It probably wasn’t until the famed “Fu Manchu” mustache revolution that swept through Baltimore after the Ravens’ Thanksgiving 2011 matchup against the 49ers that many realized that Joe Flacco and Dennis Pitta spend a lot of time together.
Perhaps too much time.
The evidence? One night they decided to grow hideous mustaches, mustaches that Flacco deemed “ugly” and “almost offensive” after his post game press conference.
Since then, many people have seen the Flaccos (Joe and Dana) and the Pittas (Dennis and Mataya) enjoying various things around Baltimore that most young couples in their late-twenties would. Whether it’s going to Camden Yards to watch the Orioles or heading out for frequent pizza nights, the couples are almost inseparable.
“We get a lot of time to talk about football when we’re hanging out,” Pitta said. “Most of the time we spend outside of the facility, we’re trying to get away from it a little bit and just have a good time.”
When they do talk about work during their personal time, Pitta sees how it helps him become more of a reliable target for his quarterback.
“It does give us an opportunity to talk through things a little more and know what he’s thinking and what he wants from me.”
The level of trust between Flacco and Pitta was evident on Monday night as the two connected for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Pitta was well covered in the end zone but Flacco had confidence in his tight end to come down with the pass.
Most quarterbacks wouldn’t have attempted that pass in the red zone but Flacco did.
“I don’t know if it helps us on the field but I’m sure it doesn’t hurt. It probably helps our chemistry on the field,” Pitta said.
While Pitta and fellow third-year tight end Ed Dickson aren’t nearly as hyped as New England Patriots duo Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, Flacco has seems to have every bit as much trust in his two chain-movers as does Tom Brady.
The proof is in the numbers. Against the Bengals, the Pitta-Dickson combination had only one fewer target (12 total, with nine of those going to Pitta) than all Ravens wide receivers combined. Pitta’s 73 yards led the team and his aforementioned touchdown was one of two Flacco threw on the night.
“I think Ed and I created mismatches that we’re able to take advantage of,” Pitta said. “Hopefully we continue to get some passes thrown our way and make some plays for the team and keep being an explosive offense.”