Suggs' Final Statement


Terrell Suggs wants to clear up some misconceptions regarding some recent comments he made on an Atlanta radio station.

The loquacious Ravens linebacker was interviewed on the popular "2 Live Stews" show and was asked if the team had a "bounty" on Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Hines Ward, who is known for delivering solid hits that have injured others.

Suggs' statements sparked an investigation from NFL officials when he repeated part of the question in his answer, saying the word "bounty."

All week long, local and national media have debated what some construed as a threat.

Suggs has repeated that he never wished to convey any rewards for hurting a player.

"I've got to set the record straight about what I said about so-called bounties," Suggs said. "I tried to explain this on Wednesday, but it keeps coming back up.

"We, the players, don't pay each other to take another player out of the game. And you know coaches don't do that. As I said before, we prepare to stop the other team's best players every week. Those are the players who can beat you with big plays."

As an example, Suggs pointed to his upcoming opponent, the Oakland Raiders. With the fifth-ranked rushing attack, the Raiders feature a trio of talented running back in Darren McFadden, Justin Fargas and Michael Bush.

"We've focused on them in practice and in meetings," he continued. "They are marked men by our defense – we have to know where they are on every play, and we can't let them get rolling on Sunday."

In a release issued by Suggs and the Ravens, the former first-round draft pick offered an apology for the misconception.

"When I did the radio show in Atlanta, that's what I meant and I thought that's what I said," said Suggs. "I did repeat the word bounty early in the interview after the guy asking me the question used the word. That was a mistake. I misspoke, and I'm sorry for that."

On Wednesday, Suggs also backed off comments he made that suggested that he favored backup Troy Smith over rookie Joe Flacco as Baltimore's starting quarterback.

"That's not what I said," explained Suggs. "When [the reporter] asked me, I was like, 'I think there should be multiple packages.' At least that's what I thought he was asking. I think multiple packages are good. That's all I was trying to say."

All of this is coming at a time when Suggs may be playing the best football of his career.

The 6-foot-3, 260-pounder is currently second on the team with 38 tackles and is pacing the Ravens with his four sacks.

What's more, Suggs even posted his first-career touchdown last week, a 44-yard interception return that keyed Baltimore's 27-13 win over the Miami Dolphins. His performance at Dolphin Stadium, which included a sack and eight tackles, earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

"He just turned 26, so naturally he's getting ready to hit his peak," said defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. "He was a tremendous player for us the last several years, just a stout player on the run. Not just a pass rusher, this guy can play in all phases of the game.

"We're really proud of the way he's played."

In the midst of a contract year, the Ravens placed the franchise tag on Suggs, which led to a training camp holdout.

When he did come back a few days after camp ended, Suggs immediately meshed right back into the only locker room he's known.

"It's just great to have that guy on our team, especially all that talent and athleticism that he has, it just makes our defense that much better," said defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. "I'm happy to have him on our team, and I'm happy he's doing great."

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