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After posting a stellar November performance, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs was named the AFC’s Defensive Player of the Month.
Suggs has been solid all year, but his play ratcheted up over the Ravens’ last four games. The former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year netted four of his 7 ½ sacks in November and added 14 tackles and a pass breakup.
The Ravens went 3-1 during that span, as their pressure on quarterbacks started hitting home.
“He’s been rushing the passer really well all the way through,” said Head Coach John Harbaugh. “Sometimes you come up with some sacks. We didn’t get the sacks [against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week], and yet we got a lot of pressure, and he was a big part of that.
“So, I’m hoping more of those come. Sometimes it’s just being in the right place at the right time. But, he’s been rushing [the quarterback well].”
On Wednesday, Suggs said he doesn’t want to be solely judged on sacks, a change in mentality from when the Ravens drafted him 10th overall in 2003.
In his first four seasons, Suggs logged an impressive 40 sacks. But as his career progressed, Suggs developed into a multi-purpose defender, one that owns pass rush, run-stopping and coverage ability.
“When I first got here, that’s all I wanted, was sacks,” Suggs said. “And then a certain defensive coordinator and a couple of guys were like, ‘No, you don’t want to just be labeled as a pass rusher. You want to do everything. You want to stop the run. You want to drop. You want to have all that on your résumé.’ So, I guess that’s a fair assessment that I can do all things.
“I guess I sound like a Bible verse,” he added with a laugh.
Suggs’ teammates are taking notice, as well.
“That’s somebody that no matter how many sacks he’s got, he’s going to give you everything he has, regardless,” linebacker Ray Lewis said of Suggs. “A lot of times I think sacks are kind of misleading because what he does for us in the run game is unbelievable.
“If you just rate him off being a complete football player, he comes to play every game.”