Baltimore Ravens

Mike Preston: Terrell Suggs' hit on Sam Bradford was a cheap shot

Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs' hit on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford Saturday night wasn't illegal, just a cheap shot.

The Ravens have tried to use the policy of the league and semantics to support Suggs, but the hit was unnecessary and unprofessional, just like his cheap shot tackle on Pittsburgh running back LeGarrette Blount last season.

I like Suggs. I like the way he clowns around and has fun. A team needs characters like him just as much as they need a bunch of tough guys, like guard Marshal Yanda.


But sometimes Suggs goes too far and the Ravens don't have anyone who can tone him down. Coach John Harbaugh won't because of Suggs' superstar status and possible Hall of Fame credentials. Plus, Harbaugh is similar to Suggs in some respects: an impulsive person who sometimes instantly acts out of emotion.

Suggs is also untouchable at The Castle because he is one of general manager Ozzie Newsome's favorites.


After practice Monday the Ravens tried to defend Suggs by saying he did exactly what he was taught.

Sorry, if that's the case then it's wrong to teach a player to go after a quarterback's knees.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, when the wishbone and option offenses were popular, safeties and outside linebackers were taught to hit the quarterback regardless if he kept the ball or pitched it. They were hoping to get into the quarterback's brain, possibly cause him to have second thoughts in the decision-making process and maybe force a turnover late in the game.

But you weren't taught to go for bone or his knees. I watched Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota run the same play out of the read-option Sunday night and the St. Louis Rams outside linebacker played it the same way as Suggs, only he hit Mariota high in the chest.

I might even understand Suggs' and the Ravens' logic a little bit better if this had been a regular season or playoff game, like in 2000 when Ravens defensive tackle Tony Siragusa had his famous flop on Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon, but this was a preseason game.

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I emphasize "preseason" like Allen Iverson used the word "practice." A preseason game. Come on now, this was a preseason game. You aren't going to ruin a player's career in a preseason game. Everybody wants to win a Super Bowl, but all of these players are out here to make a living.

I bet you the Ravens wouldn't be so happy if this cheap shot was taken at quarterback Joe Flacco. Actually, it reminds me of Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward and those peel-back blocks from the blind side he used to make on the Ravens during interception returns. Former Ravens safety Ed Reed had great respect for Ward's playing ability, but thought the blocks were unnecessary.

They were legal, but cheap.


Regardless of the Ravens defense, the Eagles were right in challenging Suggs' character. In the words that former Ravens coach Brian Billick made famous in Baltimore, "It is what it is."

In this case, it was cheap.