Baltimore Ravens Training Camp Wrecks Dennis Pitta’s Season but Renews Visanthe Shiancoe’s Hope

Dennis Pitta

Dennis Pitta…courtesy of WBAL

The Baltimore Ravens had already disassembled their Super Bowl winning team in the off season after the retirement of Ray Lewis and Matt Birk.  Aiming for young legs and strongly conditioned players from the past two seasons and this year’s draft, the Ravens started the training camp set to groom the younger players and reinforce the conditioning, competitiveness, and defensive mindset familiar to the Ravens brand.

One tight end named Dennis Pitta was all set to play a bigger role after the Ravens traded wide receiver Anquan Boldin. But the training camp turned into a wreck on Saturday – a season-ending injury for Pitta, one of Joe Flacco‘s favorite targets.

Ironically Pitta dislocated and fractured his hip when trying to catch the first throw from Flacco in an 11-on-11 goal-line drill in the back of the end zone after colliding with safety James Ihedigbo. Having entered into the final year of his rookie contract signing the one-year $2.023 million restricted free agent deal on May 13th after a solid 669 yard gain and seven touchdown season, Pitta will have to sit out this season after undergoing surgery hours after the collision.

His presence will be missed since he was second to Boldin as top pass catcher in the playoffs that led to the Super Bowl title. A dismal but realistic Coach John Harbaugh told reporters, “Dennis is out for the year…There’s enough damage in there.”

Opposite the trend of getting younger players, the Ravens immediately resurrected veteran tight end, Visanthe Shiancoe, to a one year deal after a 2012 season of no catches and only playing in four games for the New England Patriots and a mediocre 2011 season with the Minnesota Vikings. Shiancoe hopes this can resurrect his career to increase his 243 receptions and 27 touchdowns across 148 career games.

Only time will tell if Shiancoe can keep Flacco’s hope alive to have another favorite target outside of Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce.