The Time is Now for Terrell Suggs to Lead

Suggs Salutes

Has the absence of Terrell Suggs during the first two OTAs this offseason affected the Ravens in the grand scheme of things in preparing for 2014?

Not likely, but it has certainly been noted.

Much ado has been made over the last two seasons about the team’s lack of leadership since the departure of Ray Lewis. Although voluntary, OTAs are a good time to acclimate yourself with new teammates and get back into a football frame of mind.

The Baltimore Ravens were well aware of the type of player Terrell Suggs is when they inked the veteran outside linebacker to a four-year, $28.5 million contract extension in February.

Since entering the league in 2003, Suggs has wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks and his fiery nature on the field has captured the hearts of both fans and media.

2013 was an up and down season for the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year. He recorded a team high 10 sacks including three in one game (Miami), however posted just one sack after week eight. His 80 tackles (47 solo) were third on the team behind Daryl Smith and James Ihedigbo.

It was clear that the six-time Pro Bowler struggled as the season went on. Whether it was injury related, a conditioning problem, or just that opposing coordinators found a way to combat the fierce pass rusher, something wasn’t right.

“I’ve been taking a few looks at it,” Suggs explained back in February. “I have a few guesses, but I haven’t really pinpointed one reason or another. The sacks kind of went down, but one thing did happen – we did start winning a lot.

“I think if I can just say one thing, it’s just to narrow my work back down, you know what I mean? Don’t try to do so much of everybody else’s job. Let the coverage be itself, play the play, trust the play that’s being called and just be Sizzle.

“So, I think I was probably down the stretch trying to do too much. As one game went by, as two games went by, it was just like, ‘Alright, I need to get a sack. I need to get a sack,’ and I stopped letting the game come to me. Just looking at it from off the top of my head, I would say that, but I’m definitely going to take a firmer look at it in the weeks coming ahead.”

Suggs did report to training camp in phenomenal shape in 2013 and will be expected to do the same this year. After all, the veteran linebacker will be just 31 years old as he enters into his 12th NFL season.

After signing his extension that basically made him a Raven for life, Suggs has the perfect opportunity to be that leader on defense.

The question is, will he seize it?

So far, it’s not looking good, as neither the organization nor fans can be happy that he’s been a no-show even if it’s voluntary.

So, at the risk of being labeled a “hater” ask yourself this question…

Would you be okay with Joe Flacco if he opted to skip OTA’s?


What statement best describes your feeling about Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata and Chris Canty sitting out OTA's?
No big deal...they call them voluntary for a reason (16%)
Only a problem if the show up out of shape to mandatory mini-camp (50%)
Vets like these 3 should participate, lead by example (34%)
This poll has completed. Thank you for voting.

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About Brian Bower

Brian Bower
Brian Bower is avid football fan who was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Brian has covered the Baltimore Ravens and NFL player positives in the community for the past two years for His work has been featured on and ESPN blogs. He is also a regular guest...more

20 Raves on “The Time is Now for Terrell Suggs to Lead

  1. John on said:

    Didn’t seem to matter that Ray Lewis, and Ed Reed didn’t attend OTA’s why should it matter with Suggs?
    Suggs would only be taking reps from someone else who hone their skills.

  2. John W. on said:

    I think it is an issue simply because we need a new leader and Suggs should be that “guy”. Lewis and Reed were the team leaders and it was understood. No need for them to attend the voluntary OTA’s. Suggs on the other hand has to step up and the time is now.

  3. Ron on said:

    Interesting that the poll shows that “it is only a problem if he shows up to TC out of shape” leads the way. Yet Flacco got crucified for not organizing throwing sessions in the off-season. Your question is a valid one, if Flacco didn’t show for voluntary OTAswould the poll look the same as the one above?

  4. jws on said:

    Ray Lewis and Reed were real team leaders Suggs has never been nor has Ngata. Flacco is not either, the turth is there are NO,NONE on this team and that is one reason they failed last year when things were going bad and why they DID NOT make the plaYyoffs.! No, OTAS are not important but training camp and beyond really are. Rice was once the possible future team leaders but with his arrest he lost all respect from players and anyone one else.

    • Hollywoodheiz on said:

      “Rice was once the possible future team leaders but with his arrest he lost all respect from players…..”

      And you know this how?????

  5. Cdaddy on said:

    Yes he should be there. After an 8-8 year and all the new faces he should be there as the elder statesman showing pride. Suggs is a good player and can be a beast. I’m not knocking on him too hard here but I just hope he is not somewhere playing Basketball so that the achilles can be safe. Lol

  6. Ben on said:

    Ray Lewis and Ed Reed never showed to voluntary OTAs either.

    In the imortal words of Drew Rosenhaus;

    “Next question”

  7. Eddie Football on said:

    Suggs is not a leader and never will be. He likes to clown around and I think it’s hard for anyone to take him seriously enough to ‘lead’. It was easy for Lewis to lead because he was so intense, so serious and so good..both he and Reed were vocal with opponents and teammates…that just isn’t Suggs manner.

    In fact, if I was to pinpoint my #1 concern with the Ravens “D” going into preseason, it’s that they don’t have enough high-intensity guys on defense.

  8. wickedsolo on said:

    I would prefer that everyone shows up to everything. However, that’s just not likely at all. I’m extremely pleased that everyone on the offensive side of the ball is in Baltimore working out with the new coaches. That is huge.

    If Suggs, Ngata, or Canty show up to mandatory camp out of shape, unable to get through practice, etc…then we should all be peeved and worried.

    And I agree with Eddie Football. Suggs has a great personality, but he doesn’t strike me as someone who is a natural leader on the field.

  9. John P on said:

    New offense, new personnel – Joe needs to attend.

    No new defense, minor turnover – Sizzle can hang in Arizona.

    Why is this so difficult?

  10. Russ on said:

    Unfortunately, there are no leaders on this team. Suggs is not a leader. Flacco definitely is not a leader. Hopeful Steve Smith can play that role this year on offense, but he is a short termer. Just don’t see any leadership qualities on the field. I think that exposed some of coaching issues last year.

  11. Jergs on said:


    Ray Lewis and Ed Reed rarely showed up to things without the word “mandatory” on it. Didn’t affect anything.

  12. PG County Raven on said:

    Sizzle, isn’t the dynamic leader this team needs. We’re in transition and I believe the current defensive leader is ILB Smith and the others will avail themselves this year in LaDarius Webb, Elam, and CJ Moseley. The remaining veteran defensive studs are stars but not dynamic, intense leaders of men. Steve Smith, if you read and believe the media hype, is becoming the primary offensive leader right now, if not the face of the franchise. Rice has lost the opportunity and will become a role player for a couple of years at best and be released as he it at YR 7 and that’s old for a RB. Flacco, unfortunately, cannot put these men on his back and say follow me – I wish it were different. It takes about 3-4 years to remake a team and this is year 2 and there is also new bloodlines on the entire offensive side of the ball and that will take at least 2 years to synch properly if Kubiak stays that long. It will be interesting who takes the mantle! GO Ravens!

  13. Tim on said:

    Hi, folks! It’s June and there’s no real football for another couple months, and Harbs holds any real information more tightly than the NSA keeps your browsing history. Therefore, we at RusellStreetReport will need to invent these little “Nontroversies” from time to time. You know…

    “How can someone replace a leader who never attended OTAs if they don’t attend OTAs?”

    “Who’s gonna start at Sam LB when we have a full season that shows one will almost certainly start and play run situations while the other plays passing sub packages?”

    We’ll soon have one discussing the relative clipboard-holding merits of Keith Wenning and Tyrod Taylor. We’ll ask you, “Which guy you’ve never actually seen play should be starter at RT?” And maybe, if you’re lucky, we’ll have the “should Yanda move back to right Tackle so we can weaken two positions?”

    We’ll throw in a couple good articles from Brian McFarland but other than that, we’ll get to the decent stories once the real football starts. In the meantime sit back, relax, and keep clicking!

    Thank you for your understanding

    The Management

  14. Tucker: M&T Sec 527 on said:

    Suggs fulfilled his “voluntary off-season leadership” responsibilities when he negotiated the extension and made some cap room.

  15. Brian Tray on said:

    Suggs is just one guy out of seven on that defensive front. Nowhere is it more apparent than in the trenches that this is a team game. Suggs can be a beast as long as teams can’t key on him and double team him. This year we have so many “beasts” that either Suggs or someone else will excel. Our front seven is so deep and talented that on every play somebody will be able to make the play. Offenses are going to have real trouble containing the Ravens front seven this year.
    The only “fly in the ointment” could be a 3 and out offense that eventually wears our defense down (even though we are rotating 11 on the front 7!!!!). So if we can run the ball we should win a lot of close games.

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