A few weeks ago the Baltimore Ravens signed Free Agent Tight End Owen Daniels. The reasons behind the signing were questioned by some Baltimore loyal fans. After re-signing their own Free Agent Dennis Pitta to a long term deal, why would the Ravens sign another pass-catching tight end? To answer this question you must look at a combination of personnel changes.
The first change and perhaps the more obvious connection is the hiring of new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak. Owen Daniels has played his entire career under Kubiak and his system. With the entire offense learning the new system a veteran with an understanding of how things are run could prove to be a valuable asset. The second change relevant is the hiring of a new tight end’s coach Brian Pariani. Pariani came over to Baltimore with Kubiak. While the system of the offense belongs to Kubiak, the majority of preparation for games is spent on positional drills. Players often communicate more with their position coach than their offensive coordinator or head coach. Having good chemistry between Pariani and Daniels already existing only further supports the signing.
The last aspect of the signing to look at, deals with the X’s and O’s of the offense. In previous seasons the Ravens have used Pitta as the pass catching tight end and Ed Dickson as more of a blocking tight end. So why would replace Dickson’s blocking with Daniels who is more of a pass catcher? To answer this I believe we have to look at what Houston did with Kubiak’s offense. Owen Daniels combined with pass catching tight end Garrett Graham combined for a potent duo of tight ends and proved successful as an offense. With the stretch-zone run scheme tight ends are valuable commodities. Play-action pass is crucial and the element of disguise between run and pass is a critical part of Kubiak’s offense. Having tight ends on the field that can catch or block only further help disguise the play and make the offense that much more potent.
With Dennis Pitta getting hurt for the majority of last season the Ravens offense diminished. Daniels if nothing else provides the Ravens with a more than capable back-up option as well as a weapon giving versatility to what should be a successful offense.