Ravens young tight ends are silver lining in disappointing season
While the Ravens' hopes of running the table after their bye week to make a run at a postseason spot already went up in smoke Sunday against Jacksonville, there is a one silver lining to look at -- their young crop of tight ends.
The trio of second-year tight end Crockett Gillmore and rookies Maxx Williams and Nick Boyle played a featured a role in Sunday's loss. They combined for 11 catches and 117 while Gillmore and Williams each caught touchdown passes.
Gillmore was on the field the most with 46 of 68 offensive snaps, but both of the touchdowns came out of multiple tight end sets. On Gillmore's 10-yard touchdown, he was lined up right beside Boyle before running up the left seam while Boyle stopped underneath.
All three tight ends lined up side-by-side on Williams' 21-yard score on a play-action rollout by Joe Flacco. Gillmore and Boyle blocked down to the inside while Williams ran free to the end zone after three Jaguars bit on the fake.
"Ran the route, Joe saw me open, gave me a chance to score," Williams said via the team's official site.
Williams was drafted in the second round because of his ability in the passing game, while Boyle, a fifth-rounder out of Delaware due mainly to his blocking prowess, has been a pleasant surprise with 14 catches for 128 yards.
Having three tight ends on the field at once may have happened out of necessity due to the rash of injuries at receiver, but expect to see more of it out of design. Three big targets that can catch the ball give offensive coordinator Marc Trestman a chance to get creative with different alignments. What we saw on Sunday is likely just the tip of the iceberg.
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