Ravens' Suggs: Lockout led to career year

March, 3, 2012
3/03/12
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Unlike last year's lockout, there will be minicamps and organized team activities this offseason.

Suggs
That's not good news for Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. He believes less work and more play led to him becoming the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

“Last year, to be totally honest with you, I had the time of my life during the lockout and wasn’t in a hurry to get back to work,” Suggs told a Kansas City radio station. “I think that’s why, in total, I ended up having the season that I did.”

These are interesting words coming from Suggs, who doesn't have the reputation for being the most disciplined player. He reportedly was 23 pounds over his playing weight when he showed up at training camp in 2009, a few weeks after signing a $62.5 million contract. Suggs also has a history of sneaking into the media room to grab a few slices of pizza during the season.

But it's hard to argue with Suggs this time after he led the AFC with a career-high 14 sacks and set a franchise record with seven forced fumbles. Still, most coaches would strongly disagree with Suggs, saying minicamps serve a purpose to get players prepared for training camp and the season ahead.

“A lot of guys ended up pushing [themselves] too hard and ended up getting hurt trying to get ready for minicamps and OTAs," Suggs said. "Fortunately we didn’t have that burden on our shoulders and that’s why I think I had a great year."

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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