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Terrell Suggs' Return helpful, not critical

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

It is thought of as a given that Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs' return will be the thing to vault the Ravens defense over the top.

It isn't.

The Ravens brass saw their crown jewel smashed into pieces following Suggs' abrupt departure when he tore his Achilles in week 1 of last season. However, the Ravens started to think about life after Suggs in the offseason prior.

It is known that Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome was not thrilled with the drafting of Bud Dupree by the Steelers, a prospect similar to Suggs. Newsome settled on Dupree’s college teamed Za'Darius Smith who was thought to be the like-for-like replacement to Pernell Mcphee.

It is early in preseason, but Smith is seemingly exceeding his expectation, and it would not be far-fetched to envision him spelling and perhaps even splitting time with Suggs at the rush linebacker position.

Ravens linebacker Kamalei Correa will add explosiveness and versatility in alignment to the blitz packages. Ravens outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil returns as a proven upper-tier pass rusher.

The Ravens have enough pieces to provide a solid pass rush without Suggs. In any case, Suggs should not be expected to return to pre-injury form. If Suggs does return to his old form, it should be considered a bonus. The fact is that Suggs is a 33-year old pass rusher coming off of his second Achilles tear in five seasons should bring reasonable expectations for his future.