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John Harbaugh Not Ready To Anoint Tandon Doss, LaQuan Williams

The No. 3 WR position is open to Doss, Williams or another player added to the roster.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Saturday, March 31st, 2012 at 9:08 am | Categories: 2012 Offseason, Ryan Mink

After releasing Lee Evans, the Ravens have an opening behind Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith in their wide receiver corps.

The two logical replacements from within the team are second-year players Tandon Doss and LaQuan Williams, considering David Reed is recovering from a knee injury.

But Head Coach John Harbaugh wasn’t ready to anoint anybody just yet at the NFL owners meetings.

“If a better player comes in and beats those guys out and pushes one of those guys back, or two of those guys back, it would make us even better,” Harbaugh said. “But those guys will all be playing in that No.3 type, if you want to call it that role, three or four receiver.”

The Ravens could still look to the draft, which is deep at the position. The free-agent market is another option even though it’s been stripped of big names. It could be replenished with future cuts.

After the season ended, General Manager Ozzie Newsome said adding a wideout was one of the team’s needs. And that was before he released Evans.

Doss had a quiet rookie season. The fourth-round choice out of Indiana, who was hand-picked by quarterback Joe Flacco, was active for just six games and didn’t catch a pass. He was targeted twice.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder was playing behind Anquan Boldin, however. That’s why he saw the field in Baltimore’s final two regular-season games when Boldin was sidelined with a minor knee injury.

“Tandon was a more polished receiver than a lot of guys, but he wasn’t physically quite ready to beat somebody out,” Harbaugh said. “But Tandon is going to be a really good player. I think the weight room and the offseason program is going to be huge for him. We’re counting on him to be a big factor this year.”

LaQuan Williams was an undrafted free agent who was the Cinderella story of training camp. He was signed as a special teamer, but also flashed big-play potential at wideout that helped him make the team.

The 6-foot-0, 200-pound Williams was utilized more than Doss on offense. He caught four passes for 46 yards, including two for 28 yards in Pittsburgh.

Harbaugh said Williams was fighting through a shoulder injury that hindered him as the season went on. He tried to rest it midseason, but came back at the end and did “OK,” Harbaugh said.

“Being healthy is going to help him,” Harbaugh said, adding that he didn’t have many college reps so this offseason will really benefit him.

“I think he kind of did a really nice job. He was a big surprise for us. He came out of nowhere, played really well on special teams and on offense. He made some really big catches early in the year.”

Boldin mentored both wide receivers throughout the year. He credited Doss for being a player who can really catch the ball, but said Williams actually reminded him of himself.

“When I first came in, I was real raw. As the season went on, he started getting the technique that Coach [Jim] Hostler was looking for. He was beating guys in one-on-one coverage every day in practice. LaQuan was real smooth.”

Boldin didn’t have a guess as to who would end up manning the other wide receiver spot. But he felt comfortable either way with Doss or Williams.

“Those guys are more than capable of stepping into that No. 3 spot,” he said. “I’ve seen them develop from training camp last year toward the end of the season.”

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