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Thursday, May 27, 2010
On the radar: Terrell Suggs

By James Walker
ESPN.com

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Terrell Suggs
Terrell Suggs had a career-low 4.5 sacks last season.
Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens openly admits 2009 was a down year. But it also led to a bold proclamation for this upcoming season.

"Rest assured, it will never happen again," Suggs recently told reporters.

The hybrid linebacker/defensive end and three-time Pro Bowler is motivated to have a bounce-back season for the Ravens, who should be strong contenders in the AFC.

A variety of factors contributed to Suggs' subpar numbers last season.

At times Suggs was banged up with a knee injury, missing three games. He lacked his usual explosiveness and didn't look to be in the best of shape. There were points when teammates Jarret Johnson and Trevor Pryce, not Suggs, were Baltimore's best pass-rushers. Pryce (6.5 sacks) and Johnson (6.0 sacks) led the team, while Suggs recorded a career-low 4.5 sacks.

The sudden inconsistency from Suggs is baffling. He was one of the most dominant defenders in the NFL for the six years before last season.

"His pass rush, I just tend to think it was an anomaly," said Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. "There wasn't somebody on the other side who took a lot of the pressure off ... áBut I don't worry about Suggs. If it happens another year in a row, then maybe I will say he's a declining pass-rusher.

"But I tend to side that he's going to come back to form in a hurry."

The Ravens are banking on Williamson's projection. Baltimore gave Suggs, 27, a six-year, $63 million contract last year, believing he is still in his prime.

Baltimore as a team was ranked a disappointing No. 18 in sacks last season. If the Ravens are going to have a resurgent pass rush in 2010, Suggs will be vital.