The Baltimore Ravens now have a full arsenal of weapons now that Dennis Pitta has returned; Jacoby Jones is firing on all cylinders and Marlon Brown has turned into a solid possession receiver for the offense. With Ed Dickson getting the full brunt of the work on Sunday, there is now a logjam at the position. With that said, where does that leave Dallas Clark?
According to BaltimoreRavens.com, head coach John Harbaugh said that Clark will “absolutely” remain in the plans even with being a healthy scratch in Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. I believe that his days in Baltimore are numbered. Baltimore has their star back in Pitta, so there is now no room for two pass catching TEs on the 53-man roster.
Dickson is sticking around because his ability to make big blocks in the run game and his recent improvement in receiving game. Clark rarely is involved in the run game but like Pitta is brought in mainly for passing situations. We all know Clark was brought in as a band-aid for the Pitta injury during training camp; so, now that Joe Flacco’s “security blanket” is back, why are they holding onto the mediocre former Indianapolis Colt?
I admit Clark had a few great catches this season but there were way too many times we should have converted on third down this season and didn’t because of the lack of talent at the TE position. I compared his production to some of the league’s current stars as well as mediocre players and he below both. For example, Rob Gronkowski has only played seven games this season and has still managed 39 catches for 592 yards and four TDs; Clark has played 12 games this year and his 31 catches for 343 yards and three TDs looks sub-par. I understand that Gronkowski clearly has a better QB and is an exceptional TE, but let’s look at this from another angle. Take Jared Cook for example; Cook’s numbers are 43 receptions for 606 yards and four through 12 games. That is what real TE production is supposed to look like even with a trashy QB.
Keeping Clark on the roster when we have seen his production is pedestrian is pointless. Billy Bajema is a better run blocker and makes more sense when considering the depth at the position. Hopefully the Ravens can see the smarter move here and reconsider Clark’s future role with the team.