A year after being named the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year,
Due to the offseason Achilles injury that knocked him out for the first six games, then the injured biceps suffered late in the regular season, Suggs notched a career-low two sacks and 22 tackles.
But with a clean bill of health entering the 2013 season, General Manager Ozzie Newsome expects Suggs to return to his old form.
“I expect Sizz to come back and play at the level he played at in 2011,” Newsome told BaltimoreRavens.com.
Suggs recorded a career-high 14 sacks, two interceptions and seven forced fumbles in 2011. It was a dominant year for the veteran outside linebacker, who will turn 31 this season.
Despite his age, 30, and the fact that he’s now undergone a couple of major injuries for the first time in his career, the setbacks may have helped Suggs going forward.
“I think going through that injury, fighting his way back, helped mature him as a person, helped him grow as a person,” Newsome said.
Beyond his on-field production, Suggs is set to step into more of a leadership position. It’s something Suggs said he is personally ready to do, and Newsome expects from him.
“He sees a void on our football team of leadership. I think he’s going to step right into those shoes and pick that up. He’s served that apprenticeship under Ray and under Ed and I think he’s prepared himself to do that,” Newsome said.
“[He will] provide leadership for us that we need to be able to continue to play defense the way we want to play here in Baltimore.”