The two players he’s looked up to his entire career – Ray Lewis and Ed Reed – no longer wear the purple and black.
As Suggs now heads into his 11th NFL season, has he started to think about his own football mortality?
“I’m 30, so I’m alright,” Suggs said Wednesday during his first training camp press conference. “A lot of those guys are a lot older than me. I’m 30. If you ask me, I’m probably entering in my football prime right now.
“But I’m not going to think about that this year. At the end of the year, probably, it depends on how the year goes.”
Suggs believes he has plenty of good football left, and he’s already one of the most accomplished players in team history. He has won a Super Bowl, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year and is the franchise’s all-time leader in sacks (84.5).
Even with all those accomplishments to his name, Suggs still has his sights set on more.
“You can always do better, especially with this city,” he said. “This is a league of, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ I don’t want to rest on those laurels. I’m good with those mountains that I’ve climbed, but I’m into climbing more. That’s what we’re in this business for. I’m looking for my next obstacle and we’ll just determine what that is in the near future.”
Suggs has now been in Baltimore longer than any of his teammates, and he’s assuming the role of leadership on the defense. Along with players like
“I think definitely there is a responsibility that comes with that,” Suggs said about being the longest-tenured Raven. “And I’m honored to have that responsibility. But it’s not just me. I’m only a few years ahead of Haloti and a few years ahead of Webb. It’s primarily going to fall on the vets that have been here the longest.”
As the leader, Suggs has displayed a much calmer, more subdued attitude during his press conferences. He has taken a more serious approach during recent interviews, but also noted that he won’t change too much.
“I’m still going to be Sizzle and I’m still going to have fun,” he said. “I’m going to always be Sizzle, and you can always count on that. I didn’t have that opportunity last year and I’m kind of just taking it in.”
Suggs is entering this year after a frustrating 2012 season riddled with injuries. He tore his Achilles tendon during the offseason, but made a remarkable recovery and missed just six games. Suggs then tore his biceps later in the year, which forced him to miss two additional games.
Both injuries had the potential to be season-ending, but Suggs fought his way back into the lineup. He finished the season with two sacks and 22 tackles.
Now Suggs is healthy, noticeably leaner, and cherishing the opportunity to participate in training camp this year.
“Achilles feels good. Bicep feels good. And I’m 100 percent,” Suggs said. “I’m just blessed that I am 100 percent and that I am able to go to work."