Slimmer LB Suggs expects big year with Ravens
Baltimore Ravens sack specialist Terrell Suggs put his love for
fried chicken and cookies on hold during the offseason in an effort
to cut his weight and increase his speed.
It worked. The outside linebacker lost 20 pounds, and his a
sleeker, 263-pound frame has not escaped the notice of the coaching
staff and his teammates.
”He’s going to be quicker and more explosive on the pass rush.
We’ve seen that out here,” coach John Harbaugh said Friday. ”I
don’t think it will hurt his run-stopping ability at all.”
Defensive lineman Haloti Ngata said, ”He lost some weight, but
he’s also gotten stronger. That’s tough to do. That’s when you know
someone worked hard in the offseason. He put the team before
Not only is Suggs in peak condition, but he’s also sporting a
healthy attitude. A year ago, after finally resolving a sticky
contract issue with a new six-year deal in mid-July, Suggs promptly
hurt his toe in an early training camp practice and hobbled through
He recovered in time to start the opener, but a questionable
chop block to the right knee from Cleveland Browns quarterback
Brady Quinn forced him to miss three games. Suggs finished with a
career-low 4 1/2 sacks and entered the offseason determined to
bounce back in 2010.
”The only thing that really propelled me to this year was I
just wanted to be a better teammate for my team, a better
professional,” he said. ”I just wanted to be the best player for
the Baltimore Ravens. That was kind of the motivation, just to get
back to what you all are used to seeing me as.”
Ravens fans are used to watching Suggs scoot around the outside
and collar the opposing quarterback. He was the Associated Press
defensive rookie of the year in 2003 after he recorded 12 sacks.
The following season, Suggs earned the first of his three Pro Bowl
invitations, and in 2008 he had a career-high 102 tackles, eight
sacks and two interceptions.
Last season, however, was different.
”What a difference a year makes,” Suggs said. ”You know, last
year I didn’t get the luxury of participating in training camp.
Therefore, I didn’t get to play at my desired weight. But this year
I’m taking full-fledged advantage of it, and I feel good. I feel
To drop the weight, Suggs had to give up his beloved Popeye’s
fried chicken and cut back considerably on his cookie consumption.
He still ate some cookies, but only after he adhered to the diet
prescribed to him by the team nutritionist.
”It was kind of a reward once we started getting the weight
down. It was like, OK, if you reach a certain goal, then you can
have a cookie,” Suggs said. ”But then you have to work hard in
practice. She did a good job helping me, especially down the
The result has been on full display at camp. Suggs is again
flashing his trademark smile, especially after working his way into
the offensive backfield.
”He’s not worrying about anything,” Ngata said. ”He can just
come in and work. Everything’s behind him now. He got the contract
he wanted, and he’s not worried about any of the aches and pains
that slowed him last year.”
It’s too late for Suggs, 27, to do anything about his
disappointing 2009 season – except to use it as a reason to excel
”Last year is last year,” he said. ”You live and you learn.
We’re 0-0 now, and we’re going straight forward.”