Ravens Want To Upgrade Around Suggs

Entering the offseason, the Ravens’ pass rush needs more around sack-leader Terrell Suggs.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Categories: Mike Duffy

The Ravens have made no secret that they want to upgrade the pass rush around linebacker Terrell Suggs this offseason.

Ideally, the Ravens would have a situation like they did in 2003, when a rookie Suggs had a career-best 12 sacks and Boulware notched 8 1/2 of the opposite edge.

“Going forward, are we going to continue to try to bring in some other people that can get to the passer? Having Suggs to have a companion, to go along with him as we did with Peter and Suggs?” said Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome. “That will be very helpful for the organization, and it’s something that we’ll look into as we move forward.”

Suggs rebounded from a career low 4 ½ sacks two years ago to hit 11 sacks during the regular season. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata was the Ravens’ second-leading sacker, but he got to the quarterback up the middle. Bookend outside linebacker Jarret Johnson logged 1 1/2 sacks.

Suggs was a game-changer in the Ravens’ postseason finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a terror, capping off a stellar playoff campaign with five sacks, the type of player the Ravens hoped he would be when they signed him to a six-year contract reported to be worth $63 million.

“Terrell Suggs is one of the premier defensive players in the National Football League,” said Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. “I know that all of us out here – the coaches, the organization and the fans – were really hoping that that would happen, but Terrell knew it was going to happen.

“I think our coaches believed it was going to happen, and he made it happen this year.”

Although Suggs was the Ravens’ top pass rusher, he also rounded into a truly-complete defender, showing an ability to effectively play the run.

Even though Suggs was Baltimore’s premier pressure threat, he posted 58 tackles.

What’s more, the 28-year-old embraced his role as a veteran voice in the locker room. Suggs’ fun-loving personality remained, but as he went through his eighth season, he emerged as an insightful quote to the media and a respected leader to teammates.

“He’s a tremendous pass rusher, he’s great against the run, he’s a complete player on defense, and the thing that I’m really grateful for is the fact that he’s really becoming a leader on our defense,” Harbaugh explained. “He is really growing into that role. He was a big part of the success of our defense from a leadership perspective.”

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