Can holdout, 'D' stay in shape?

Terrell Suggs

July 26, 2008|By JAMISON HENSLEY

With defensive end-linebacker Terrell Suggs beginning what could be a lengthy holdout, the Ravens defense won't have the same time to jell.

But defensive coordinator Rex Ryan said Suggs' absence might not be hurting just the Ravens.

"Does it hurt him? That's what you're always worrying about," Ryan said. "I know he's working out, but there's nothing like football shape."

Suggs skipped the start of training camp to protest the franchise tag, which kept him from becoming a free agent this offseason. It is unknown when the two-time Pro Bowl performer plans to report.

Edgar Jones and Antwan Barnes took turns replacing Suggs with the starting defense.

"The next guy steps in and plays," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "It's a great opportunity for those guys to get some tremendous reps."

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