Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Ravens: Doss finally fulfilling potential

OWINGS MILLS - As recently as early September, the Ravens had moved on from the thought of Tandon Doss ever developing into a key piece of their passing game.
Training camp began in late July with Doss competing to be a starter. And even if he didn't win a starting job, he appeared to be in line to play a prominent role, especially on third downs.
But while Doss' play during the summer was underwhelming enough that Baltimore eventually released him, he has played well enough since returning that he continues to have a role on offense even with Jacoby Jones and Marlon Brown now healthy.
Doss re-signed with the Ravens after the first game of the season primarily to contribute as a returner, but he saw playing time at wide receiver because of injuries at the position and is now filling a role similar to the one Baltimore originally expected he would.
"As an inside receiver, motion, stack guy, running all the combination routes that he's doing, that's what we always hoped to see," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We had him outside more last year because of Anquan [Boldin] and Dennis [Pitta]. I think the idea that he can go inside and fill some of that role was something we were hoping to see, and that's what he's doing now."
Doss has replaced Brandon Stokley in the slot, especially on third down.
Brown saw time in the slot as well against the Steelers last week, but Doss had two catches to convert third downs. One was a 22-yard catch during the first quarter and the second was a tough 13-yard catch across the middle late in the fourth quarter that helped set up Baltimore's game-tying touchdown.
Doss is clearly behind Torrey Smith, Jones and Brown on the Ravens' depth chart, but he has carved out a role for himself on third down in particular.
"You can see that Tandon has talent, and it's just a matter of getting that experience, getting comfortable out there on the NFL football field and getting some more confidence in yourself," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "We're all confident. We all have talent.
"But going out there and doing it at this level always reiterates to yourself that you can do it, and that's what he's been able to do. He's been able to go out there when he's needed to - and that's been a lot recently - and he's had success."
Ravens players and coaches have talked about Doss' talent for the last three years - his hands and ability as a route runner in particular.
Doss saw only minimal action his first two seasons and had his troubles during the summer, but he is now developing into the presence in the passing game that Baltimore hoped he would.
He has 13 catches for 239 yards the last four games after catching just seven passes for 123 yards during his first two seasons.
"Tandon's story is going to be a great testimony going forward," Harbaugh said. "But still, I expect him to get better. The sky is the limit for him as a football player, and he's got a ways to go still, so let's keep pushing that. Let's see how good he can still be."