In the Ravens' preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Boller drew oohs and aahs from the crowd of 68,550 at M&T; Bank Stadium, and linebacker Suggs received a cheer for one nice tackle and nothing else. Given ample opportunities to rush the passer, the sack specialist and 10th overall pick in this year's NFL draft was a non-factor.
"I gave myself a C. It's not that good, but it's not terrible, either," said Suggs, who did not start but played in all four quarters last night. "I think I did pretty decent for my first game."
The NCAA's single-season sack leader (he had 24 last year at Arizona State) never really threatened to bring down the quarterback. He came the closest in the fourth quarter, helping to flush Bills quarterback Travis Brown out of the pocket, paving the way for Nate Bolling's sack.
"I didn't get my first one, but it's coming, it's coming soon. The coaches are telling me to be patient, it's going to come," Suggs said. "I am not going to beat myself about it."
Suggs, an outside linebacker in the Ravens' 3-4 defensive scheme, lined up on the defensive line and rushed the passer most of the night, dropping back into coverage no more than a handful of times. A combination of double teams and one-on-one matchups effectively kept Suggs from breaking through to the quarterback.
"There were a couple of plays where I almost had my first sack but I just didn't get in," he said. "I just couldn't get there."
Suggs did break through the Buffalo offensive line to make one key play. On third-and-one from the Ravens' 16, Suggs burst through the middle to stop Bills running back Joe Burns for no gain. Buffalo had to settle for a field goal on the drive.
He got credit for sharing the tackle with defensive end David Nugent, but Suggs' penetration made the play happen. The play was the highlight of his night and elicited an appreciative cheer from the crowd.
"That's my first taste of glory. I've got to remind myself that is how I want to feel," Suggs said.
Suggs, whose conditioning has been an issue during training camp, said he was winded at points in the first half but felt better as the game went on.
Cornell Brown started at left outside linebacker, but Suggs came in on third-down situations in the first quarter. He played almost every defensive down in the second and third quarters, and in the fourth quarter got his first taste of playing special teams.
"It was really fun. I really enjoyed it," Suggs said of his first NFL game. "Especially when you see the starting defense get their name called, it gives you something to shoot for. You want your turn to run out on the field and have everybody love you, so that is what I am waiting on."