Temperatures Sizzles, but Suggs Does Not

The NFL meetings may have been officially at the Biltmore hotel, but all the who's who in the league descended on the ASU's campus today for Terrell Suggs' workout. The results on this scorching day were somewhat disappointing according to the defensive end, but he didn't feel that he hurt his stock as a consensus top 5 pick in the NFL draft.

"I did all right." Says the NCAA leader in sacks. "I didn't do as good as I wanted to do. I forgot how to drink water in Arizona, because I was living it up in L.A. where the weather is nice. I didn't drink enough water, and my hamstring tightens up. I could have done better, but I didn't do that bad. I'm not disgusted with myself. We'll see what happens on April 26."

Suggs was measured at 6-3 and 3/8, and weighing 257 ("I should have stayed at 260."). His long jump was 9 feet, and had a 32.5 inch vertical. His 40 time was around 4.85, his 20-yard shuttle 4.33, and the in the three cone drill he was clocked at 7.48. "I was pleased with my 20-yard shuttle because that's what I was worried about the most. The number that everyone expected me to do in the 40 was within reach, but with all the excess weight being a 257…I just have to learn to play with that weight and get my speed back... I know I could have dome better with the vertical jump, but I know I didn't do terrible." He adds that the times he was recorded at could be deceiving. "Track speed and football speed are two totally different things. Out here I ran whatever I ran, but you look at my film and see me always going."

Head coaches such as Steve Mariucci, Marvin Lewis, Marty Shotenheimer, Jack Del Rio, Dom Capers, as well as representatives from more than half of the league's teams (including ex-ASU coach and Cardinals' defensive coordinator Larry Marmie.) were in attendance. The defensive end admitted that he did have jitters working in front of over 100 NFL personnel types. "Yeah I did have jitters. But I had my brothers out here like Mike Pinkard, James Beal…I had everyone I needed to have out here so I wouldn't do horrible. I also had my coaches coming out to support me in the middle of spring ball."

Despite being candid about the average workout he had, Suggs didn't believe it was enough to knock him out of a top five pick range. "I didn't think so, but worse comes to worse I hope the Cardinals pick me (at the #6 spot). They know I'm the hometown guy. I love them and they love me. They can look past this, and look at the film. They know I'm gonna play my heart out for them. I hope they didn't put a lot of stock on what happened here (smile). When's there's 70,000 in the stands, I know I can rush the passer." It has been rumored that the Houston Texans are an extremely strong possibility to pick him in the third spot. They were one of less than a handful of teams who had their coach, general manger, and owner at the workouts. The interesting twist to this scenario is that the Texans employ the 3-4 scheme, and would draft the defensive end as a linebacker. "I'm open to it." Says Suggs, "Coach Guy had me do some standing up here, and I like that and I also like dropping (into coverage). I'm open to anything; I just want to play football. Wherever they want me, I'm just gonna go there and play."

The biggest improvement Suggs thinks he should concentrate on is getting his new body structure achieve the physical feats that he was accustom to. "I need to learn to run with my weight, and get the speed I want. When teams bring me in, I'll run the 40 for them and see if I can do better." For now, the defensive end is looking forward to kicking back and seeing where destiny will take him on April 26. "I'm just gonna hang with my parents around here, and get my speed back a little bit. I can let my hair down, after two months straight of hair pulling (smile). It's been a roller coaster ride, but every player goes through it. It was a good experience, but don't get me wrong – I'm happy it's over with." Even though he will have no intense workouts like the one today, Suggs vows to stay away from the fast food drive thru lane. "I still need to stay away from Jack in the Box, and get my speed back. I'm gonna stick with the chicken and the pasta. When I get back to 4.6, then we can go back to the #5 (combo meal at Jack in the Box)."

Suggs hasn't decided where he'll be on draft day. "I got invited to New York. I don't know if I'm going there, or just hanging out here with my coaches and teammates and throw a little party." One thing is for certain, whatever did or didn't happen for him today in his pro workout, his attitude hasn't altered one bit. "My spirit isn't crushed. I'll always have my smile wherever I go." Will that smile be one of jubilation or a wry one? We'll know in exactly one month…

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