U p until the game against the Houston Texans on Nov. 9, you weren't getting many passes thrown your way. How did you resist the temptation to become frustrated?
I don't think you try to resist the temptation of being frustrated. Any playmaker wants the ball. The question is: How do you express that? There's no point in making a big deal about it. I think the biggest thing you have to do is keep going out and working hard every day and trying to make sure when the opportunities arise, you can make the most of them.
Did "relief" sum up your feelings after catching 14 passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns since the game against the Texans?
I don't know if it was relief. I'm just extremely happy to be able to help the team win. We're kind of on a streak right now, and we didn't want that to end. So I think that was the biggest thing.
Up until last season, when you sat out 10 games with a strained hamstring, you were relatively injury-free. How frustrating was that?
It was frustrating. That's probably one of the hardest things to do, to have to sit on the sidelines and watch your team play and feel like you can help them, but not be able to get out on the field and actually do it. I feel for all of the guys who are on IR [injured reserve] because when you're trained and geared for one thing, it's hard to sit back and watch.
Did it bother you that people began to question your toughness?
There's a part of you that is bothered, but I don't really worry about people on the outside who question me. It's more of the people in this locker room and on this team that I worry about.
When offensive coordinator Cam Cameron points out that your contributions as a blocker in the running game are just as important as those as a receiver in the passing attack, how do you feel?
From Day One when I came into the NFL, that was one of my goals, to be a complete tight end. I feel like if you put the work in and you put the effort in, that's the biggest thing. As far as blocking is concerned, you have to go out and know what's going on and be prepared. You also have to have that willingness, that want-to, and I think that's the biggest thing you have to bring to blocking.
Who is the toughest defensive player to cover you?
I think [Pittsburgh Steelers safety] Troy Polamalu ranks up there just because of his tenacity. He's got kind of a knack for being around the ball. He's just a tough competitor.
The Sunday Night Football Cookbook includes your recipe for French toast dessert. What can you tell me about it?
I was watching a show on TV, and my wife always laughs at me because I watch all the cooking shows on the Food Network and all I do is get hungry when I watch them. She's like: "You never make anything. You just watch it, and it's torture." So finally, I was watching it, and I thought, "That looks like something I could make." So I recorded it, wrote down the recipe and made it. It's one of my favorites. I make it all the time. My wife makes it all the time, too.
You're stuck on an island with one CD, one DVD and one book. What are they?
One of my favorite books I last read was Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. That one was just exciting from front to back. CD? Probably Jack Johnson. And for the DVD, Hoosiers. Old school. Grew up watching that.
Which do you miss more: cliff jumping or surfing?
Probably surfing. They're both fun, and I enjoyed doing both, but I don't think there's anything like the rush you get when you're surfing. There's more that goes into it. It's not just looking over a cliff and jumping. There's actual skill to it. It's more of a challenge.
What compelled you and your wife to make a $1 million donation to Franklin Square Hospital last year?
I had been to the hospital a few times, and they're in the process of expanding and adding on to the hospital. The part that I definitely wanted to be involved in was the children's wing [which has since been renamed The Todd Heap Family Pediatric Center]. It's much needed, and we're raising a lot of money for them.
We're still in the process, and we're going to have a dinner in January that hopefully will bring a lot of people out. It's something that benefits a lot of children in the community, and when they asked me to be a part of it, I was on board from Day One. I was excited to help out in any way.
about this series
Each Wednesday, we'll bring you a Q&A; with a Ravens player to help you learn a little more about the team. Today's guest of this series is tight end Todd Heap, who caught his third touchdown pass of the season in Sunday's 34-3 win against the Cincinnati Bengals. Heap talks about his role in the offense, his battle to stay healthy and his skills in the kitchen.