With Matchup Edge, Suggs Quiet

This was no T-Sizzle performance, but then again Terrell Suggs is up against ... Kelvin Beachum? More Ravens-Steelers analysis inside.

PITTSBURGH -- Max Starks and Terrell Suggs didn't like each other, and it seemed as if the hatred helped Starks more than it did his fearsome pass-rushing counterpart with the Ravens.

But Starks, the Steelers' former left tackle, is gone. And by virtue of a sedate media performance during a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters, Suggs appeared to be gone as well.

"I have a feeling I'm still going to have my hands tied with their tackles this year, the ones they've got," said Suggs in one particularly flabbergasting statement.

Hands full with the Steelers' tackles?

Well, maybe Marcus Gilbert, but the man who replaced Starks, Kelvin Beachum, the second-year left tackle who'll make only his second start on football's hot corner, is ripe for Suggs' plucking. And Suggs, with his 7, has as many sacks as the entire Steelers defense this season.

"We've just got to do our job, play football," Beachum said in one of many blanket generalities he made on Wednesday.

One by one, reporters asked Beachum to talk specifically about Suggs and his flip-flopping bookend Elvis Dumervil, but Beachum kept all at a distance with those generalities.

"Both guys play with great leverage, play with great power," he said. "Both guys have great speed, so we have to work on things in practice and go out and play football."

How did Beachum feel about his first start at left tackle last week in New York?

"I feel that we won," he said. "That's all that matters."

When you viewed your play on tape, what were your thoughts?

"I've moved past that. We have another game ahead of us. It's a great task."

Did Starks ever talk to you about blocking Suggs?


Is this your first true test of an All-Pro pass-rusher?

"I don't have time to think about all the different scenarios, whether they're All-Pro or Hall of Fame. I've just got to go play football."

And with that, Beachum turned his back on the last reporter at his locker.

The message was clear: Suggs is someone about whom a young player should keep his mouth shut.

Beachum let Suggs' resume do the talking: Since he was drafted with the 10th pick of the 2003 draft, Suggs has been named to five Pro Bowls, was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, has 91.5 sacks, 29 forced fumbles, and 287.5 QB hurries/knockdowns.

Combined with Dumervil, the former Denver Broncos pass-rusher, the Ravens' starting defensive ends have 12 sacks in six games. It's become the strength of a new Ravens defense that will have eight different starters since the last time they lined up against the Steelers.

While the Ravens are second in the NFL with 22 sacks, they are but 17th in total defense.

"Sometimes it just seems like we're missing some pieces here and there," said Suggs. "Then at other times, it seems like we can be one of the best teams in the NFL. We've just got to continue to work and get better from week-to-week."

Doesn't sound like T-Sizzle. At all. Are he and his teammates suffering from a Super Bowl hangover?

"No, but we'll leave that for you all to decide," he said. "We really don't get into that here. Our season is pretty much week- to-week and we're just taking it as is. We're 3-3. It's not good but it's also not terrible. We got some things we need to work on.

"The cast is not the same on both teams. There's no Ray Lewis, no Ed Reed, no Hines Ward and no James Harrison. It's going to be a little different. But at the end of the day it's a football game. It's a rivalry football game and both teams are going to go out there and play."

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