Suggs still showing swagger, despite being sidelined with ankle injury


WESTMINSTER, Md. -- As his teammates were trudging off the field, hurling off pads and heading for the showers, Terrell Suggs was gingerly striding off a golf cart to meet them. Suggs, who signed a deal worth a maximum of $63 million last month after being franchised for the second straight year, was clad in all black, never lacking swagger but clearly with a hitch in his stride.

On Monday, Suggs missed practice with an ankle injury he picked up Sunday, hampered by a walking cast but in good spirits. Both Suggs and coach John Harbaugh said the injury is minor and the team is taking every precaution with the versatile defensive star. Suggs, always gregarious, was in good spirits, saying that despite his fat, new contract he isn't the focal point of a defense featuring linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed.

"I'll take third maybe, after those guys," Suggs said with a big smile.

Observation deck

» Watching defensive tackle Kelly Gregg waddle around the huddle (his unique physique earned him the nickname "Buddy Lee") and anchor during goal-line drills was a treat. Gregg, one of the game's true unsung heroes, is coming back from microfracture surgery in his knee that cost him all of 2008.

Fantasy take
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» The Ravens have been long hoping for production from fourth-year receiver Demetrius Williams, an oft-injured player, and he flashed some of that skill well on Monday. Williams, a big target at 6-foot-2, got behind the first-team defense a few times and caught a deep fade from Joe Flacco that brought the crowd to its feet. But will he do it on Sundays?

» The Ravens have been quietly pleased with the offseason progress of backup quarterback Troy Smith, a former Heisman winner, but he was typically erratic at Monday's practice. He sailed several balls, threw an ugly interception in team drills ... but flipped a few perfect throws to the end zone in one-on-one drills.

Rookie report

Paul Kruger, a second-round pick, is already popular among veterans for his tenacious work ethic and quiet intensity. He filled in for Suggs with the first-team defense Monday and showed good speed and instincts coming off the edge. The Ravens have a deep reserve of hybrid defenders, and Kruger could be the next in that mold.

Lasting image

Derrick Mason was only in his second day back after his brief retirement, but it was obvious how well he knows this offense. Early in practice running back Le'Ron McClain was sent in motion wide, outside of Mason, but wasn't being precise enough. "Stop, stop," Mason yelled, getting him aligned before the play went for a completion.

Say what?

"Please run at me! I live for that!"
-- Linebacker Ray Lewis going back and forth with the offense during goal-line drills, during which the offense ended up hitting paydirt several times.

Extra points

» Veteran offensive coach Al Saunders has been in discussions with the Ravens and could end up joining them as a full-time consultant. The team says at this point no decision has been made.

» Harbaugh is wearing a hat he received from troops during his visit to Iraq. Coincidentally, the camouflaged hat has the word SURGE written on it in purple.

» The Ravens opened camp last week with nine players on their PUP list. On Monday, three remained: tackle Adam Terry, receiver Yamon Figurs and corner Samari Rolle.

» Tight end L.J. Smith remains out with a hamstring injury, opening up more reps for converted linebacker Edgar Jones. Jones is raw but has strong physical skills and made a few nice plays on Monday.



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