This past year’s draft saw the Baltimore Ravens draft two tight ends. Ed Dickson of Oregon was taken in the 3rd round (70th overall), and BYU product Dennis Pitta was drafted in the 4th round (114th overall) With two tight ends selected, what exactly does this all mean to former Pro Bowler Todd Heap? For the first time in the Heap era there will finally be legitimate competetion at the tight end position.
Click “Continue Reading” to see how Justin feels about the future of Todd Heap’s role in the Ravens offense.
Anyone who is not only a Ravens fan, but a fan of the NFL, knows what Todd Heap has accomplished. Heap, who is 30 years old, has been in the class of the greats at the tight end position since coming into the NFL in 2001. Whenever Heap’s name is mentioned, it’s in the class of the Antiono Gates’, the Tony Gonazlez’s, the Jeremy Shockeys, and the Jason Wittens of the world. But there has been one constant that has plagued Heap in his career: injuires. Heap, who will not receive any injections because of religion, has always been a slow healer over his career which has plagued not only himself, but the Ravens as well. Having been one of really two passing threats throughout most of his career to go along with Derrick Mason, Heap has always been counted on to be in the lineup week in and week out for the Ravens, which hasn’t always been the case. Now with the additions in the passing game of Anquan Boldin, Donte Stallworth, and the two rookie tight ends, for the first time in a long time, Todd Heap will not be one of the main focal points in the offense.
Is it fair to say we are about to view the demise of Todd Heap? In just a few words, absolutely not. Heap has proven too much in his career to lose his job to a rookie. He was an integral part of the Ravens playoff rally last year, having caught two touchdowns in two of the final three games of the year, which showed Heap can still contribute to the Ravens offense at the same level he has over the past decade. The additions of Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson will only help the Ravens, and Heap. Hopefully the fresh, young blood will push Heap to succeed even more, and be out on the field than we have been accustomed to seeing in the past few seasons. I view the additions of Dennis Pitta, and Ed Dickson, much of the same way Heap was viewed in 2001 when he was drafted to help out the position where he was brought in to go along with future Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
All in all, if you are a Todd Heap fan you should have nothing to fear. As long as Heap is healthy I think you will see him on the field as much as his health will allow. The Ravens are a win-now team, and those who have produced over the years and have a proven track record will be on the field for the Ravens, who are trying to bring the Lombardi trophy back to Baltimore for the first time since the 2000 season. Todd Heap’s presence in the red zone and on third down plays will be as important as it always has been if the team is looking to bring back the hardware this year.