Terrell Suggs Credits Great Season To Spending Extra Time Away From the Field Due to the Lockout

March 2, 2012 – 7:00 am by Eric Schmoldt

Some teams got together to work out on their own last summer in an attempt to stick to the usual offseason schedule despite what was then an ongoing lockout. Don’t consider Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs to be a part of that group. Suggs says he enjoyed his time off, worked on making movies and wasn’t looking forward to getting back to work.

That attitude certainly didn’t show once he got on the field. The ninth-year standout posted 70 tackles, including 14 sacks, and added seven forced fumbles during the regular season, helping lead the Ravens back to the postseason. Suggs is being award this weekend by the 101 Awards as the AFC Defensive Player of the Year.

Terrell Suggs joined WHB in Kansas City with Kevin Keitzman to discuss his career in Baltimore, what it was like when he first showed up there, being the AFC Defensive Player of the Year, if the Ravens are on the cusp of the Super Bowl, his offseason and his filmmaking.

On putting together a strong career with Baltimore:

“It has worked out pretty well. Nine years ago, when they drafted me, I was a little skeptical. I wasn’t sure what my role was going to be and where I would fit in at. Now, it seems like it’s worked out pretty good.”

What was that transition like when you first showed up to an extremely tough Ravens defensive unit?:

“My first year it was pretty rough for me trying to make the transition from putting my hand in the dirt all the time to transforming into a linebacker. But then Rex Ryan was the defensive line coach then and he said, ‘Give him to me.’ When I went with him, everything pretty much made a turn for the best. … You’ve got to earn the right to wear a Raven decal. … You’ve got to play with a certain swagger, a certain kind of pride.”

The 101 Awards have named you as the AFC Defensive Player of the Year, but it’s got to be an honor to be named the top defensive player just on your own team, right?:

“That is an award. It’s definitely flattering to receive this award, especially considering the guys that I have on my defense and not only that but the guys in the NFL that had phenomenal seasons.”

Do you feel like you guys are just knocking on the door of the Super Bowl?:

“We definitely feel [we're right there] and have been the past couple years. We’re going to see. We definitely don’t want to take any steps backward so you definitely have to work in the offseason and pick up where you left off at and eventually getting over that hump and getting the job done.”

What’s your offseason looking like?:

“We get to have real life. This is going to be awesome. Last year, to be totally honest with you, I had the time of my life during the lockout and wasn’t in a hurry to get back to work. I think that’s why, in total, I ended up having the season that I did. A lot of guys ended up pushing themselves too hard and ended up getting hurt trying to get ready for mini-camps and OTAs. Fortunately we didn’t have that burden on our shoulders and that’s why I think I had a great year. … I’m really looking forward to my time off and getting back to the film business and making these movies.”

What kind of films do you make and how did you get started?:

“We make all kinds of genres. We’re a low-budget, independent film company, so we haven’t started any big, major action films yet. I think we’ll get there. How I got started, I’ve always been a fan, I’ve always loved film. Growing up, it was always more of a hobby, just writing scripts and all that. … I’m building a bridge that I can walk across.”

Listen to Terrell Suggs on WHB in Kansas City here

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