Dennis Pitta was in constant motion throughout the Ravens' offseason practices, making it difficult to get an accurate read on where he would line up from play to play.
Signed to a five-year, $32 million contract in March, the tight end is expected to have a versatile role in new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's offensive system. That includes everything from Pitta being split out as an extra wide receiver to working out of the backfield as well as traditional in-line tight end alignments.
“I have done a lot of different things in this offense already," Pitta said during the Ravens' final minicamp. "I would assume that would continue to increase, but I’m trying to get down the basics still right now and trying to be effective at some of our basic plays, and hopefully, I can get in a position where I can play a variety of positions.”
Kubiak runs a tight end-friendly offense where he's routinely utilized two or even three tight ends in multiple roles on any given play.
With Pitta healthy again after missing the first dozen games of last season after having his dislocated, fractured right hip surgically repaired, he figures to have a featured role in the Ravens' offense this fall working in tandem with former Houston Texans tight end Owen Daniels.
"It’s a fun offense to be a part of as a tight end, and it’s still a learning curve for me," said Pitta, who caught 20 passes for 169 yards and a touchdown in the final four games of last season. "I’m still making mistakes and trying to work my way through it and [learn] my assignment, but I think when it all comes together, I think we’re really going to like the final product.”
Pitta caught 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns during the Ravens' Super Bowl championship season in 2012-13. For his career since being drafted in the fourth round out of Brigham Young in 2010, Pitta has 122 receptions for 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The challenge and opportunity for the Ravens is how to make the best use of Pitta in combination with other skill players, including wide receivers Steve Smith and Torrey Smith.
"We do have a lot of playmakers on this offense and a lot of weapons and a lot of guys that create mismatches all over the field," Pitta said. "So, it’s encouraging being able to see that and know those guys are going to help us a ton come this season.”