Ravens TE Dennis Pitta has been the Ravens’ go-to receiver early this season, a development that stirred surprise among various NFL observers. That said, his emergence wasn't an overnight development. Pitta’s opportunities increased late in the 2011 campaign, and in the postseason, only veteran WR Anquan Boldin had more passes thrown his way. In 2012, Pitta has been an even bigger part of the offense, with QB Joe Flacco throwing his way more than ever. The 6-4, 245-pound Pitta is a dependable, sure-handed target, and he has a strong rapport with Flacco, the way we hear it. It’s clear Flacco is comfortable looking for him in key situations. To wit: Pitta had 15 passes thrown his way in Week Two, including three on Baltimore’s final drive in a narrow loss to Philadelphia.
Leading up to Week Three, Pitta surpassed Ed Dickson as the No. 1 tight end on the Ravens’ depth chart, but both tight ends regularly play. However, Pitta clearly has become the bigger factor in the passing game. While Pitta doesn’t figure to rack up 15-target games with regularity, and the Ravens have plenty of other capable pass catchers who will have their days, it should no longer be a surprise when the ball’s zipping toward Pitta at a pivotal moment.