Before the Pitta injury, the Ravens were looking for one of the younger receivers (Deonte Thompson, Tandon Doss, and David Reed) to establish himself. Now, it would be beneficial if two of them were to step up. If trust in these younger players cannot be created, the Ravens will need to explore trade options.
Of course, there are possible wrinkles the Ravens can tinker with as the pre-season develops.
Ozzie Newsome suggested to SI.com’s Don Banks that the Ravens could run a wide open offense with speed on the inside and outside.
The Ravens can use Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce together in the backfield, splitting out Rice as a receiver and keeping Pierce as the single running back. This formation provides the dual threat of run or pass.
Maybe Juszczyk can develop into that move/H-back? In reality, this was Pitta’s position. Very rarely did Pitta lineup at the end of the line in a two-point stance. He shifted from the backfield, split out wide, or lined up in the slot. Juszczyk did many of these things at Harvard.
These options are all delving into the great unknown. What is known? The Juggernaut, Vonta Leach opening up holes for a tried and true run game.
I believe the Ravens should explore, tinker, become creative, and turnover every stone to continue the offensive evolution that took place during last year’s epic postseason. You don’t pay Joe Flacco $120 million to handoff the ball.
But if the passing game stumbles and falters early in the season (it will, and it still would have even with Pitta), Leach provides the Ravens with a strong alternative and more time for things to develop.