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John Harbaugh: Terrell Suggs Did Right Thing On Final Hit

Posted Sep 29, 2013

Terrell Suggs was penalized for hitting quarterback EJ Manuel as he was taking a delayed kneel.

An unnecessary roughness penalty on Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs wiped out the last, slim hope of a Ravens’ comeback Sunday afternoon in Buffalo.

Head Coach John Harbaugh was not angry with Suggs, however. Actually, he approved the hit.

“I’m just disappointed Terrell wasn’t able to cause a fumble there,” Harbaugh said. “He definitely did the right thing in that situation.”

The Bills were trying to run out the clock on their 23-20 victory. With 51 seconds remaining, quarterback EJ Manuel backed up to kneel. But he delayed taking the knee as much as possible, trying to run out as much time as he could.

Suggs came off the edge and hit Manuel hard as he was on his way down. The rookie quarterback’s helmet came off, drawing a yellow flag from head referee Jerome Boger.

The 15-yard penalty gave the Bills a first down and allowed them to run out the rest of the clock.

Had the penalty not been called, the Ravens could have fielded a punt and perhaps had one final shot to tie or win the game. Every second was important for the Ravens, so they had to rush Manuel to make him kneel as soon as possible.

Manuel didn’t get down quickly enough to avoid a hit.

“He’s got to get his knee down and he should do it more quickly and not try to burn more time off the clock,” Harbaugh said. “That’s something we hear from the league all the time. His knee was not on the ground.”

Suggs also got an explanation from Boger on the field.

“Jerome Boger said he has to air on the side of safety,” Suggs said. “He said that his helmet came off. Any time a quarterback’s helmet comes off, they’ve kind of got to look at it. It’s whatever. He decided to make the call. I can’t whine about it.”

The flag led to a scrum between the two teams and what appeared to be a passionate and long conversation on the sidelines between Harbaugh and the referees.

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