On a typical hot July day at Baltimore Ravens training camp, the players were doing what they always do, preparing, working and practicing to improve before the season begins, but TE Dennis Pitta was thrown quite a curve ball when he suffered a fractured/dislocated hip. He wasn't sure if he would be able to play this season and initial reports were that he would indeed miss the 2013 season, but Sunday Pitta returned to the field and in a big way as he caught a crucial touchdown in the closing minutes to help lead the Ravens to a 29-26 snowy victory.
With Baltimore playing on Monday Night in week 15, yesterday was not the 'normal' Wednesday, but both quarterback Joe Flacco and OLB Terrell Suggs spoke to the media and Pitta was a big topic of conversation.
Flacco and Suggs were asked several questions about Pitta and we wanted to bring you some of his responses on the formidable tight end.
On what he (Flacco) remembers about TE
“I remember feeling pretty bad about it, and then when I did see him for the first time, I remember him being very upbeat and just himself. So, that kind of put me at ease with it. I think it put a lot of people at ease when they went over and saw him or heard how he was doing and kind of realized that he had a pretty good outlook on it. It made everybody feel a little bit better about it, so he handled it really well,” said Flacco.
On what he (Suggs) said to TE Dennis Pitta after he caught a touchdown pass:
“I can’t remember what I said. I’m pretty [sure] it was something highly emotional. I think he probably remembers, but I was just glad, and I’m just happy to see him back out there doing what he does best, and that is helping us win games. So, it was good to have the tight end back out there," said Suggs.
On if having gone through a serious injury made him (Suggs) feel more empathy for Pitta’s comeback:
“Most definitely, but especially with the guys that you are close to. Me and Dennis [Pitta], everybody knows I’m his biggest fan, especially on this team. Just to see him back out there and knowing what he came [back] from – he got hurt on the first day of camp – just to see him every day just work back, it’s good to see. It was flattering to see him go through it, and we just cheered him and on and supported him. He got out there, he caught a couple balls, and he even caught a go-ahead touchdown for us, so it was really good," said Suggs.
Play on the Field
Flacco on what it means to have Pitta back on the field:
“He’s a good player. It’s tough to put into words, but he knows how to get open. He catches the ball. He’s going to get better and better. This was a crazy game. It’s tough to see a lot of the things that he does, because some of the route-running was taken away and all of that. But he catches the football, he’s in the right place, he runs routes, and he knows how to get open. He gives you very good indicators, and when you have my vantage point, that helps me out a lot.”
On if the receiving corps is starting to take shape towards what he (Flacco) expected to have at the beginning of the year with Pitta and WR
“Yes, no doubt about it. Obviously, you lose Dennis at the very beginning of training camp, and it’s not something that you really account for. We adjusted and we worked through it, and anytime you have somebody like that go down, it’s going to affect you in some way, and I think we’re now starting to get everybody healthy. It’s definitely at the corps that we kind of pictured, and now we’ve just got to make it work.”
On if he (Suggs) is one of the guys who screams, “Throw the ball to Dennis” in the red zone:
“Throw it to Dennis [Pitta], give it to
Ray Rice. I’m always cheering my teammates on, as long as we score, as long as the end result [is good]. But to see him do it in his first game back had to have been pretty awesome for him, and not only that, for our team.”
As you can see, the leader of the offense and leader of the defense is happy to have Pitta back on the field and not only is his return emotional for everyone involved, but his presence on the field is vastly important for this team.
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