Ravens tight ends, receivers welcome competition from new additions

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The arrival of veteran tight end Dallas Clark in Baltimore is expected to trigger an impact beyond his skills at eluding safeties and linebackers.

The other tight ends on the Ravens' roster now face a stiff challenge for playing time from the former Indianapolis Colts Pro Bowl tight end.


Although Clark could conceivably cut into his featured role, tight end Ed Dickson said he looks forward to learning from someone who has 474 career receptions, 5,322 yards and 50 touchdowns. Between Clark and Visanthe Shiancoe, the Ravens have a combined two decades of NFL experience at tight end.

"I got a couple of guys that I can pick their brain," said Dickson, who has a torn hamstring. "I got a couple of guys that have been doing well in the league. In this league, you have to have numbers. With me down and Dallas Clark coming in, we're going to show him the ropes and see what he can do for us."


While Clark caught 47 passes for 435 yards and five touchdowns last season, Shiancoe, a former Minnesota Vikings and Morgan State standout, didn't catch a pass last season during an injury-plagued year with the New England Patriots. Like Dickson, Shiancoe didn't seem bothered by Clark's addition.

"Oh man, it's good to have additions here," Shiancoe said. "I'm all with it. It's all about helping the team win. We're here to help each other out and get better as a team."

During the final play of practice Sunday, Shiancoe elevated over the secondary to catch a long touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Flacco.

"I'm just glad to continue to help the offense," Shiancoe said. "Joe made a perfect pass."

With the signing of wide receiver Brandon Stokley to a one-year contract, meanwhile, the Ravens acquired a polished veteran accustomed to working out of the slot position.

Stokley has already reached the level that Tandon Doss is still hoping to achieve one day.

"Just veteran leadership because we're a very young group," Doss said. "He obviously knows what he's doing. Once he gets into the offense, he's going to help us out and open things up. Having him around to see what he sees and explain things to us, he'll be a big help."

Bouncing back


One day after being dismissively banished to the bench and called lazy and lackadaisical by Harbaugh in front of his teammates, rookie wide receiver Aaron Mellette shrugged off the criticism.

Mellette accelerated past the secondary for a long touchdown reception and didn't seem fazed by the scolding from Harbaugh.

"Anything good or bad as far as coaching, you take it and you learn from it," said Mellette, a seventh-round draft pick from Elon. "What happened is behind me and you move on to the next day. [What] they brought me in here to do is catch passes and make plays. If I couldn't catch, I would be playing defense. They expect me to catch the ball and that's what I'm going to do."

During his first NFL preseason game, Mellette caught a touchdown pass against the Buccaneers

"I progressed pretty well," Mellette said. "Every day, Coach Harbaugh talks about getting one percent better. Some days, you might make leaps. Camp is always going to be ups and downs. I'm trying to get at least one percent better every day."

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Long-distance skills


Kicker Justin Tucker became a fan favorite last season as a rookie with his accuracy and leg strength.

He displayed those qualities again Sunday when he connected on field goals from 29, 35, 39, 48, 52 and 58 yards, narrowly missing from 65 and 68 yards.

End zone

The additions of Clark and Stokley drew praise from Pro Bowl outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil, who headlined the Ravens' offseason free agent haul via a $35 million contract. "Man, that's our front office doing what they do," Dumervil said. "That's why they're one of the best in the business." ... The Ravens cut wide receiver Marcus Rivers to create a roster spot for Stokley.