Real recognized real on this glorious morning of June 9, 2015. Yes sir, NFL.com's columnist Adam Schein wrote on nine of the National Football League's most indispensable players and did not forget the inclusion of ours truly, Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.
Here's the excerpt from NFL.com:
I could start by mentioning the 12 sacks last season. But to me, Suggs' indispensability runs far deeper than that. He's the heartbeat of the Ravens in the post-Ray Lewis/Ed Reed era. Joe Flacco leads with his calm demeanor. Suggs' leads with his bravado. He makes the Ravens the Ravens, putting forth the image this franchise has cultivated on defense for years.Due to turn 33 in October, Suggs is no longer the physical freak he once was. But he's still T-Sizzle, an invaluable presence for this franchise.
Excluding the two campaigns he failed to see action in all 16 games (eight in 2009, 13 in 2012), Suggs averaged 10 sacks-per-season, notching a total of 100 sacks. Only 31 players in NFL history have accomplished such feat.
Active players on that plus-100 list:
OLB Robert Mathis (Indianapolis Colts): 111
OLB Dwight Freeney (San Diego Chargers): 111.5
DE Julius Peppers (Green Bay Packers): 125.5
DE DeMarcus Ware (Denver Broncos): 127
DE/OLB John Abraham (Arizona Cardinals): 133.5
DE Jared Allen (Chicago Bears): 134
Unsurprisingly, Suggs (106.5) sack total is on the bottom of the list among active players. Dean Pees' defense is composed of versatile, hybrid players who swarm to the unsuspecting quarterback from any angle. Pees' preparation throughout the week allows him to exploit such weak spots. Elvis Dumervil swamped the quarterback on 11 occasions in 2014; Pernell McPhee tabbed 7.5.
In 2013, Arthur Jones and Daryl Smith went on blitz missions and split nine total take-downs. Suggs' achievements in 12 seasons is that much more monumental.
After tearing his right Achilles tendon during a conditioning drill in Arizona in 2012, Suggs rehabbed and made a quick return to the field on October 21. He finished the season with eight games and most importantly, contributed to a victory -- Super Bowl 47 -- in a dramatic finish versus the Colin Kaepernick-led San Francisco 49ers.
Two games prior to the championship, Suggs played lights out in the double-overtime thriller in Denver. In the AFC Divisional Championship game former legend Ray Lewis refers to as "one of the greatest wins in Ravens history," Suggs registered 10 solo tackles, two sacks, and one forced fumble.
Suggs had never recorded 10 solo tackles up until the Mile High Miracle game.
No amount of money thrown at Suggs will parallel his unprecedented presence on the gridiron. Thank goodness Sizzle is a Raven.