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Ex-tight end Todd Heap greeted loudly as he's inducted into Ravens' Ring of Honor

In a raucous halftime ceremony that drew the familiar "Heeeap!" chants from fans, retired tight end Todd Heap was inducted into the Ravens' Ring of Honor on Sunday.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome introduced Heap, who ranks first in franchise history with 41 touchdown catches and second overall with 467 receptions and 5,492 receiving yards.

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"From one tight end to another tight end, welcome to the Ring of Honor," Newsome said.

Heap and his family were joined on the field by former Ravens teammates Michael McCrary, Peter Boulware, Jonathan Ogden and Matt Stover.

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"It's all about family," Heap said. "From Day One, you have welcomed my wife and I, our family, into our community, this city. For that, we'll be forever grateful."

Heap, 34, thanked his wife and five children, as well as late Ravens majority owner Art Modell and current Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. Bisciotti attended the ceremony.

"You learn a lot of things from leaders like that," Heap said. "Guys that have poise and great leadership and ownership and take responsibility and accountability. Those are the things I learned from great men like that. Most of all, I wanted to thank you fans.

"What an honor it's been to play on this field in front of you. I've loved every second of it, given everything I've had to this organization. I'm proud to be a member of the Ring of Honor and be part of you guys forever."

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A former Arizona State consensus All-American, Heap was drafted in the first round by the Ravens in 2001 after their Super Bowl XXXV victory.

Heap joins running back Earnest Byner, McCrary, Boulware, Ogden, Stover, running back Jamal Lewis, linebacker Ray Lewis, eight former Baltimore Colts and Modell in the Ring of Honor.

"Football is a great sport, it's something that I also love," Heap said. "It teaches us a lot about life. You can learn so many things from it. Just like in life, in football you're not going to be successful in every game, in every snap. Guess what? You can get up, dust yourself off and move on to the next one and do it with a smile on your face.

"I'm honored to be standing next to these guys who are a huge example of that. It makes me think about all the other guys I played with and all the other coaches I played for and especially all you fans."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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