When outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and position coach Ted Monachino collaborated at Arizona State, the star pass rusher set an NCAA single-season record with 24 sacks. He finished his college career with 44 sacks and 65 1/2 tackles for losses.
One year after Monachino joined the Ravens' coaching staff, Suggs became the NFL Defensive Player of the Year with a career-high 14 sacks and seven forced fumbles.
Now that Suggs is a year removed from a partially torn Achilles tendon and torn right biceps that hampered him last season to a career-low two sacks, Monachino expects a slimmer, healthy Suggs to thrive again.
“It’s a different Suggs than I’ve seen in the last four seasons," said Monachino, the Ravens' linebackers coach. "It’s a similar Suggs to the one I saw as a 19-year-old kid. He is completely involved; he can’t get enough football right now. He loves the work, he loves the leadership role he’s taken on, and so, all of that put together makes him practice and prepare and approach his business the way that an 11-year pro should. I think that Terrell is on an all-time high right now in a lot of areas in his life.”
Suggs is the Ravens' all-time leading pass rusher with 84 1/2 career sacks.
Down nearly 20 pounds from last season, the 6-foot-3, 260-pounder looks much different than a year ago physically.
"I think when he walks through the doorway you can see that there’s a change," Monachino said. "The beauty of it is that he’s been able to change his body, but not necessarily his body weight. I think he looks great and he feels great, and a lot of things that go into playing this position require that. He feels fast, he feels flexible and he feels strong. And if he can feel that way for a long time, he’s going to have another great year.”