I kept trying to come up with the word throughout the weekend.
After Todd Heap’s tenure with the Baltimore Ravens officially ended this weekend when he signed a two year deal with the Arizona Cardinals, I had hoped to come up with a word to describe Heap’s time in Charm City.
When we made a list of the Top 10 players in franchise history last week, both Drew Forrester and I agreed he was deserving of Top 10 status. There’s no doubt that Heap will ultimately return to M&T Bank Stadium to see his name honored along the facade in the team’s Ring of Honor.
That being said, Heap’s career numbers would certainly fall short of being considered “spectacular” during his 10 seasons in Baltimore. He finished with 700 yards receiving or more in only three of those seasons, never tallying more than 855. He also never hauled in any more than seven touchdown passes in a single season. After achieving Pro Bowl and All-Pro status twice early in his career (2002 & 2003), the former Arizona State Sun Devils star never again reached the same heights.
While perhaps not always “great”, Heap was always good. Usually he was very good.
Heap wasn’t exactly a football highlight reel. There will always be certain plays that will be remembered from Heap’s career, starting with the leaping catch he made over two defenders in the Ravens’ 2002 Monday Night Football win over the Denver Broncos and ending with the tremendous layout catch he made on MNF in the Meadowlands against the New York Jets in 2010.
There were others in between, but Heap was never a “SportsCenter” staple or must-see YouTube star.
Rarely would the word “spectacular” be used to describe the way Todd Heap played football. On top of that, Heap’s nature as a person was by no means larger-than-life. Unlike retiring NFL WR Randy Moss, Heap was rarely the go-to guy a reporter looked to for a quote, never making controversial statements about teammates, coaches, or frankly anyone.
If “spectacular” wasn’t going to be the word, perhaps the more appropriate word would be just “steady”.
During his ten years in Baltimore, Todd Heap’s play could be best described as steady.
When a play needed to be made, it was safe for the Baltimore Ravens to look to Heap.