Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs discusses the t-shirt he is wearing as well as what the team expects while playing against the Cleveland Browns. (Jonas Shaffer, Baltimore Sun video)

Terrell Suggs wears his heart on his sleeve and his feelings about the eliteness of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, apparently, on his chest.

The Ravens linebacker appeared at his news conference Wednesday in a hat, athletic shorts and a black T-shirt with an artistic rendering of Flacco's face. Underneath it was one word: "ELITE."


This is Suggs' new method of positive reinforcement. When Flacco used to have good games early in his career, Suggs said he would post a photo of a "hip hop video vixen" in his locker. When Flacco struggled? "I put something quite the opposite. I'll let him tell you about it."

Now that Flacco is married, Suggs is expected to remain "politically correct," he said. Hence the T-shirt.

"He's having a good game, I'm going to try to keep the confidence thing going," Suggs said. "But when he drops a bad one, I have something for him."

Flacco first saw the new threads when he picked up tight end Dennis Pitta on the way to Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills. Pitta emerged from his garage wearing Flacco's face and the hotly debated descriptor. "Man, why you got my face on your shirt?" Flacco recalled asking him, but there were already plenty more teammates with one.

Pitta, who called himself "instrumental" in organizing the purchases, said long snapper Morgan Cox actually bought about 10 or 15. The popular sports and lifestyle blog Barstool Sports made the T-shirt available for purchase this summer on its online store, so the top isn't Ravens-only apparel. For Suggs, though, it does have certain preconditions.

"He better play elite, [goshdarnit]," Suggs said, laughing. "Otherwise, it's going to be on."

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