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Late for Work: Terrell Suggs Reveals Why He Left the Ravens

OLB Terrell Suggs

Terrell Suggs Reveals Why He Left the Ravens

It was unfathomable that Terrell Suggs would ever play for anyone but the Ravens, but after 16 seasons in Baltimore, the seven-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2019.

Suggs and the Cardinals mutually agreed to part ways late in the season and he was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Chiefs, who went on to win the Super Bowl.

Even though Suggs capped his career by winning his second Super Bowl ring, it wasn't the way he wanted it to end.

In a new sit-down interview with WJZ’s Rick Ritter at Suggs' home in Scottsdale, Ariz., Suggs revealed why he made the decision not to re-sign with the Ravens. It had nothing to do with football.

"I'll tell you all now because it's been enough time," Suggs said. "My mom was terminally ill. No one knows this, we're a pretty private family. She was pretty much in her final stages and I couldn't be in both places at once, both Arizona and Baltimore. I couldn't look after her and train, work out and go back to Baltimore. I just couldn't do both. I was going to sign back and I decided at the last minute I can't, I couldn't. If something happened to my mom while I was gone, I would've never forgiven myself.

"[Executive Vice President] Ozzie [Newsome] called me and said, 'Terrell, what are you doing? Sizzle, your kids live here in Baltimore.' I said, 'I know, Oz, but it's just something I have to do.' So, I came home to kind of take care of my mom and she ended up passing the next year, but we did have that last year together. She got to see some of my Cardinals games here and that time with her was special. At the end of the day, it wasn't how I wanted it to end. I wanted to be in black and purple forever, but it didn't happen that way."

Suggs, who will be inducted into the Ravens Ring of Honor on Oct. 22 when the Ravens host the Detroit Lions at M&T Bank Stadium, said that even though he wore other uniforms in his final season, he will forever be a Raven.

"Raven for life, Raven for life," Suggs said. "From the moment I got there, it was just like my life changed, my football career just changed. I played with football Gods. Who can say they played with the best left tackle ever (Jonathan Ogden), the best middle linebacker ever (Ray Lewis), the best strong safety (Ed Reed) together? I was on the team with all of these guys, all of these Hall of Famers."

Suggs, who is likely to join those guys in the Hall of Fame, was asked what he misses most about Baltimore.

"I miss the people, miss the tailgating, driving up to stadium, everyone going crazy knowing it's me," Suggs said. "They embraced me as one of their own. Sizzle is ours, they said. They've been so great to me. They embraced me with love and I'll always feel that way."

Lamar Jackson Named PFF's Offensive Player of the Week

Despite the Ravens mustering just 10 points in a frustrating loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Lamar Jackson was named Pro Football Focus’ Offensive Player of the Week.

Jackson's 94.6 PFF grade led all quarterbacks in Week 5 and was his season high.

Jackson's passing numbers weren't impressive (22-for-38, 236 yards, no touchdowns, one interception, 65.2 rating), but they don't tell the whole story. Ravens receivers dropped passes at an alarming rate.

"The Ravens' receivers let Jackson down at a near-historic level in Week 5," PFF's Gordon McGuinness wrote. "He had one of the best games of his career as a passer, throwing the ball downfield with poise and accuracy. On throws targeted 10 or more yards downfield, Jackson went 9-of-20 for 163 yards but suffered five drops from his receivers."

Other sources credited the receivers with as many as seven drops.

Ravens' Goal-Line Fade Draws Criticism

While Jackson had a good performance overall, he also made a throw he undoubtedly would love to have back. On third-and-goal at the 5-yard-line with four minutes remaining and the Ravens clinging to a two-point lead, Jackson's intended pass for Odell Beckham Jr. on a fade route was intercepted by rookie Joey Porter Jr.

It was apparently the first time that Jackson had thrown a goal-line fade.

ESPN's Dan Orlovsky said the play was doomed from the start because Jackson should've been under center instead of in the shotgun.

"Odell was lined up at the line of scrimmage at the 5-yard-line. The quarterback only has 15 yards to throw. When you're playing in the shotgun, you have to catch and throw the football because of that small space," Orlovsky said. "When Lamar's making that decision to throw the football, Odell is still standing on the 5-yard-line. Lamar is making that decision of what kind of throw he has to make in that moment, and Odell's not even off the line of scrimmage."

On a side note, inside linebacker Roquan Smith also made PFF's Week 5 Team of the Week.

Rex Ryan Attributes Drops to … Catching Rugby Balls in Practice?

It was inexplicable that the Ravens, who were one of only two teams to enter Week 5 without a drop (the San Francisco 49ers were the other), could drop so many passes in one game, but that didn't stop ESPN analyst and former Ravens Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan from offering an explanation.

Believe it or not, Ryan attributed the drops to the fact that the team has a drill in which the receivers catch rugby balls. Ryan reasoned that because rugby balls are bigger and receivers' hands are further apart when catching them, it's messing up their ability to catch a standard football.

The Baltimore Banner's Kyle Goon pushed back on Ryan's theory.

"They also practice with regular footballs, obviously," Goon wrote. "It's a little disingenuous to suggest that the reason the Ravens had a bad day at the office was about an unconventional practice technique, especially when they had not had one drop in four prior weeks.

"Seems like Ryan found a detail that would make an entertaining sound bite (he quipped about how someone wanted to be "a guru") and kept hammering it, and letting Ravens coaches (like receivers coach Greg Lewis, who has two Super Bowl rings!) take some crossfire for a small warmup detail that he probably doesn't know much about. Sure, it's catchy to talk about on TV, but I doubt it was at the heart of the underwhelming performance."

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