Terrell Suggs recently made the news, nationally and locally, with some of his 'ill-advised' comments made on the radio regarding Hines Ward and Joe Flacco/Troy Smith. I will start with the former, because his statements on Hines Ward were the big national story to come out of it.
In Suggs’ interview with an Atlanta radio station, he made reference to there being a ‘bounty’ on Hines Ward and referred to him as a dirty, cheap-shot player. Now, I will say this: I don’t doubt that everything he said about Hines Ward and the ‘bounty’ is true. Hines Ward has long been known as a ‘dirty’ player, and that reputation is growing. The NFL is looking into his other comments, and the public response to the ‘bounty’ has been one of shock and disgust. I’m sorry, but give me a break. No, it isn’t right, and no, he sure as heck shouldn’t say it to the media, but the practice of putting a bounty on someone in football is not new. If someone like Hines Ward lays out one of your players unnecessarily, it is and has been the natural response to seek him out and knock him to the turf. In football there are plenty of collisions, and plenty of ways to clock someone without breaking the rules. Hines Ward lives by that and other teams can, right or wrong, use those same tactics against him.
As for his other comments, in which he proposed Troy Smith be the starter over Joe Flacco, this is where I really get burned up. Why, Suggs. Why. Why do you come out and knock your team’s starting quarterback like that? I understand that you like Troy Smith, and that’s completely legit. But if you’re going to propose a quarterback change, don’t say it to the media! Go behind closed doors; speak your peace to the coaching staff. Tell me, what do you think your statements will accomplish? Please, tell me, because I’m begging to know. By making this statement you: (a) rattle the confidence of your starting quarterback, (b) get yourself in hot water with the coaching staff, (c) put Troy Smith in an awkward position, and (d) magnify any and all mistakes that Joe Flacco makes from here on out. Tearing down your starter just so someone else can play is a fool’s game.
Now don’t get me wrong, Terrell Suggs is a great player and, by and large, has been an excellent guy to have in the locker room. This is an instance, however, when he would be better off keeping his mouth shut. He’s absolutely right about Hines Ward, but he should not have said it to the media. He’s absolutely wrong about Joe Flacco, and he definitely should never have said it to the media.
Terrell, I don’t want to tell you to shut up but… Please, shut up.