Baltimore’s defense will be well represented in the 2018 Pro Bowl, but the Ravens have a smaller group than usual.
The Ravens have three players selected for this year’s all-star game: outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, safety Eric Weddle and inside linebacker C.J. Mosley. It’s a repeat honor for all three.
If the number remains at three, it would be the team’s smallest group since 2005 when Hall of Fame left tackle Jonathan Ogden was the only representative. Among Baltimore’s biggest snubs are kicker Justin Tucker (first alternate) and punter Sam Koch.
The rival Pittsburgh Steelers have the most Pro Bowlers of any NFL team with eight.
Of course, the Ravens would rather play in Super Bowl LII in Minnesota rather than the Pro Bowl in Orlando the week prior, but it’s still a major achievement to be named.
It’s Suggs’ seventh selection in his 15 seasons, but first since 2013. At age 35, Suggs has had one of the best seasons of his career, posting 43 tackles, 11 sacks and four forced fumbles. He’s three sacks shy of tying a career-high he set in 2011, when he was named the NFL’s Defensive Most Valuable Player.
“I’m speechless. Every time you make it, it’s like making it for the first time all over again. It’s a really great feeling,” Suggs stated. “I want to thank all the fans who voted, and I thank my coaches and teammates, as they all have a high expectation for me. I also thank the organization for believing in a 15-year vet.”
Before the Pro Bowl rosters were made public, Suggs was asked by reporters about how much it would mean to him to make the team.
“It would be huge,” Suggs said. “It would show I still get some respect in this league. It would show I still can play.”
Suggs’ seventh invitation ranks as the fourth-most in Ravens franchise history: linebacker Ray Lewis (13), Ogden (11) and safety Ed Reed (nine).
It also helps build Suggs’ already strong case for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Suggs’ 125.5 sacks are tied for the 17th-most of all-time and he’s tied for the third-most among active players, only trailing Carolina’s Julius Peppers (153.5).
“He’s amazing. You expect something different every time you turn on the film. Years go by, and nothing changes. He’s a rare talent. First-ballot Hall of Famer,” said Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano, who was Suggs’ defensive coordinator in 2011.
“When you look up ‘game wrecker’ in the dictionary, they have a picture of ‘T-Sizz’ in there.”
It will be Weddle’s fifth Pro Bowl and second straight. He went as an alternate last year, but is a starter this season.
Weddle is tied for second in the NFL with six interceptions, only trailing Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay, who has seven. It’s the second-most interceptions of Weddle’s career; he had seven in 2011 when he was with the San Diego Chargers.
Weddle is another team and defensive leader, who has led the Ravens to being the NFL’s leader in takeaways. He has 60 tackles and two forced fumbles to go along with his interceptions, which include a 45-yard return for a touchdown.
Over his two years as a Raven, Weddle’s 10 interceptions rank as the most among all NFL safeties.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Weddle stated. “You never take for granted, one, to play in this league, and two, to try and play at a high level.
“I’ve never worked as hard as I did this past year to try and get better from last season and help this team and lead even more so. I’m ecstatic because I’ve done so much over the last year to get back to this point, to help my team win, and to hopefully get back to the playoffs.”
Mosley has now been voted into his third Pro Bowl in his four NFL years. He has the sixth-most tackles in the league (121), one sack, two interceptions and three forced fumbles. He returned one interception 63 yards for a touchdown.
Mosley is one of two NFL defenders with at least 115 tackles, two interceptions and one sack, joining Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. In short, Mosley does it all in the middle of Baltimore’s playmaking defense.
“This is a great honor,” Mosley stated. “It’s always great to represent your teammates and the organization. All the blood, sweat and tears you go through during the season – it’s all worth it to make the all-star game.
“I give a lot of credit to the D-line for keeping [offensive] linemen off me. I also have to thank ‘Wink’ [Linebackers Coach Don Martindale] for putting me in great positions, and I thank coach [John] Harbaugh and [Defensive Coordinator] Dean Pees. Really, it’s great to be able to share this with my teammates.”
Check out some of the best photos of outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, inside linebacker C.J. Mosley and safety Eric Weddle this season.