|Ravens TE Dennis Pitta has moved up the depth chart quickly to become a starter. (US Presswire)|
This was a change as Ed Dickson was penciled in as the team's top tight end the first two games of the season. Pitta's been QB Joe Flacco's go-to target early this season, catching 13 passes for 138 yards and one touchdown.
Pitta's been targeted 24 times, which ranks fifth overall in the NFL and first among tight ends.
"If you're targeted, you have to deliver and Dennis is doing that," offensive coordinator Cam Cameron said. "He's doing it in crucial situations."
Dickson said he's not discouraged by what appears to be a demotion. He still expects to see a lot of snaps in the coming weeks.
Dickson was on the field for 40 plays against Philadelphia, compared to Pitta's 51. But he's only caught three passes for 45 yards thus far, production Dickson expects to increase soon.
"When you starve somebody for a while and you put a plate in front of them, they're not going to use their fork and be nice with it," Dickson said. "They're going to grab it with their hands and they're going to eat like barbarians. When we get the time to eat, we're going to eat."
Defensive strategy: In Arizona's 20-18 win over New England, the Cardinals defended the Patriots primarily in a nickel package to take away Tom Brady's passing attack.
The schemed worked as the Patriots struggled to get the passing game going until late in the fourth quarter. The Ravens could use that film to their advantage. Defensive coordinator Dean Pees said the Cardinals' strategy was effective.
"Seemed to (work), they beat them," Pees said.
Using Vonta Leach: Against Philadelphia, Leach only saw the field on 16 of Baltimore's 70 offensive plays. It's not an ideal situation for a Pro Bowl fullback to be in, but Cameron defended the strategy, saying Leach will get some touches as the gameplan evolves.
"It's going to be spread across the board," Cameron said. "That's going to be the key for us to get where we want to go, making sure we are keeping everyone involved to some degree."
Faith in Flacco: Cameron said that even though Flacco struggled with his accuracy in the second half of Baltimore's 24-23 loss to Philadelphia, his performance didn't have any impact on play calls made down the stretch.
Cameron was referring to four third-and-short situations, and a fourth-and-1, where the Ravens lined up in the shotgun formation and threw the ball.
"I'm going to have a ton of confidence in Joe," Cameron said. "It has nothing to do with lack of confidence in anyone else. I like our chances, and as you guys have seen with Joe Flacco, with his ability to get the ball to any of those other five (receivers). Will we do that all the time? No, but in critical situations you are going to see that a lot."
Injury report: OL Jah Reid (calf) did not participate in Thursday's practice. LB Jameel McClain (knee), DE Pernell McPhee (knee), S Bernard Pollard (chest) and CB Lardarius Webb (knee) were limited. LB Paul Kruger (back) and LT Michael Oher (ankle) fully participated.
Follow Ravens reporter Jason Butt on Twitter: @CBSRavens and @JasonButtCBS.