PITTSBURGH — Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs loves to play the villain in the Ravens' blood feud with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year took it to another level Sunday night in the third quarter of the Ravens' 43-23 loss at Heinz Field. Suggs hit Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount from behind in what was widely characterized as a cheap shot and drew a personal foul for unnecessary roughness.
Blount wasn't down on the play, but he had been wrapped up by inside linebacker Daryl Smith and safety Will Hill when Suggs struck him in the thigh from behind. Blount wasn't hurt on the play, but the tackle by Suggs drew boos from the crowd, who chanted for the referees to throw him out. Suggs remained in the game, and tempers cooled.
Suggs defended his actions, saying he wasn't attempting to injure Blount.
"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."
Blount didn't take it that way, though. He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Suggs had crossed the line.
"I don't know what [Suggs] was doing," Blount said. "I don't know what he was thinking. He's known to be a dirty player. As long as he does that he's going to continue to have people come after him and do whatever we did to get in his head."
And Steelers offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert called it a dirty hit and predicted Suggs will be fined by the league office.
"He should be getting a FedEx in the mail," Gilbert told the Post-Gazette. "If he doesn't, I'll be very surprised and very disappointed. You don't play football like that, especially when the play is already over. You don't go back at a guy's knees."
Two plays after Suggs' penalty, outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil was flagged for unnecessary roughness. In all, the Ravens were penalized 10 times for 108 yards.