While getting his body right, Suggs also has had to wrap his mind around the fact that with Lewis and Reed gone, he's considered the leader of the Ravens' defense, whether he wants to be or not.
"He knew the responsibility was going to fall on him," said Scott, who became close to Suggs early in their careers. "The first thing you do as a leader is make sure all the flaws in your game are sewn up. You can't tell somebody else to work hard and push themselves if they see that you haven't. The easiest way to prove that is to come in tremendous shape. I can just tell what kind of shape he is in, that his body fat is low. I can tell that he's very prepared."
In his 2011 Defensive Player of the Year season, Suggs had 70 tackles, a career-high 14 sacks, two interceptions and a franchise record seven forced fumbles. He has yet to cause a turnover this year, but he's on pace to easily eclipse those sack and tackle numbers.
"I'd say he's at the top of his game right now, and playing as well as I've ever seen," Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees said. "If it's the best, I don't know. But he's playing as well as he's ever played — I'd say that."
Lewis won't argue that point. He recalls meeting Suggs during the buildup to the 2003 draft and thinking, "Oh my gosh, this kid is out of control."
Eventually, Suggs started asking Lewis daily about why he ate what he ate, why he said what he said and how he managed to play the better part of two decades in the NFL.
"He was doing his own inventory on what it takes to get to that level," Lewis said. "You're talking about somebody who loves the game, who loves how you approach the game. I've played with a lot of warriors. But if I had a number in mind, Sizzle is in my top two or three, easily. Watching him grow into what he is now is probably one of the most exciting things I've been able to watch."