Certain people light up a room when they enter. Others have a presence so dominating, they can’t say hello without the whole room taking notice.
Terrell Suggs is a little of both.
To say today’s practice was “Suggs-o-centric” would be an understatement. There was simply too much, so I’ll have to summarize:
– Despite the fact he played relatively few snaps of 11-on-11, he talked trash with the offense from the beginning.
– The defense ran a drill where the defenders run through three dummies, slapping each to one side, before they make a sharp turn to knock down a dummy intended to be the QB with one hand. I was just noting how hard Kamalei Correa practices these slaps when Suggs thunderously blasted the first two dummies then launched his body on top of the QB dummy. That got everyone laughing.
– The defensive backs had a segment of tennis ball drills intended to improve ball tracking in the air, but Suggs somehow got in line, took a rep, and made his catch.
– In one of his few 11-on-11 snaps, Suggs lined up opposite James Hurst in a three-point stance. Hurst backed up a step to block, but Suggs did not engage, stayed low, then leaped to intercept Flacco’s screen pass to the left, turned and returned it for a TD, and threw the ball into the crowd. The hide-and-seek action was reminiscent of two interceptions he’s had at the expense of Ben Roethlisberger.
– Even the interview segment (John Harbaugh, DL Coach John Cullen, Timmy Jernigan, and Crockett Gillmore) had a question about Suggs for each man at the podium. Jernigan mentioned that Suggs will say something if he sees something when lined up next to him and added “he hasn’t told me anything wrong in three years.” Gillmore said Suggs couldn’t have known what play was coming on the interception, adding “we haven’t run that play all camp.”
Timmy Jernigan also looked outstanding versus the run. On consecutive plays, he:
– backed up, then shed Alex Lewis.
– moved past the face of Hurst on a zone block right to make first contact with the ball carrier.
Victor Ochi, who played just seven snaps versus the Panthers, penetrated to take down Buck Allen in the backfield. Just two plays later, he again made the first contact with the ball carrier by beating Nick Boyle on the edge.
Part of the offensive difficulties today may have stemmed from significant shuffling of the line. Jeremy Zuttah and Marshal Yanda each had the day off and Ronnie Stanley and Rick Wagner both took some snaps off. That effectively left the number two line to take many of the reps versus the defensive starters.
None of the quarterbacks looked particularly sharp, but Joe Flacco had an especially bad day for accuracy. A number of passes were thrown behind the receivers and Joe cursed loudly after missing an open receiver at one point.
Among defenders, Will Davis was the most effective in a broadly dominant performance (the defense won the practice 68-33 by the Ravens’ inscrutable scoring methods). My notes for him:
– He stripped a slant pass from Ryan Mallett (I missed the receiver).
– He collapsed quickly on Stephen Houston to touch him down short of the sticks.
– He knocked down a pass by the right sideline intended for Keenan Reynolds.
– He was unable to dislodge a 15-yard completion to Dobson Collins between the numbers and right hash.
– He knocked down a pass intended for Chuck Jacobs between the hashes on 4th down during the 2-minute drill.
Maurice Canady also recovered from some soft coverage early in practice to get his hand on a ball intended for Collins. He also had good coverage of Reynolds on an overthrow 15+ yards down the left sideline.
Terrence Brooks had an interception on a ball tipped in the middle of the field.
Dud of the day
In addition to Flacco, Kenneth Dixon also had a tough day. He looked inconsistent returning kickoffs including a ball he allowed to drop untouched. He dropped a short pass in the middle of the field which had good YAC potential. He did not register a breakaway as the Ravens run game was foiled for most of the day.
Finally, after an 11-on-11 rep, running backs coach Thomas Hammock had an extended conversation with him about his pass blocking assignment. The snippet “Do you have anybody to block, or what?” conveys the tenor of the discussion.
Veteran day off or injured (13): Michael Campanaro, Justin Forsett, Kendrick Lewis, Kyle Arrington, Sheldon Price, Sam Brown, Jeremy Zuttah, John Urschel, Marshal Yanda (vet), Daniel Brown, Maxx Williams, Dennis Pitta, and Bronson Kaufusi.
John Harbaugh mentioned that he and the coaches had decided who will play Saturday, but would not announce prior to the game “for consistency”. As the General Counsel at our company would say “our only comment must be no comment.”