Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2010 could be Heap's last in Baltimore

Many have questioned Todd Heap’s durability and toughness throughout his career as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. He has started 108 of a possible 128 regular season games (84%) missing 10 games in each of the 2004 and 2007 seasons. But other than his rookie, Heap has started all 16 games in his 6 other campaigns with the club.

No one can deny that Heap’s speed and quickness have been affected by the wear and tear of the Kyle Boller years. There isn’t a Ravens receiver in the team’s history that has taken more vicious hits than the two-time Pro Bowler.

Sure part of that can be blamed on Boller’s inaccuracy – often forcing Heap to slow down, adjust to errant throws and then leaving himself vulnerable to punishing tackles.

But another culprit leading to Heap’s crowning as the team’s King of Pain is the offense itself. Without much in the way of homerun threats, safeties could always roll double coverage towards Heap and if they couldn’t break up the pass, they could and did chip away at Heap’s career with bone crushing tackles.

It’s ironic now that as Heap’s career winds down, the Ravens suddenly have the weapons to open up the field, distribute the ball and prevent the doubling down strategies. With the additions of tight ends Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta along with Anquan Boldin, Derrick Mason and Donte Stallworth, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron can spread opposing defenses.

As a rookie Heap tutored under Shannon Sharpe back in 2001. The following season Sharpe was a cap casualty. This season Dickson and Pitta will look to draw from Heap’s experiences. Don’t be surprised if the former Arizona St. Sun Devil meets a fate similar to his mentor.

Actually, you should expect it.

This is more than likely the last season you will hear M&T Bank Stadium ringing with that familiar sound.



Jerry B said...

One can only imagine just how great he could have been with even a half way decent QB. And, just maybe, with an infusion of new surrounding talent, he'll have a more productive year. But, no question that he's paid a heavy price over the years. I, for one, will hate to see him.....go!

Purple Bleeder said...

I'm with Jerry B on this one. Heap has been overly criticized for lacking toughness. I sure hope he has an awesome year and justifies another one in the eyes of the front office.

Yet each time I'm at The Vault and chant HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAP...I will treasure it more because it could be the end of something special.