The Ravens spent the offseason shedding old standbys from the defense.
Perhaps not coincidentally, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs dropped some pounds, and some of his trademark bravado.
Suggs was described as “subdued,” during his talk with reporter after yesterday’s Ravens minicamp, perhaps an indication he’s stepping into more of a leadership role after the departures of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.
He’s also coming off an injury marred season, and said he’s thankful to be up and running this spring.
“This is really flattering to me that I get to do this this year,” Suggs said, via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. “I had the unfortunate feeling of sitting minicamp out last year. It didn’t feel too good. I’m just really excited that I get to practice with my team, and I don’t have to sit out the first six weeks and rehab. I’m just really focusing on that.
“I told my team last year [that] I kind of took them for granted, that we got to work together. It’s just really flattering I get to go out there and practice with the guys in June.”
He’s now the longest-tenured member of the Ravens defense, and has apparently come to camp in better shape. Asked about the weight he’s dropped, Suggs would only say “I’m light.”
That’s a good sign, a year removed from an Achilles tear that cost him much of the year and kept him from looking like his explosive self when he did return.
“Anybody could tell that I really wasn’t the player that I’ve [been] known to be around here,” he said. “A part of that was the Achilles, and the other part was just small things like the diet. So, I had to make some changes this offseason to be the best player that I could be for my time. . . .
“The goal was to train so that you can be the best player for your team, for your organization and for a city that’s given you so much. I would have to say that the organization and the fans have really been patient with me, especially coming off an injury. So I really wanted to show them the player that I really am.”
That’s a departure from the brash, swaggering Suggs of the past. But in an offseason when the Ravens remade his side of the ball, it might be exactly what both he and the team needs.