FURST THINGS FIRST: Ravens need to make a change at TE

Dickson drops v Denver

Ed Dickson to say the least has been very disappointing for the Baltimore Ravens since they selected him in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft.

In his three plus seasons with the Ravens, Dickson has a total of 87 catches for 918 yards, and six touchdowns. Those are the kind of numbers that would make for an excellent season but a career…not so much.

Dropped passes have plague Dickson’s career in purple from jump street. The numbers don’t lie. As a rookie Dickson had fifth-highest drop rate in the NFL for tight ends with a minimum of 20 catches at 9.5% according to ESPN.

Those same issues were clearly front and center for the world to see on Thursday’s big Sunday Night Football stage. He struggles to make contested catches and those are drive-killers. They force a defense back out on to the field prematurely – the kiss of death in the Mile High City, a place where are almost always stacked against the opponent.

Thankfully Baltimore will be at home this weekend against the Browns where the Ravens are heavy sportsbook betting favorites

Dickson will be a free agent following the 2013 season and it’s likely he’ll pursue employment elsewhere. Perhaps the Ravens should speed up the process and let him do so now.

It’s time to promote rookie tight end Matt Furstenburg from the practice squad.

Furstenburg may be an undrafted rookie tight end, but he has upside. The former Terrapin recorded the second-fastest time in the NFL combine this year amongst tight ends at 4.62 seconds and he’s played well during camp as previously reported here.

We know how valuable tight ends have been become in this league. Fast tight ends can expose defenses and create mismatches with linebackers who can’t keep up and safeties who can’t match their size. Mix in Furstenburg’s ability to make contested catches with sure-handedness and there’s little reason not to make the move.

Where’s the downside?

Is it time for the Ravens to demote or part ways with Ed Dickson in favor of Matt Furstenburg?
Yes, Dickson has been a failure (74%)
No, Dickson should be given a few more games (26%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.

Isn’t it obvious that Joe Flacco has little trust in the former Oregon Duck? If it quacks like bad rapport it must be bad rapport. How else do you explain why Joe the Quarterback made Dallas Clark, a player who relatively speaking is just off the street, his go-to-guy on Thursday with 7 catches for 87 yards in his Ravens debut?

As the Dickson drops accumulated it has the opposite affect on his quarterback’s trust and when that happens it minimizes Flacco’s options.

And right now, that’s the last thing offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and his offense needs.

Todd Heap said that he'd like to play again. Should the Ravens consider it?
Why not, he is younger than Dallas Clark (70%)
No they can't trust him to stay healthy (30%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.
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About Wola Odeniran

Wola Odeniran
Born in Silver Spring, Wola Odeniran remains a Maryland resident. He is currently a student at UMUC with a major in graphics communication, the ultimate goal being a career in journalism. Wola is a lifelong Ravens, Orioles and Terps fan…all the way!...more

31 Raves on “FURST THINGS FIRST: Ravens need to make a change at TE

  1. Jimmy Dundalk on said:

    I was with you until you got to Todd Heap,,,,,,,,,,,,,he’s been hit and hurt way too much to get back in the game,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it’s time for Furst…………….

    • RussellStReport on said:

      Just a question Jimmy. To our surprise many have emailed such suggestions to us so we thought we’d throw it out there. Actually I think it’s too early to make the switch to Furst. I may be in the minority but I actually think Dickson will be ok. ~ TL

      • jurgenhadley on said:

        I agree with this. I think this article is a bit knee jerk. Yes, Dickson has been a disappointment in the past. Before his hamstring tear, word is he was having a “statement making” camp. This was his first action back from that. Give the guy a few more games to show that he’s no good. I’d look at Furstenburg as a W4 or W5 change.

        As for Heap, my biggest concern would be the same rust we saw with Clark and Shiancoe. Plus, he’s now 3 years removed from playing with Joe and under a whole new system in Caldwell. I just don’t see him coming in and making an immediate impact. I’d almost say it’d be better to bring back Shiancoe, who worked with Joe and Caldwell this preseason.

        • Jimmy Dundalk on said:

          Dickson is too much like Travis Taylor , good practice dummy but afraid to get hit in the real game , please see my comments in reply to Tony……….

      • RavenRich on said:

        No way that Dickson should be replaced by anybody currently employed by the Ravens. Only a true Terp fan would think that Furstenburg is ready to become the Ravens #1 or #2 receiving TE. It looks to me like the Ravens consider Clark the #1 TE and Dickson #2. So, I believe that they have already demoted Dickson. But there is nothing better available, so their only real choice is to not utilize the position as much as they planed to all off season. No way they should bring back Heap. SLOW described him 2 or even 3 years ago, injured or not. I really fear that #4 draft pick on Kyle J. was absolutely a waste. If he is not getting on the field at TE now, he never will.He is no NFL RB, and cannot block anywhere near well enough to be a usefull FB. He is strictly a decent special teams player, which is really not enough production from a #4 draft pick.

        • Jimmy Dundalk on said:

          While I agree with your view on Kyle , no way the team can use the TE spot less,,,,,,,,this has become a passing league and the use of the TE is vital,,,,,,,it’s not my fault Ozzie has yet to recognize the NFL has changed , did you watch any of the games Sunday , it’s a passing league man………by the way , did you see the performance by Boldin ??????????I’m sure it made Ozzie and Harbs and Joe very sick………

      • bruce_almty on said:

        The Raven coaches don’t need us to 2nd guess them. They know the problem and the options far better than we do. A knee-jerk reaction won’t help us and tyler eifert was taken by Cincy and they probably don’t want to give him to us. Furstenburg may be viable later in the season after he has developed more but not yet. I’m going to bite my tongue for a few more weeks and see how we do. I’m thinking 3-1 for the 1st quarter.
        Go Ravens

      • Jimmy Dundalk on said:

        Dickson may or may not be OK , the problem is in addition to his hands of stone , he can’t block a lick , he doesn’t even ‘chip block’ well , he has no report’ with Joe and he will most likely be gone next year,,,,,,,,,I don’t understand why you think he will be OK: 1) he hasn’t been OK for three years 2) is OK good enough? ,,,,,,,,,Tony , if you really want to keep him , replace Clark with Furst , but lets get Furst in the game , he can’t be much worse and he may actually be better,,,,,,,,,,
        I don’t know why this team has a fixation with older and usually over the hill receivers , there is not enough room to list all the receivers they have brought in over the years that did not work out , it’s time to see what the young guys can do sooner rather than later,,,,,,,,,,Thanks for your follow up Tony………..

  2. Fran Vojik on said:

    There’s a reason Todd Heap is out of football. Reaching, diving, and jumping for all those bad balls thrown by Kyle Boller prematurely ended his career. Let him stay in Arizona for the time being. There are other options, including Dallas Clark, whom I am inclined to give another game or two to round into shape and familiarize himself with Joe Flacco. Not to mention as you said, the Furst.

    • paulie on said:

      Why not?. He’s going to replace Dickson anyhow so he might as well get some OJT this season. Maybe Dallas Clark is a better mentor than he is a game breaking TE now.

  3. Danny Hanzelka on said:

    I’ve been wanting the Ravens to get Furstenburg since the draft and I think he’s already world above Dickson as far as his ability right now

  4. Rumor Ray on said:

    I say we just call Mason up and ask him to suit up???? LOL Come on I am joking ,,,, Really Heep is being talked about? WOW …. Guys we have 15 more games to play before the playoffs. Let the TEAM work on being the TEAM. The coaches know ehat they are doing so sit back and enjoy the ride.

  5. Jason Owens on said:

    i thought the ridiculous overreacting was exclusive to non ravens fans and media, obviously not. furstenburg over dickson? did furstenburg even catch a pass all preseason? potential does not equal production. give the team a chance to learn to utilize dickson for at least a couple weeks and also time to groom furstenburg to be an nfl tight end then maybe ease him into the offense but to just leapfrog everybody and be a starter after week one is panic mode if i ever saw it

  6. Brian on said:

    Didn’t Dickson make something like 54 catches a few years ago? I thought he kind of got edged out by the chemistry of Joe Flacco and Dennis Pitta. Also, is Brandon Llloyd a viable player to try out?

  7. Leo Vidal on said:

    The tight ends did not cause the loss to the Broncos. The running game sucked, Flacco stunk, and the defense gave up 7 TD passes. The coaching and officiating were also bad.

  8. bruce_almty on said:

    All this help the fans think the coaches need…reminds me of the computer programmers hourly price list: $25/hr programming fee; $75/hr if you help.
    I’m pretty sure Ozzie and Harbs know what they are doing; let’s just sit back and watch, they’ll manage without us.

  9. Jonesey on said:

    Seriously, the Ravens must do exactly this. Ed Dickson is yet ANOTHER high-end bust by Ozzie when it comes to the WR/TE position, with literally only three real successes in drafting quality players in the entire time he’s been GM (Heap, Pitta, and Tory Smith being the ONLY real stand-outs and not disappointments). Acquiring Anquan Boldin was one of the smartest moves Ozzie made, but then Harbaugh went and put the play-calling in the hands of a man who for five years would literally ONLY involve Q in the game-plan once out of every three or four games! Jim Caldwell FINALLY used Q the way he always should have been used, and it was on full display against the Packers this weekend when he tore it up in his first game as a Niner! Dropping Q has already proven to be the worst and most craven decision in franchise history, and now we are reaping what Ozzie and Harbs have sown!

    • ravensfan154 on said:

      as much as it pains me to say it i completely agree with you… we will look back on this and regret trading boldin more than everyone thinks… i still cant believe we got rid of him. i understand it was to clear space…and i understand we thought we were going to have pitta, but still he was a beast and definitely thrived under caldwells play calling….not to mention he could have become an even bigger leader in the locker room now that ray and ed are gone. bottom line, i believe trading anquan boldin will turn out to be the worst decision the ravens front office made this offseason, and arguably in the franchises existence

      • Jimmy Dundalk on said:

        I agree totally , especially since we presently have five million in cap room , I don’t think coming up with another million to keep Boldin was beyond reach , maybe you could have not signed Clark and Stokley , just sayin’……………..

      • Jonesey on said:

        No question. As bad as getting rid of Trent Dilfer was, it had more to do with the “don’t let the door hit ya” type of farewell we gave him after helping the Ravens win a Super Bowl, but the guy was clearly not a “franchise” QB. In Anquan Boldin, you had a real leader on who was extremely popular with both the team and the fans, but we essentially treated him worse than Dilfer by first trying to low-ball him after winning us a SB, then cutting him before any other player despite the fact that Ozzie had no plan in place to replace him. Joe SHOULD have offered to take a teensy bit less to keep Q, which is something Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have actually done, but it really wasn’t Flacco’s place to do so, so you can’t really blame him. But the REAL jerk-off to blame is John Harbaugh himself who I am positive was the person who ultimately decided to cut Q. The real proof outside the locker-room rumors is that Q was one of the “mutineers” who dared stand up to him last October, and Harbs wanted the team to be all “his” going forward, which is why we went after Q as fast as we did. His brother Jim, who I think is by FAR a better coach, snatched up Boldin literally the second Baltimore said “don’t let the door hit ya” to arguably our best WR ever who still has another 3-4 good years left in him no question. After what he did this weekend in San Francisco, and after the pathetic embarrassment of a pitiful performance the Ravens put up against Denver, I can’t imagine a single fan who doesn’t completely agree with my well-shared statement.

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