Days after a teammate referred to how dispirited Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs is on his way back from a torn Achilles, general manager-executive vice president Ozzie Newsome said the team was “looking forward to getting him back in here.”
Suggs tore his Achilles late in the Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos and spent very little time around the team after. His lack of communication with team officials became a small midseason storyline, and he was only around the building a handful of times, mostly at the end of the season.
He was on the sidelines during the Week 16 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers wearing former teammate Haloti Ngata’s winter cap. Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. said Monday that Suggs was “a little vulnerable right now.”
And that was before Ted Monachino, who coached Suggs at Arizona State and has been his position coach with the Ravens for the past six seasons, left to become the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator.
Newsome said he had “numerous conversations” with Suggs throughout the season, and understood why he wasn’t around.
“I think he had his reasons why for not being here, both personal and then for some other reasons why he chose not to be in the building," Newsome said. "The focal point is on the guys, as he would say, on the field, and not necessarily on him as a guy that’s rehabbing. He’s been rehabbing.”
Newsome said he thinks Suggs will be out of his walking boot before long, and their last conversation indicated they should expect to have the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year back next season.
“His answer to me was, ‘I don’t want to leave the game the way I left it in Denver,’” Newsome said. “And so I think that he’s using that as motivation. He’s had that injury before, so he knows what it takes to get back. So I’m just looking forward to him getting back in here when he does, being involved in the OTAs, going through training camp and just seeing where he is.”
Owner Steve Bisciotti said one of the lessons he learned from his season was just how important Suggs was to the entire defense, and the pass rush in particular.
“It was the biggest single domino for losing one guy,” Bisciotti said.