No sizzle or sacks for Suggs in return

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

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August 24, 2008|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

ST. LOUIS - It was a quiet return for Terrell Suggs.

The boisterous defensive end-linebacker had two tackles and no quarterback pressures in his first preseason game of the year.

Suggs, who missed all of training camp to protest the franchise tag, played 29 snaps - which nearly doubled his expected playing time.

His first tackle was stopping running back Antonio Pittman after a 2-yard gain. He then pulled down tight end Randy McMichael after a 10-yard catch.

After that second tackle, Suggs went over to the sideline with an apparent injury but returned after missing just one play.

This was supposed to be Suggs' tuneup for the regular season. He is not scheduled to play in the preseason finale.

A two-time Pro Bowl player, Suggs will receive $8.5 million this season as the team's franchise player.

No defense

Ravens fans should appreciate starting cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle more and more throughout the preseason. For a second straight game, the backup cornerbacks had a rough showing.

Frank Walker allowed the first touchdown, when rookie Keenan Burton caught a 4-yard pass on a fade in the end zone. Walker then was called for pass interference in the end zone, which set up St. Louis' second touchdown of the first half.

There was also a stretch in the second quarter when cornerback Corey Ivy allowed three straight completions. He gave up passes of 14, 9 and 15 yards.

Block party

The Ravens hoped to have strong special teams, especially because that was the longtime specialty of coach John Harbaugh.

They got a momentum swing in the first quarter, when rookie Tom Zbikowski blocked a punt. It gave the ball to the Ravens at the St. Louis 20-yard line, but they had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Matt Stover.

Strong returns

One of the most consistent parts of the Ravens' preseason has been returner Yamon Figurs.

He once again put the offense in great field position, returning his first kickoff 37 yards on a burst up the middle of the field. Figurs, a third-round pick in 2007, entered last night's game averaging 30 yards on kickoff returns and 31 yards on punt returns.

End zone

The Ravens went several times to their "heavy" backfield. Le'Ron McClain, a 260-pound fullback, lined up behind Lorenzo Neal, a 255-pound fullback. McClain had a team-high 24 yards on four carries in the first half. ... To get used to the loudness at the Edward Jones Dome, the Ravens piped in crowd noise during practice last week. But with the dome half-empty, it might have been louder at the Ravens' practices. ... The Ravens had seven starters who did not play: running back Willis McGahee (knee), tight end Todd Heap (calf), offensive tackle Jared Gaither (ankle), defensive tackles Haloti Ngata (knee) and Kelly Gregg (knee), cornerback McAlister (knee) and safety Ed Reed (shoulder).

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