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Old 01-15-2009, 12:39 PM   #1
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Default 3 Ravens prepare to take Suggs' place

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/f...,5716692.story

J. McClain, Jones and Douglas on standby if Pro Bowl LB is too injured to face Steelers

By Edward Lee | edward.lee@baltsun.com
January 15, 2009


If Terrell Suggs is too injured to play Sunday in the AFC championship game in Pittsburgh, it might take three Ravens to replace the Pro Bowl linebacker.

Rookie Jameel McClain, converted tight end Edgar Jones and defensive end Marques Douglas could each get extended snaps in place of Suggs, who did not return after spraining his right shoulder in last week's playoff win at Tennessee.

Suggs did not practice yesterday, and he primarily used his left arm to take off a long-sleeved T-shirt in the locker room at the team's training facility. His playing status remains highly uncertain for Sunday.

The loss of Suggs, who led the team in sacks for the third time in six seasons, is potentially significant, but his teammates expressed confidence yesterday in the backups.

"Edgar and Jameel have done an unbelievable job with me being nicked up a little bit and Terrell coming out of the last game," fellow outside linebacker Jarret Johnson said. "Incredibly smart guys. You've got Edgar playing every special teams [position] and tight end, and he knows the defense. You can't replace guys like that. You can just go down the list and look at guys who have stepped up this year."

Suggs has 10 sacks in 16 regular-season games and two playoff contests, but he sprained his right shoulder after sacking quarterback Kerry Collins for a 6-yard loss late in the second quarter of the Ravens' 13-10 win against the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

After the victory, Suggs pledged to play against the Steelers, pointing out that he has not missed a game in his professional career.

Suggs, who was unavailable to comment, is scheduled to speak to the media today. Coach John Harbaugh was cryptic when asked about Suggs' status, saying: "You can ask him. He's going to be right in the locker room. Ask him how he feels."

Douglas predicted that Suggs would play in Pittsburgh.

"I've seen him moving around already," Douglas said. "If he needs a play off, we'll be there, but it's the AFC championship game. I think you'd have to cut his arm off for him not to be out there."

If Suggs can't play, the Ravens have a few options. McClain was an undrafted free agent out of Syracuse, but he has 2 1/2 sacks and became the first player in franchise history to record two safeties in a single season.

McClain, who estimated that he played more than 20snaps against the Titans, said he is following linebacker Ray Lewis' advice of being prepared for any situation.

"We've got to go through the whole week to see how everything would work, but I'm just going through it one day at a time," said McClain, who had one tackle against the Titans. "It's an experience. It's definitely something that probably nobody would have predicted, but I believed in myself, and I believed I could play this game at the highest level, and it's fortunate that I'm getting the opportunity to show it a little bit."

Jones was an undrafted rookie in 2007, but after spending his rookie campaign as a linebacker, a lack of depth at tight end forced Ravens coaches to move Jones to that position.

But Jones continued to receive game plans from the defensive playbooks each week, and he returned to linebacker at the end of last month.

"It was like getting back on a bicycle again," said Jones, who estimated that he played between 15 and 20 snaps Saturday. "Of course, there were some things I had to re-evaluate and go over to kind of get back into that linebacker groove, but I think coming from an offensive standpoint kind of helped me as far as learning things and seeing how offenses worked."

Douglas presents an intriguing angle as an end. A few times when Douglas entered the game against Tennessee, the defense went to a 4-3 alignment with defensive tackles Haloti Ngata and Justin Bannan and ends Trevor Pryce and Douglas and linebackers Lewis, Johnson and Bart Scott.

"We've kind of done it before in the past where we've gone with [four defensive linemen]," Douglas said. "We can go 3-4 or 4-3. We can do a lot of things. We don't just have to do 4-3. That was an effective front against the Titans, so we stuck with it."

Much of the uncertainty will remain until Sunday when the Ravens coaches are expected to wait until game time before making a decision on Suggs' availability. Harbaugh said the beauty of a defense built by defensive coordinator Rex Ryan is the interchangeable parts.

"Our defense is a group effort anyway," Harbaugh said. "If anybody can't go on our defense, it will be packages designed by Rex and [it will] put guys in spots to do what they do well."
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: 3 Ravens prepare to take Suggs' place

Keeps lookin like he is not going to be playing on Sunday. Shoulder injury is worse than I thought. Darn I want to beat them when their healthy so they don't complain.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: 3 Ravens prepare to take Suggs' place

What a puss....... Ask your wide reciever what it's like to ply in pain!!!
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: 3 Ravens prepare to take Suggs' place

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Keeps lookin like he is not going to be playing on Sunday. Shoulder injury is worse than I thought. Darn I want to beat them when their healthy so they don't complain.
They'd still complain!
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: 3 Ravens prepare to take Suggs' place

He'll play...he may have to leave the game early, but he'll be in uniform and on the field their first defensive drive.

after that we'll see, but they'd have to leave him tied up with chains in Baltimore to keep him off the field. He'll play.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: 3 Ravens prepare to take Suggs' place

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Originally Posted by drizze99 View Post
If Terrell Suggs is too injured to play Sunday in the AFC championship game in Pittsburgh, it might take three Ravens to replace the Pro Bowl linebacker.
Just like them to try and get away with having 13 guys on the field.

Dirty bunch of cheaters. I hope the refs are watching out for that.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: 3 Ravens prepare to take Suggs' place

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Just like them to try and get away with having 13 guys on the field.
Dirty bunch of cheaters. I hope the refs are watching out for that.
LOL...
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: 3 Ravens prepare to take Suggs' place

Dirty Thugs get karma payback too.


Did the Ravens’ Defense ‘Take Out’ Tennessee’s Chris Johnson?

By George Bretherton

Chris Johnson was having a great game against Baltimore, until this play in the second quarter. (CBS Sports)Ray Lewis’s smashing hit on Titans fullback Ahmard Hall, which caused his helmet to go flying, was probably the most memorable play from Baltimore’s 13-10 victory over Tennessee on Saturday. But it appears the play that had the biggest impact on the game occurred immediately after the Hall-Lewis collision.



When Tennessee had the ball at its 12-yard line with just under 10 minutes left in the second quarter, Chris Johnson, a rookie running back, was in the middle of a monster performance. He had 79 total yards, including an 8-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. His one reception had gone for a 28-yard gain.

So when Johnson knifed his way through the Baltimore line for a 7-yard gain on first down at the Titans’ 12, the good news for the Ravens was that Johnson had not broken off another big gain.



Johnson had only two more carries, before leaving the game for good. (CBS Sports)That was when the sequence in question occurred: Johnson’s forward momentum was being stopped by linebackers Lewis and Terrell Suggs — and right before the whistle blew ending the play — safety Ed Reed jumped into the scrum and grabbed Johnson by his upper body, preventing him from falling to the turf. With Lewis and Suggs draped over the back of Johnson’s legs, Reed continued to push Johnson, bending him backward awkwardly. The contortion was so serious that with the whistles blowing ending the play, Titans guard Leroy Harris had to push Reed away. The after-the-play activity among the teams resulted in a personal foul call on Tennessee. No penalty was assessed to the Ravens.



CBS commentator Dan Dierdorf picked up on the Ravens’ antics. He said: “I give Leroy Harris credit. They’re trying to bend Chris Johnson backwards and break him in half and he goes in there to take the guys off of his ball carrier. That’s what an offensive lineman is supposed to do.”


Johnson was slow to his feet after the play. (CBS Sports)But the damage was done. Johnson slowly peeled himself off the turf. He even ran for 10 yards on the next play. But then Johnson came out of the game with an ankle injury. He had one more run, for a 4-yard gain, three plays later with just over seven minutes left in the second quarter. Then he was done. And so, as it turned out, were the Titans’ hopes.

If the Ravens were intentionally trying to injure Johnson, such an accusation would not be new. Earlier this season, Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall sustained a season-ending shoulder injury against the Ravens only days after Mendenhall was said to have text-messaged Baltimore running back Ray Rice, saying he was going to have a big game against the Ravens’ top-ranked rushing defense.

In an interview with an Atlanta radio station, Suggs implied that the Ravens had bounties on Mendenhall and on Steelers receiver Hines Ward. After the N.F.L. investigated, Suggs was forced to issue a statement denying any such intent.

Suggs said: “When I did the radio show in Atlanta, that’s what I meant and I thought that’s what I said. I did repeat the word bounty early in the interview after the guy asking me the question used the word. That was a mistake. I misspoke, and I’m sorry for that.”

http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2...chris-johnson/
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: 3 Ravens prepare to take Suggs' place

I don't care who is hurt, war of attrition, that's what you get when you have a borderline geriatric defense.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: 3 Ravens prepare to take Suggs' place

And they say Hines Ward is dirty.
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