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Terrell Suggs: Defense 'Out There For Show'

Posted Sep 18, 2013

Even wide receiver Torrey Smith talked about how punishments for defenders is over the top.

In the NFL, 400 passing yards may very well be the new 300 passing yards.

In a league that continues to tilt more towards the aerial game, six quarterbacks have already thrown for more than 400 yards in a game.

The Ravens saw it first hand with Peyton Manning and his 462 passing yards and NFL record-tying seven touchdowns in Week 1. And outside linebacker Terrell Suggs doesn’t really like it.

Suggs says the NFL’s rules on illegal hits, contact between cornerbacks and receivers, and others “cater to a passing league.”

“I guess they took a survey and fans want to see touchdowns, fans want to see a lot of scores,” Suggs said. “The defense is kind of out there for show.”

The quarterbacks who threw for more than 400 yards in Week 1 were Manning (462), San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick (412) and New York’s Eli Manning (450). In Week 2, they were Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (480 yards), San Diego’s Philip Rivers (419) and Philadelphia’s Michael Vick (428).

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is currently averaging 286.5 passing yards per game, which would put him on pace for a career-high 4,584.

The Ravens have long prided themselves on defense, and invested much of their offseason attention there with the additions of defensive end Chris Canty, inside linebacker Daryl Smith, safety Michael Huff and defensive tackle Marcus Spears.

No matter what the rules are, they apply to everyone. And the Ravens will try to defend as best as possible.

“We’re a team, we’re going to compete and play football, even with all of those things stacked against us,” Suggs said.

Even Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith sided somewhat with defenders. He pointed to the case of former Ravens safety Bernard Pollard, who tweeted that he got a $42,000 fine after what photos show was a legal shoulder hit on Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson.

“I think it’s a little over the top, just being a football player, because some things you can’t avoid,” Smith said. “And it’s tough on those defensive guys. It’s like, ‘Well, do you want to hit the guy up high and risk getting fined and a penalty for your team? Or do you want to hit him low and risk breaking his leg or tearing his knee up like you saw with the Dolphins [tight end Dustin Keller]?’”

Smith says that as an offensive player, he approaches the game just looking to make plays and not thinking about the repercussions.

“But it’s easy for me to say that, because I’m not the one that has to worry about pulling up,” Smith said. “I think a lot of times defensive guys kind of get the short end of the stick, but at the same time, the league is trying to protect the guys and trying to make the game safer for us. But it’s definitely tough on those guys.”

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