The 2013 injury bug first landed in Baltimore this season with a season-ending hip injury to TE Dennis Pitta. Pitta, a third year tight end out of BYU, caught 61 passes last year for Baltimore in a Super Bowl winning season.
Losing Pitta so early in the season meant that the Ravens' QB Joe Flacco would be without one of his most potent threats. Instead of putting more pressure on Flacco to make things happen, Ravens' GM Ozzie Newsome signed Dallas Clark, and Visanthe Schiancoe to fill the void left by Pitta. The Ravens also signed former Broncos WR Brandon Stokely.
Signing Clark makes sense for the Ravens because he is reliable. He caught 47 balls last year for Tampa Bay, and played every game. He has played at least 10 games in each of his nine seasons in the league, except for 2010.
Let's face it, we all know Clark from his days with the Colts; he isn't a burner who will strech the field, but he is technically sound and holds onto the ball. I'm betting Clark will become a favorite target of Joe Flacco in the redzone because of his ability to get open.
Clark is a much better option than Shiancoe for the Ravens. Shiancoe has shown flashes of talent, especially in his years with Minnesota and was a model of consistency there, but Shiancoe spent last seasson with the New England Patriots and endured a multitude of injuries while recording zero catches. Shiancoe is a gamble in 2013. Dallas Clark is a good stop gap until Pitta returns.
Clark and Stokely could have monster seasons in Baltimore. Offensive Coordinator Jim Caldwell likes Flacco to spread the ball around, and will have no problem fitting his former Colts standouts into the Baltimore offense.
As a Denver Broncos fan, Baltimore signing Dallas Clark scares me. It means that the Ravens have essentially reloaded with players that will have particular insight into the play of Payton Manning, not to mention the steady production. I have to tip my Orange and Blue cap and say: Well played, Ravens! Well played!