Veteran tight end Billy Bajema has only been with the Ravens for a few days, since Dennis Pitta went down with a broken hand last week. But he is making quite an impression.
I call him Crazy Bill, starting tight end Ed Dickson said Monday.
Whats so crazy about Bajema?
Hes very intense, Hes high energy for him being in the league eight years. He plays every play like its his last, Dickson said.
Not surprisingly, Wade Harman, the Ravens longtime tight ends coach, noticed the same thing about Bajema, who has played for the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers since entering the league in 2005.
He is a tough kid, and he works his tail off, Harman said. He is a hard-working guy. Hes been around for a bunch of years, but you see him busting his tail out there down the field, catching balls. Whatever you need him to do, he is out there hustling. In drills, he gives 100 percent, and its great for those guys to see. In line, he can block. Hes got great toughness; he is not going to back down from anyone. He brings that element to us.
With Pitta expected to return around the start of the regular season, Bajema is competing with Davon Drew and a pair of undrafted free agents for the job of No. 3 tight end. Drew, a fifth-round pick of the Ravens in 2009, has drawn praise from the coaches, but Bajema is far more experienced, with 38 career catches in 106 games.
Weve got Billy, weve got Davon. Those guys are definitely the guys that have been here. Weve got a couple of rookie free agents Bruce Figgins and Matt Balasavage. All those guys are in the mix. A good group of guys are going to push each other. Im looking forward to all of them and to find out, especially in these preseason games, what they can do, Harman said.
Meanwhile, Dickson is just trying to make his nickname for Bajema stick.
Ive just been joking around with him. It hasnt stuck with him yet, Dickson said.
But no matter what happens, Bajema will leave a mark on the team.
"For myself, being three years in the league, I can really appreciate (the intensity) from a guy (with) eight years in, Dickson said. Its just an honor having him here with me and the other guys.