your teacher,” Dickson said. “He’s a great mentor; there’s nobody out there that’s better than him. And I just told him today, ‘Man, I appreciate everything [you] did for me.’ And we just wanted to make plays for him; he taught us like that.”
In his 10 seasons in Baltimore, Heap became the Ravens’ all-time leader in touchdown receptions (41) and was second in receptions (467) and receiving yards (5,492) before being surprisingly cut just before the season.
He was looking forward to playing in his return to Baltimore, but was held out after warm-ups. It’s the third straight game that Heap, who battled injuries during his time as a Raven, has missed due to a hamstring injury.
Heap met up with Joe Flacco and his wife, and Pitta and his wife, on Saturday night before the game. While Heap was a mentor to the tight ends, he also helped the Ravens’ young quarterback cut his teeth.
Flacco said after the game Sunday that with the game on the line, a player has to turn to those he knows will get the job done. Trailing 24-6 at halftime, Flacco targeted his young tight ends early and often.
It may not quite yet be the same connection that Flacco and Heap once shared, but it’s growing, and Baltimore is able to give opposing defenses more looks with a double-trouble threat.
“We want to basically instill confidence in Joe and this tight end group,” Dickson said.
Pitta got the Ravens’ first drive of the second quarter going. After taking a 2-yard loss on the first play out of halftime, Pitta made an excellent falling snag on an eight-yard pass. Dickson followed with a 14-yard reception on third down.
Baltimore went right back to them on the second drive of the third quarter.
The first play of the drive was a nine-yard gain to Pitta, then a 10-yarder to Dickson. The Ravens particularly went to their tight ends, who were both on the field in their “diesel” formation, according to Dickson, when working in the no-huddle offense.
“We were sick of playing bad football offensively,” Pitta said. “We have a good offense. We’ve shown that in a lot of games this year. Last Monday night wasn’t one of those, but Ed and I like being out on the field together. We like going out and creating mismatches and making plays.”