Outspoken with a colorful personality, Suggs' swaggering return immediately raised the decibel level around the defending AFC North champions.

"First way you know he's here is when you hear him in the locker room," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "He's the loudest person everywhere he goes, so we're definitely happy to have him back and to see him make some plays even though he's still working back."

Ranked third in the NFL in total defense last season when Suggs registered a career-high 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles, the Ravens were 26th in total defense heading into Sunday.

They're also without middle linebacker Ray Lewis (torn triceps) and cornerback Lardarius Webb (torn anterior cruciate ligament) after both players had surgery last week.

"That guy is a force," free safety Ed Reed said of Suggs. "For us to lose Lardarius and Ray and have that guy come back is huge."

Now, the Ravens are banking on Suggs providing confidence and leadership for a reeling defense that allowed 420 yards and 27 first downs Sunday.

"I was happy for him, he was disrupting some things," cornerback Cary Williams said. "As the year progresses, he's going to get better and he'll get back into rare form. I don't think we lost any swagger on the field, but Suggs brings his own unique personality. It's great for the secondary to see him out there being productive. He's become a premier leader on the team."

awilson@baltsun.com

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