Why Doss Got Nod Over LaQuan

The rookie fourth-round pick has worked behind Anquan Boldin in the slot.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Monday, December 26th, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

With Anquan Boldin out due to knee surgery, the Ravens had a choice to make at wide receiver: Tandon Doss or LaQuan Williams?

Baltimore chose Doss to step in as the No. 3 wideout, giving him his first activation since Week 7, Oct. 24 against Jacksonville.

On Monday, Head Coach John Harbaugh said the “biggest factor” in deciding between the two rookies was that Doss is more versed in the slot, where Boldin often lines up in three-wide formations.

“LaQuan can play inside and outside too, but Tandon has probably majored more inside behind Anquan,” Harbaugh said.

The fourth-round pick hasn’t caught a pass yet in his rookie season, as he’s been stuck near the bottom of the wide receiver depth chart. This was his fifth game active and he’s been targeted twice.

The Ravens activated undrafted rookie free agent LaQuan Williams for their first 11 games. Williams caught four passes for 46 yards, including two for 28 yards in Pittsburgh. But Williams has been a healthy scratch the last four weeks.

Doss has been tutored by Boldin throughout the season. He said he goes to the nine-year veteran every day to ask what he can work on that day in practice.

Harbaugh said Doss has “worked hard” to crack the active roster.

“Every day I go out there and bring it in practice,” Doss said. “Going against our defense every day, there’s no way you can’t get better if you don’t try to.

“It was nice to get my feet wet a little bit, some experience under my belt.”

Doss didn’t make much of an impact against the Browns, however. He was targeted by one pass that went incomplete.

Quarterback Joe Flacco went to him in a crucial situation. The Ravens faced a third-and-10 as they tried to hang onto their six-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Doss ran a timed out route to the Ravens sideline, but the pass was ahead of him. Doss simply said the timing between he and Flacco was off.

“We’ve got to get our chemistry together,” Doss said. “We haven’t worked together as much, so hopefully we’ll get that worked out.”

Doss was on the field in two-wide formations on the Ravens’ final two offensive possessions, taking the place of Lee Evans after a pass intended for Evans was intercepted. Harbaugh expressed after the game that he thought the Ravens could have broken that pass up.

Asked whether Doss could have a bigger role than at No. 3 in Cincinnati, Harbaugh didn’t rule it out.

“I could see that, sure,” he said. “That’s a possibility.”

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