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John Harbaugh defends Terrell Suggs after tackle on LeGarrette Blount

"I've never, ever heard anybody say anything about Terrell Suggs not being a clean, tough player," said Harbaugh. "I do think that whole thing goes back to what we talked about last week - the rugby, scrum-type play." (Kevin Richardson/BSMG)

One day after Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs' controversial tackle on Pittsburgh Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount, coach John Harbaugh defended the 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year.

Harbaugh stuck up for Suggs' reputation after the Pro Bowl pass rusher was widely criticized and called a dirty player by Blount and other Steelers players. Suggs received a personal foul for unnecessary roughness in the Ravens' 43-23 loss Sunday night to the Steelers at Heinz Field.

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"Terrell Suggs is a very respected player in this league," Harbaugh said Monday during his weekly news conference. "He's respected by the coaches. He's respected by the players. I've never, ever heard anybody say anything about Terrell Suggs not being a clean-type player. He was attempting to make a tackle.

"I do think that whole thing goes back to what we talked about last week, the rugby scrum-type play. It's a player safety issue. The defensive player, your responsibility is to get the guy on the ground. And that's what he was trying to do."

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Suggs potentially could face a fine from the NFL, but Harbaugh offered no predictions on how the league will react.

"I don't know what to anticipate along those lines," Harbaugh said. "I don't know what they'll do."

When asked if he thought that Suggs had lost his composure, Harbaugh replied: "I think I just explained it pretty clearly what I thought it was. If you want to draw all those fouls together, I'm against anything that costs us 15 yards. That's not good. That's just not something that's going to help us win the game. They call it, and we have to react to it. We do our best to teach our guys what's expected."

Following the game, Suggs said he had no intentions of trying to injure Blount, who was unhurt.

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"He was running, he was still up, and he was moving the pile," Suggs said. "I assessed the play, and that was the only way I could get him down without him gaining more yards. I wasn't trying to get him hurt. I was just trying to get the big guy down."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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