Departed wide receiver Anquan Boldin and lost tight end Dennis Pitta were two of the Ravens’ masters at it last year. They were the chain-moving crew. Now that job may fall to wide receiver Tandon Doss, a player who’s unproven in that regard but may be increasingly thrust into that role.
“Third down,” Doss said, “I might take responsibility on shorter and intermediate routes, and getting to the sticks and stuff.”
He has good size at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds. He has flashed one of the best sets of hands on the team, even though he had a couple drops in last year’s playoffs and has had a few more thus far in training camp. Perhaps best of all, he’s spent the past two years learning how to play Boldin’s position.
He’s had an up-and-down camp so far. At times, he’s made highlight-reel catches, including elevating over a couple defenders to haul in a tough snag in camp’s first practice. Flacco found him for a touchdown on the same two-minute drive. But Doss has also made more easy drops than he would like, and he said he and Flacco need to iron out some communication issues. That will happen with more reps, which he’s getting a lot of these days. He already feels a lot better than in years past, and has impressed his head coach.
“Tandon, to me, has looked good,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He made a number of nice plays down here in the competitive third-down period at the end. He had a lot of balls thrown to him, so there were a couple in there – I remember a couple drops – but I sure remember a lot of catches. He looks fast to me. He looks more explosive than he’s probably ever looked before.”
With the loss of Boldin and Pitta, there is a ton of opportunity in the Baltimore offense for a pass-catcher who can move the chains. Torrey Smith will be asked to a more diverse route tree, but his strength is going deep. Someone will have to pick up the underneath stuff. Ed Dickson will surely play a role, but Doss may as well