Most Versatile Defender in the NFL – An Interview with Terrell Suggs

Terrell Suggs and Paul Eide - Watch Out Ladies

Terrell Suggs is a freak. And not just because his 6-3, 270 lbs frame has played all 11 defensive positions in his career with the Baltimore Ravens, but also because he entered the NFL at the tender age of 20 years old. Think about that for a second; what were you doing when you were 20? I’ll tell you what I damn sure wasnt doing; taking on full grown men in hand to hand physical combat on a national stage every Sunday.

But Terrell Suggs did and he responded immediately with a 12 sack rookie season, earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2003. Suggs has 48 sacks over his first six years in the league but even that doesn’t convey how valuable he is to his team. Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan’s exotic blitz schemes would look far more plain if it wasn’t for Suggs versatility, meaning the value of his contributions can’t just be measured on the stat sheet. Suggs athleticism and ability to be used in any scheme at any time has been as valuable a contribution to the evolution of defense in the NFL.

Off the top of your head, biggest difference between Brian Billick and John Harbaugh?

“ATTITUDE. Harbaugh has more of a winning attitude and he’s getting the players to respond.”

Describe how it feels to be part of the Ravens resurgence on defense this season after a disappointing 2007. What has caused that?

“Its feels great. We have everyone healthy with the exception of a few guys, so now we can do what we do!”

Can Joe Flacco be what Kyle Boller was groomed to become but never did?

“A quarterback is only as good as his offensive line. If his line play well, he’ll play well. Sky is the limit!”

Is it hard to believe you’ve been in the NFL for six years? What is the strangest part of it? Is it still surreal?

“It’s hard to believe because I’m still kinda young. I’m only 25 years of age! Its very surreal.”

How does it feel to be a well-known NFL player when you’re not on the field? Meaning when Terrell Suggs the human being has to go to Jiffy Lube for an oil change or the dentist to get a tooth pulled? How does the fame affect your family/everyday affairs?

“I have to say 99% of the time I love it because there was a time when I was ignored. I love being noticed but it’s the other 1% that kinda gets me, cause I like doing normal things like hanging out with my kids or going to the movies. And it can suck sometimes because I have to be Terrell Suggs all the time. But I guess you gotta take the good with the bad.”

If you could hang out and eat a meal with anybody in the world, past or present, who would it be and why?

“Kevin Smith (Famed director of epic films like Clerks and Mallrats). I’d just pick his brain. I love movies and everything about it and I wanna break into that field some day. And I would love to learn how to do it the right way.”

What is the closest feeling that an average citizen/non NFL player could compare the feeling of a sack to?  Finding a $20 bill on the ground?

“It’s like finding a bag of money on the street.”

How strange was it to enter the NFL at the age of 20? Body of a (immense) man but still 20 inside? Did you find you could physically overpower most of the older guys? Or was it the first time where you couldn’t just out muscle guys, thus forcing you to develop mental tactics?

“I was very strong coming in. I was coming off a very good season in college so I had my confidence. So once I got on the field, it was just the next step”

How did getting married affect your desire and focus as a football player?

“It was kinda difficult because I wasn’t ready for that type of life change. But I made the most of it, and handled it the best way that I could. It was almost like working two jobs.”

You’ve always been somewhat of a hybrid player, but how much does it mean to you to be back at OLB rather than DE in terms of motivation/enjoying the game?

“I know that this is a business, and they found a way not to pay me what I feel I deserve but it’s cool. I’m a football player and a fighter so I think that everything will work out fine!”