Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Limited play makes Suggs a sad sacker
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Terrell Suggs had a great time with
Byron Leftwich the night before the NFL draft.
The two discussed their future, talked about who would go where
and spoke excitedly about the money that would soon be coming their
"After that," Suggs recalled Wednesday, "everyone was too
nervous to talk to each other."
Suggs, now a rookie linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens, hopes
to hook up with Leftwich again on Sunday -- in the Jacksonville
Suggs, the 10th overall pick last April, and Leftwich, selected
seventh and now the Jaguars' starting quarterback, have enjoyed
mixed success during their first NFL season.
Suggs tied a record by getting a sack in each of his first four
NFL games. But playing time has been tough to come by for the
former Arizona State star, who has come off the bench in all seven
games thus far.
"It's not coming as fast as I want it to," Suggs said.
"Obviously, they don't think I'm ready. When they think I'm ready,
they'll move me up."
Suggs, who has eight tackles and an interception, is being used
primarily in passing situations. The learning process has been
slow, but the Ravens believe his play has improved each week.
"We keep trying to find situations to put him in; we're very
pleased with his growth right now," said Ravens head coach Brian
Suggs said he is still trying to get used to the speed of the
game and the wide array of coverages that Baltimore linebackers are
expected to master.
"I've learned this game is 90 percent mental," he said.
At least he's made an impression on the one teammate who matters
most: linebacker Ray Lewis.
"It would be hard for me to say how Suggs is playing, because I
evaluate the defense as a whole," Lewis said. "I think he's
playing great when he comes in, and does everything we ask of him.
There's nothing else we can ask than that."