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Late For Work 10/1: Reaction To Terrell Suggs' Claiming Roger Goodell Behind Blackout

Posted Oct 1, 2013

Thompson has been reinstated. Not faulting Harbs' decision. Calls for Tyrod already? Report card.


Reaction To Suggs’ Claims About Goodell

Ray Lewis received backlash when he said the Super Bowl XLVII blackout was no accident, and he didn’t accuse anyone specifically.

Terrell Suggs did, and he’s pointing straight to the top of the league.

"I was like Vegas, parlor tricks, you know what I mean?" Suggs said in an ESPN "E:60" interview below. "I was like, ahh, Roger Goodell, he never stops, he always has something up his sleeve. He just couldn't let us have this one in a landslide, huh?"

“So you thought Roger Goodell had turned the lights out?” asked reporter Lisa Salters.

"I thought he had a hand in it," Suggs said quickly. "Most definitely, he had a hand in it."

The Ravens burst out to a 28-6 lead over the San Francisco 49ers early in the third quarter with a Jacoby Jones 108-yard kickoff return. Shortly thereafter, the lights in the New Orleans Superdome went out and delayed the game for 34 minutes.

Once the game resumed, the Ravens lost momentum and the 49ers went on to score 17 unanswered points. A late defensive stand in the red zone was needed in the waning moments for the Ravens to pull off a 34-31 victory.

Suggs explained why he thinks the NFL commissioner would try to tilt the game. 

“I think he definitely has his favorites," the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year said.

When he walked out on the field for the 2012 divisional playoff game in Denver, Suggs said he saw Goodell talking with Broncos Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway.

“[I]t's like hmmm. I thought, your commissioner is supposed to be neutral," Suggs said. "He ain't supposed to be on one side or the other; he's supposed to be in the box. I saw him on their sideline and I was like, huh, I know who he's going for.

"He'll deny [he has favorites],” Suggs said, adding that Goodell should make sure everything is on an even playing field. Suggs said he doesn’t think the commissioner is doing a good job and added that he shouldn’t be paid $10 million a year.

The company that supplies power to the Superdome, a nearly 40-year-old building, said after the game that faulty equipment was the cause of the blackout.

Some are calling for an end to the conspiracy theories. And even though Suggs may believe Goodell had a hand in the blackout, saying so isn’t helping his reputation.

“When it comes down to it, Suggs is fighting an unnecessary battle. His team won the game, and he comes off sounding quite nonsensical,” wrote Bleacher Report’s Tim Keeney.

Added ESPN’s Jamison Hensley: “Can we all agree to stop coming up with these ridiculous accusations? This makes the Ravens look more paranoid than prestigious. I could see the Ravens continually talking about this if they had lost. But the Ravens overcame that 34-minute delay and just have to let it go.”

“That’s clearly something that some members of the Ravens are willing to believe, whether or not there’s any concrete evidence to confirm their suspicions,” wrote Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper.

View the interview in the video below (mobile users tap the “View in Browser” button at the top of the page).

The full "E:60" episode featuring Suggs will air tonight at 7 p.m. ET. Word is he will also discuss Lewis and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Safety Thompson Has Been Reinstated

The four-game suspension for safety Christian Thompson is over.

He has been reinstated by the league after violating the NFL substance abuse policy, according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun. It is unclear what he did to violate it.

For this week, the team will not have to make a roster decision with Thompson because the league granted a roster exemption for him through next Monday, per Wilson.

"Yeah, I just got to grow up," Thompson, a 2012 fourth-round draft pick, told The Sun about his suspension. "Everybody has been supporting me. Nobody has been down on me."

While Thompson was away, the Ravens made a couple of moves at the safety position.

They signed reserve safety and special teams contributor Jeromy Miles off waivers last week after the division rival Bengals cut him. To make room for Miles, the Ravens moved rookie free agent Brynden Trawick to the practice squad after cutting him from the active roster. Trawick collided with Jacoby Jones in the season opener when he was signaling for a fair catch on a punt, knocking him out for several weeks with a knee injury.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday that he plans to use Miles this week now that a hamstring injury has improved.

Thompson did not record any statistics as a rookie during the seven games he played. Wilson says the suspension cost the second-year player $112,941 of his $480,000 base salary.

The question now is what should the Ravens do with Thompson come Monday?

If you keep him on the active roster, you have to cut someone else. The Ravens appear set at safety, but he could contribute on special teams.

Hensley: I Don’t Fault Harbaugh's Decision

Harbaugh said yesterday afternoon that while he stands by his decision, he respects anyone’s opinion that the Ravens should have run more than nine times, including just twice in the second half, against the Bills Sunday.

But not everyone disagrees with Harbaugh’s move.

I do not fault Harbaugh's decision because the run game was going nowhere (the team was averaging 2.6 yards per carry),” Hensley wrote. “The Ravens also were 15 yards away from kicking the potential game-tying field goal late in the fourth quarter, so the pass-heavy attack put Baltimore in position to pull off the comeback.”

Harbaugh said that neither Run Game Coordinator Juan Castillo nor first-year starting center Gino Gradkowski, the only two differences from the Super Bowl-winning offensive line, is to blame.

The head coach added that running back Ray Rice was healthy, and dismissed the idea that his hip, which prevented Rice from playing against the Texans, factored into the struggling run game.

Harbaugh believes the run game will get things going, but that’s where Hensley disagrees.

“Where I differ with Harbaugh is the Ravens' ability to turn this ground game around,” Hensley said. “The Ravens are averaging 64 yards rushing per game, which ranks 28th in the NFL. There have been no signs of life from the Ravens' running game and that includes Sunday's game against the second-worst run defense in the NFL.”

Calls For Tyrod Already?

Super Bowl MVP or not, some Ravens fans are already calling for backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor to take over for Joe Flacco after the six-year veteran threw a career-high five interceptions in Buffalo.

And they made sure their voices were heard on Baltimore radio shows and on social media.

“We almost made it four hours this morning before a listener suggested Tyrod Taylor over Flacco,” tweeted WNST’s Luke Jones.

You win, universe.”

Encouraging Signs For Passing Game

Harbaugh revealed Monday that receiver Jacoby Jones will return to practice this week.

The announcement couldn’t come a moment too soon as the receiving corps has been riddled with injuries.

“This is an encouraging sign for the Ravens as they try to mend a banged-up wide receiver group,” Hensley wrote.

It’s unclear whether Jones will be ready for the matchup in Miami this week, but three other receivers that have been dealing with injuries could play: Marlon Brown (hamstring), Brandon Stokley (groin) and Deonte Thompson (concussion).

Harbaugh admitted it has been a challenge to get the passing game on track while so many targets haven’t been able to participate consistently.

"It's hard on us, there's no question," Harbaugh said. "We're down legs on that side of the ball. It's hard to work on the things you want to work on. But you have to do it. Everybody faces that. It'll be good to get those guys back."

Report Card

Ooofff.

Hensley published his report card for the Ravens positions groups’ play Sunday, and there were a total of three Fs and a D.

Here’s the breakdown:

Quarterback grade: F
Running backs grade: F
Wide receivers/tight ends grade: C-minus
Offensive line grade: F
Defensive line grade: D
Linebackers grade: C
Secondary grade: C
Special teams grade: B

Quick Hits

  • @ravens: Harbaugh said it's a consolation that the #Ravens are still tied for first in the AFC North. Whoever wins division games will be AFCN champ. [Twitter]
  • @ProFootballTalk: Ben Roethlisberger: You could say we're the worst team in the league
  • @mzenitz: Harbaugh said a coverage error led to Robert Woods' 42-yard TD. Looking back, looks like C. Graham was supposed to have help from Ihedigbo [Twitter]
  • @jamisonhensley: Since start of 2008, teams that don't rush on more than 20 percent of their plays are a combined 1-56, per to ESPN Stats & Information. [Twitter]
  • @PMGleason [Ravens PR]: After four weeks @TorreySmithWR ranks 2nd in the NFL in both receiving yards (435) & yards per catch (20.7 avg.). Also, @TorreySmithWR ties @DeseanJackson10 for the NFL's most receptions (6) gaining 25 or more yards. #Ravens
  • Looking for a bright spot in Sunday’s loss? Childs Walker says there’s still a mental toughness that keeps the Ravens competitive. “This has always been a strength in the John Harbaugh era,” he wrote. “The Ravens rarely quit on a game and never quit on a season.” [The Baltimore Sun]
  • @gdowning: Rookie first-round pick Matt Elam played every defensive snap [Sunday] for the Ravens. [Twitter]
  • Matt Vensel pulls out interesting tidbits from the Ravens’ snap count in Buffalo. Below is a graphic to go along with his observations. [The Baltimore Sun]

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