The Baltimore Sun has reported that Ravens tight ends coach Wade Harman will be replaced by former Houston Texans tight ends coach Brian Pariani, according to league sources.
Pariani brings an impressive resume to Charm City, having coached former Ravens tight end and Hall-of-Famer Shannon Sharpe while with the Broncos as well as the Texans’ tight ends for eight seasons.
As the Ravens prepare themselves for the ever tough chore of signing players, one player of key importance will be tight end Dennis Pitta.
In Kubiak’s offensive system that will feature a ground-and-pound rushing attack along with a lot of play action, half roll outs, misdirection, intermediate and deep routes, Pitta is a must re-sign with Pariani at the coaching position. Add the fact that Pitta is a security blanket for Joe Flacco and it becomes a no-brainer.
During Kubiak’s and Dennison’s tenure in Houston with Pariani, they utilized the tight ends heavily. Outside receiving threat Andre Johnson saw big numbers as well as he became one of the league’s best wide receivers. With little help over the years to go along with Johnson, Kubiak turned to the Texans tight ends to pick up the slack.
Tight ends Owen Daniels (drafted 2006), Garrett Graham (drafted 2010) and Joel Dreessen, who played for the Texans from 2007-2011, all played key roles in the Houston offense including red-zone targets.
Daniels, who played in 100 career games with Houston, recorded 385 receptions for 4,617 yards and 29 touchdowns and remained a key asset to quarterback Matt Schaub in 2013 before suffering a broken leg against the 49ers in Week five. Daniels caught 24 passes on 40 targets for 252 yards and three touchdowns in five games prior to the injury.
Graham, who filled in admirably when Daniels went down, started 11 games in 2013 recording 49 receptions for 545 yards and five touchdowns before being plauged by a hamstring injury.
While the Ravens hope to re-sign Pitta and avoid placing the franchise tag – which could end up costing them big money – they could also look to the draft for a big-bodied blocking tight end.
For a team that has gone 16 seasons without ranking in the top 10 in total offense (per ESPN), the timing is right with the offensive coaching staff in place, to surround Joe Flacco with all the weapons he needs.
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