When Ravens tight end Ed Dickson signed his restricted free agent tender last week, we mentioned that he saw a significant drop in his production as a receiver between 2011 and 2012.
Dickson went from 54 catches and five touchdowns in 2011 to 21 catches and no scores last season, which helped him draw the lowest restricted free agent tender and gave him little chance to leverage his status into a longer deal with the Ravens or anyone else. Dickson thinks that a preseason shoulder injury was responsible for the drop in production, but not because he was limited physically the rest of the way.
Dickson thought the missed reps early in the season caused Joe Flacco to develop more chemistry with other receivers and lose confidence in Dickson as a target once the tight end was healthy again. He especially noticed Flacco’s connection with fellow tight end Dennis Pitta and wants to have that kind of closeness with Flacco for himself.
“We’re building right now to become eye to eye,” Dickson said, via the team’s website. “I’m trying to get that three-way going: me, him and Pitta. I’m trying to be in the circle.”
While that’s not exactly an image we were hoping to contemplate on a quiet Sunday afternoon, there should be plenty of opportunities for Dickson to capture Flacco’s eye heading into the season. Anquan Boldin’s departure has opened the door for players to gain more of a role in the passing game with Dickson near the top of the list and apparently willing to do anything he can to play a bigger part.