Will Terrell Suggs’ play against the Pittsburgh Steelers in this weekend’s AFC Championship game? That’s probably the most asked and pondered question in town this week. After the game in Nashville one Ravens’ insider shared that he was more concerned about Samari Rolle than Terrell Suggs. Perhaps that had something to do with Suggs’ reassurances after the game that he would play in Pittsburgh. Or maybe said insider was more concerned about remaining depth in the secondary versus that at linebacker.
"The only way I wouldn’t be there is if I didn’t have air in my lungs”, Suggs exclaimed confidently. “I’m playing. It’s nothing. What did I tell y’all? I don’t even feel it now."
Later we learned that Suggs’ shoulder popped out of its socket. Some believe that the Pro Bowler could play if dressed up with a special harness. The thought conjures up memories of a one-armed Peter Boulware gallantly fighting through double teams.
This looks more and more like a game time decision but here are a few things to consider…
Might Suggs’ agent remind him that he has no contract in ’09 and suggest that he sit it out? He could but there’s danger either way. If Suggs plays and the injury worsens and requires surgery, might that then limit his marketability? What if he doesn’t play and the Ravens win anyway. Might that weaken his bargaining power with the Ravens come February?
Suggs’ absence for most of the game against the Titans left the Ravens defense scrambling a bit. Word is that they had a limited number of plays and formations to lean on when Suggs left because those who subbed for Suggs were less capable of dropping off into coverage, less familiar with the multiple assignments or both. That may explain in part why Kerry Collins moved the Titans’ offense more efficiently than expected and it might help to explain why Collins had enough time to read War & Peace when he dropped back to pass.
RAVENS ODDS & ENDS
Steelers’ S Troy Polamalu is struggling with a calf injury and was held out of practice on Wednesday. Polamalu looked out of position at times against the Chargers and is susceptible to play action. Look for Cam Cameron to put that tendency and Polamalu’s calf to the test…Cameron should also look to exploit the Steelers’ corners Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden. Both were beaten deep by the Chargers’ Vincent Jackson. Taylor was torched for the game’s first score on the Chargers first possession and McFadden was beaten badly but Lady Luck was on his side when Philip Rivers overthrew the wide open Jackson…
Jason Brown is finally gaining some favorable national press. Pete Prisco from CBS Sportsline wrote recently that “the Ravens are almost resigned to the fact [Brown] won’t be back next year.” If Brown gets away because the asking price is too high for Ozzie Newsome’s liking, Ozzie needs only to look in the mirror if he wants to assign blame for the blunder. The Ravens have said repeatedly over the past couple of seasons that they want to build the league’s best offensive line. That goal becomes even more important given their investment in Joe Flacco. Ozzie has had chances last year and earlier this season to get a deal done with Brown. Now that Brown is on the doorstep of free agency after a successful season as the leader of a surprisingly efficient offensive line, the asking price will expand significantly. Here’s something else to consider on the Brown front as the Ravens maximize the available salary cap. Bart Scott is represented by the same agent as Brown – Harold Lewis…The Mayor of Pittsburgh is named Luke Ravenstahl (pronounced Raven-Stall). For this week the honorable mayor has changed his name to Steelerstahl. Hopefully his new name will describe the Steelers’ offense on Sunday.
And finally on a non-Ravens, non-football related note, I wanted to share with you a video that has made a lasting impression upon me. It transcends all walks of life and it pertains to anyone with a pulse. In my opinion Nick Vujicic is a beacon of hope and an amazing source of inspiration for all of us.