I already wrote a little piece about what Suggs' personality means to the Ravens, so for today, let's focus on how good he is technically as a football player. Sure, if you want to nitpick, you can point out that he missed a few sacks on Sunday. But he's proven to be so effective against the run, and so hard to block with just one guy, he's a nightmare for offensive coordinators. I don't think it's a stretch to say this game -- 13 tackles, a sack, four tackles for loss, and a hit on Kevin Kolb that forced an interception -- was definitely one of his best performances as a Raven. Part of what makes Suggs so good is that he doesn't let offensive linemen get their hands, or their shoulders, into his body. He sheds blocks as well as anyone I think I've ever seen. Ray Lewis ran right by people in his prime, and was so fast, he was virtually impossible to block. Suggs obviously plays a different position, but when blockers try to take him on, he typically just throws them aside. His club move, his rip move, and his swim move are each a thing of ferocious beauty. And for someone so big and strong, he moves down the line of scrimmage like a jungle cat stalking its prey. Then he hammers ball carriers. My favorite thing about watching Suggs, however, might be the opportunities he creates for others. He's extremely good at locking up a tight end or a tackle, stringing a play out wide, and forcing a ball carrier to abandon his initial cut. Those plays don't show up in the stats, but that's one of the reasons the Ravens are so good at stopping the run. The string plays out to the sideline, and the guys on the edges who are responsible for keeping contain rarely get suckered up the field (and have a runner slip underneath them, and they rarely get hook blocked.) Suggs does this as well as anyone in football. And he still rushes the passer incredibly well. Some day Ray Lewis is going to retire. And for Ravens fans, that's going to be sad, and probably a little surreal. But watching Suggs run to the sideline and rip his helmet off after Jameel McClain's interception, and then watching him run practically into the stands to high-five the fans, made me feel like this will be his team someday. And that will be just fine.
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