With free agency underway, the Baltimore Ravens can now officially begin to fill the holes in their roster. From bolstering the offensive line to finding Joe Flacco a reliable receiver, there are many things that the Ravens front office has to do from now until the end of the offseason to get the team ready. The Ravens will have new faces on their coaching staff for the 2014-2015 season and with that comes a new system and a new playbook. Could these new faces pull some of their former players to the Ravens?
Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison are those new faces and they could be looking to bring some familiarity to the team. Kubiak became the Ravens' new offensive coordinator on January 27. He spent the previous seven years as the Head Coach of the Houston Texans. Along with Kubiak also comes Rick Dennison. Dennison, who was the Texans offensive coordinator from 2010-2013, is now the quarterbacks coach for the Ravens.
Both of these men ran a successful offense in Houston, helping average players put up career numbers. They utlized a run-first offense that opened up the field for their quarterback, allowing them to take more shots downfield. One player who faired well in their offensive system was tight end Owen Daniels.
Daniels, 31, was released by the Texans on March 11 and is now a free agent. Daniels only played five games during the 2013-2014 season as he injured his leg. He has been battling injuries over the last few years and hasn't played a full season since 2008.
During his time in Houston, Daniels became a reliable option at tight end. He didn't find the end zone that often, only averaging about three to four touchdowns per year, but he did do a lot of work in the open field. Daniels averaged 46.2 yards per game during his eight years in Houston. He surpassed 650 receiving yards in four different seasons, with his career-high of 862 coming in 2008. Standing at 6'3, he is a big body tight end who has good hands and is a strong route runner.
With Ed Dickson expected to leave the Ravens via free agency, the Ravens need a second tight end that can back-up Dennis Pitta. Sure there are some intriguing players in the upcoming draft that the Ravens could look at (Eric Ebron), but with Pitta already locked up it may not be the best decision to use a first round pick on a tight end.
A lot of concern about bringing Daniels in revolves around him being more of a pass catching tight end than a blocking tight end. With Pitta already being a receiving tight end, the Ravens will need someone to be able to block at the line of scrimmage. Although it is a valuable concern, you shouldn't be too worried. Daniels worked fine in Kubiak's system in Houston and the Ravens offense you saw last year won't be the same you saw this year. Also, players like Billy Bajema or even fullback Kyle Juszczyk could be used as situational blockers.
With the connection Daniels has with Kubiak and Dennison, along with the Ravens needing another tight end, it makes perfect sense that he will end up in Baltimore. Considering his age and the lack of interest for tight ends on the market, expect Ozzie Newsome to wizard his way through another cap friendly deal and sign Daniels.
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