The tight end was one of the most prolific players for the Ravens over his career. A career that spanned ten years and ranked him as fifth among NFL tight ends in receiving yards. A career that is all the more impressive when you consider that Heap played during the Boller era primarily and saw nine quarterbacks in his ten years with the team.
It was emotional. I was here for 10 years -- pretty much all of my adult life was spent here in Baltimore and this organization. I look up and see my name up there, and I'm like, 'Wow, there are a lot of people behind that name. There are a lot of people that made it possible.' That's what I think of. I think of all those guys over the years, so many of them that were just inspirational to me, that gave me words of wisdom or that I was able to just watch and appreciate how they did things.
Heap was a player that every fan loved. Soft spoken and willing to do anything for his team, Heap was often hurt after vicious hits from going over the middle and being led into opposing players during a time when the league was far more lax on it's injury concerns.
With current Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta out for the year and his career in jeopardy, you have to wonder how Heap's career would have been different if he had stable quarterback play from a guy like Joe Flacco. However, in the most Heap-like phrasing ever, Heap just enjoyed playing and wanted to make an impact wherever he was at.
"I wanted to be the best I could be, but at the same time I was just trying to make a name for myself [and] become a starter in the NFL. When I came into that veteran team in 2001, with all of those Hall of Fame guys, I was like, 'If I can come in here and compete with those guys, I'll be doing all right.'"
Todd Heap joins fellow former players like Jonathan Ogden, Michael McCrary, Peter Boulware, Matt Stover and Ray Lewis as well as Art Modell in having his name appear in M&T Bank Stadium. I, like all fans, am excited to have a player of his caliber and character mentioned in the same breath as my favorite football team.