Ravens Offense Could Use a Little Juice

HOUSTON TEXANS VS. BALTIMORE RAVENS

On the Ravens’ first series at Miami, quarterback Joe Flacco dropped back on third-and-7 and looked over the middle for rookie fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

The pass fell incomplete, just past the outstretched arms of Juszczyk, but it seemed to suggest that Juszczyk, the rookie from Harvard, might get more involved in the passing game. The Ravens, after all, went into that game with just three wide receivers and tight ends whose play had been sporadic and inconsistent.

In the end, Juszczyk did not get very involved; he was in on only one other offensive snap. But at his Monday news conference, coach John Harbaugh said Juszczyk’s role could increase as the season goes along.

Juszczyk has played in every game on special teams but has played just a handful of offensive snaps. The fourth-round pick is listed as a fullback with the Ravens, although his strength is pass catching. He played primarily tight end and slot receiver or H-back at Harvard, setting the school’s career record for receptions by a tight end (125).

Juszczyk struggled as a blocking back, particularly in short yardage situations, in the preseason, but he is learning that trade from one of the best in the business in steamroller Vonta Leach.

Still, Juszczyk is a versatile player who could line up in the backfield, or in the slot, or wide and be sent in motion, as he was against Miami. And with the Ravens still looking for more options on offense, Juszczyk would seem to present another intriguing one.

“We’d like to see more with him. He’s coming on,” Harbaugh said, adding that Juszczyk is a “talented guy, and we’re looking forward to seeing how we can develop him even more.”

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