The single greatest season by a Ravens tight end was that of Shannon Sharpe’s in 2000. Really, it’s not even close.
Sure, Todd Heap’s 2005 regular season eclipsed Sharpe’s 2000 season statistically but if you take a step back, the two seasons weren’t even close.
The 2005 Ravens finished 6-10 and were at one point 4-9. They barely put up a fight and that alone tarnishes Heap’s stats.
Sharpe’s 2000 was magical. He caught the game winner against the Jaguars in the team’s home opener – an AFC Central foe the Ravens had never beaten prior to Sharpe’s arrival in Charm City.
The Hall of Famer also provided leadership and he was instrumental in guiding Ray Lewis, fresh off a double murder trial, through a tumultuous season, helping to shelter him from the ugliness and hate that awaited him in every NFL city not called Baltimore.
And then there were those big plays in the postseason – the tipped pass against Denver in the Wild Card Game that could have been picked off but instead went down as a 58-yard TD reception for Sharpe; the big catch against the Titans for 56 yards that set up Jamal Lewis’ 1-yard score; and of course the 96-yard TD catch in the AFC Championship Game which still stands as a record.
Those big plays made the New York Giants very aware of Sharpe during Super Bowl XXXV. Sharpe heavily influenced the game’s first score when defensive coordinator John Fox rolled coverage towards the playmaking tight end. That left a hole in the Giants secondary that Trent Dilfer and Brandon Stokley exposed for 6.
Here’s a look at the tight ends being considered for the 3 tight end spots on the Ravens All-Time 53-man squad.
Who are we kidding? These three roster spots are a lock for Sharpe, Heap and Dennis Pitta.
But lest we forget, this is a team chosen by the fans and in the spirit of that selection process let’s get on with the poll…