Baltimore is buzzing about new pass rusher
But the Ravens could also get a big boost next season from their other outside linebacker,
After notching 14 sacks in 2011, the injury-plagued Suggs logged just two regular-season sacks last year. But with a full offseason to rest and regain strength, Suggs could be a different player in 2013.
Just how much better?
“I’m not going to say,” Suggs said. “I’m just going to let the fans wait and see.”
In an interview with BaltimoreRavens.com, Suggs said he didn’t feel healthy at any point last season.
He came back from Achilles surgery six weeks into the season, then suffered a biceps injury Week 13 against Pittsburgh, which knocked him out for one more game. Suggs said he was “OK” with how his Achilles progressed throughout the season, but not satisfied.
“I would have liked to have been healthier when I first came back,” Suggs said. “Not until late did it get somewhat back to normal, but I never played fully healthy. But that’s what the offseason is for, that’s behind me. I’m working to be the best player I can be for my city.”
Suggs said he hasn’t had any offseason surgery on his biceps. He dealt with the pain throughout the end of the regular season and playoffs, and still notched two sacks in the postseason.
“The biceps happened, but I knew my team was on the verge of doing something special and I didn’t want to miss it,” Suggs said. “I opted not to have surgery because it would have put me down four months. I didn’t want to be on the couch again.”
Head Coach John Harbaugh had a conversation with Suggs at the end of the season and said “you can tell he’s just really motivated.”
“I’m very optimistic about Terrell Suggs,” Harbaugh said last week at the owners meetings. “I think he’s going to be great next year. He’s going to be healthy.”
Pro Bowl defensive tackle
“The last time I actually felt 100 percent was probably three seasons ago,” Ngata said.
Ngata suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in the Super Bowl, but it did not require surgery. He expects to be fine by the time the season rolls around, and hopes to stay healthy next season, but knows there are no guarantees.
“I always feel like I can stay healthy every offseason,” Ngata said. “I’m like, ‘This is good and I won’t get banged up.’ But injuries are part of the game and they’re always going to happen. You try to train as hard as you can so it doesn’t happen, but it’s just going to happen.”
If Ngata and Suggs can stay healthy, Harbaugh has grand visions. They are the centerpieces of the Ravens defense, and if it’s going to improve as a whole from last season, much of the production will have to come from Suggs and Ngata.
“Two guys I’m really excited about for next year are Terrell and Haloti because they battled injuries all year and they [still] played well,” the head coach said. “Those guys getting healthy, those guys are superstar players. That’s going to be big for us.”