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Ravens give Suggs the full treatment

Terrell Suggs' initiation to the Baltimore Ravens means enduring the rituals of hazing.<p> Middle linebacker Ray Lewis greeted the rookie outside linebacker by plowing a whipped cream pie with cherries into his face during a live television interview.<p> Suggs is aware that his tardy arrival at training camp in Westminster due to a three-day contract holdout makes him a nouveau riche target.<p> "This isn't helping us win the Super Bowl, guys," said Suggs while covered in pie filling.<p>

As Suggs got acclimated to hitting again in limited work Thursday morning after signing a five-year contract worth up to $15.09 million, his imagination ran wild with what else his teammates were plotting.

"I'm not in the locker room yet," said Suggs, whose pass rushing skills at Arizona State made him the 10th overall pick of the draft. "The rookie motto is, 'Be seen and not heard.' I'm trying to do less of both. I know they're going to get me, especially since I came in late. I just have to keep my eyes open."

Except Suggs won't have only to be concerned about being taped to a goalpost, or thrown in a tub filled with ice water. He might want to keep an eye on his wallet, too, after signing a contract with early compensation up to $8.3 million.

When asked what Suggs might be in store for, the perennial All-Pro Lewis grinned.

"We're going to take his credit card and just run it up," Lewis said. "Just order bottles of Cristal to take with us, too. He's a great kid. I told him that now that his contract is done it's time to go to work."

Suggs said he didn't squander his money gambling in Las Vegas when a cancelled flight stranded him there Wednesday night. He's too young at age 20 to enter a casino.

Meanwhile, fellow first-round pick Kyle Boller was in an awkward position despite the rookie quarterback having already agreed to terms on a five-year contract worth up to $20 million that includes escalator and incentive clauses.

According to team officials, the reason Boller wasn't allowed to practice Thursday after holding out for three days was because the pact hadn't been ratified yet by the league management council. By league rules, Boller couldn't even attend meetings or eat dinner in the team cafeteria.

Yet, the deal, which includes first-year compensation of $5.65 million and nearly $8 million in guaranteed money over the length of the pact, is expected to eventually be approved today.

Boller will be held out of tonight's scrimmage then join a quarterback competition with incumbent Chris Redman and veteran Anthony Wright.

"I think he's happy to here, and now we can kind of get this thing on the way," Redman said. "It's going to be fun. You're not going to find a more competitive person than myself. That's just my nature. "Competition is what it's all about. It makes you play better."

As for Suggs, who set an NCAA mark with 24 sacks last fall, the Lombardi Award winner said he spent his time away from camp running up mountains in Arizona.

The operative plan is to keep Suggs out of tonight's scrimmage and make Monday his first exposure to a pounding workout after holding him out of team drills Thursday.

"I am like the little dog in the cage," Suggs said. "I wasn't even in the game and I was already ready to hit somebody."

Suggs is expected to start opposite Pro Bowl outside linebacker Peter Boulware in a potentially formidable pass rushing tandem.

"I think what Suggs adds is another dimension," Lewis said. "I wouldn't want to be the quarterback dealing with him and Peter coming from both sides. I think our pass rush is going to be incredible just with those two guys alone. "I think he can be as good as he wants to be if he truly works for it and has the right attitude. When you see what this kid does on film, you know he has potential."

In an effort to get down to a playing weight of 250 pounds, Suggs did extra wind sprints and agility drills after practice.

Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan said the goal is to get the best 11 players on the field. Nolan said he expects that Suggs will gradually learn his assignments and get in good enough condition to join that group.

"I walk by the creed of, 'Walk softly, carry a big stick,'" Suggs said. "Ray will do all the talking. I'm just going to have to be a soldier in this army and do my part."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.


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