Jun 19, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receivers Torrey Smith (left) and Steve Smith, Sr. (right) walk off the field after minicamp at the Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Is there anything more exciting than the sight of a perfect spiral zipping through the air at highway speeds, preparing to land directly into the stretched out hands of your favorite Ravens’ wide receiver for a 40+ yard gain that leads to a touchdown? Or even the short pass thrown like a dart, faster than the speed of light, into the clutched arms of your favorite Ravens’ tight end?
You cannot possibly think of anything more exciting that isn’t the birth of a child or some other cool life event.
From the inception of the Ravens in 1996, to as recent as last season, there’s always been that one guy on the field that makes you say, “Please throw it to (insert name or number here)!”
I’ve said it plenty of times myself over the last 20 seasons. But who were the best? Who would be the best to line up on the field in the 4th quarter with less than a minute to go, down by 5, with a touchdown needed to win the game? Let’s take a look at the best hands to ever haul in passes for the Ravens.
Let’s start with the most consistent hands to ever put on a Ravens uniform. In all, he totaled 10 seasons, 467 receptions, and 5,492 yards for 41 touchdowns.
Todd Heap is looking to have a big 2010 season, especially with positional pressure coming from rookies Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson.
The latest inductee into the Ravens Ring of Honor, Heap brought a level of consistency to the team. No matter if the quarterback was Kyle Boller, Elvis Grbac, Steve McNair, or Joe Flacco, Heap was the safety net. The reliable key to yards gained. It’s no wonder he is the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdowns.
If it wasn’t Heap, then for 6 seasons, there was another: Derrick Mason.
Derrick Mason contemplated retirement this offseason, but decided to return to the Ravens for his 14th NFL season.
The franchise leader in receptions and yards, Mason was another who was a dependable target for whomever was throwing his way. In Flacco’s rookie year, he provided the young QB with a level of confidence that enabled him to march himself right into a valiant effort in the AFC Championship.
In fact, it was Mason who came to the Ravens with Steve McNair from then-rival Tennessee Titans, and together helped put together the best Ravens season in franchise history with a record of 13-3.
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