Terrell Suggs is usually known for castigating his opponents, especially a certain quarterback who plays for the New England Patriots.
But the Ravens outside linebacker can also compliment opponents who have earned his respect, and Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas is apparently one of them.
“I think he is definitely a top-three left tackle in the league right now,” Suggs said Wednesday. “It was an era where it was the Walter Joneses, the Willie Roafs, and of course the greatest ever, Jonathan Ogden. Now it’s the [Miami Dolphins’] Jake Longs, the Joe Thomases, and the third one is slipping my mind right now. But just since you brought [Thomas] up, those two are definitely two stout left tackles in our league, and they don’t get much better than that. We always have battles when we go up against each other. When it comes to Joe, I think he is one of the best there is.”
The numbers appear to back up Suggs’ assertion. In his first three meetings with Thomas – the third overall pick in 2007 – Suggs accumulated three sacks. But in the five contests since then, Suggs has registered just one sack.
“He is very strong,” Suggs said of Thomas. “He is very disciplined with his hands. He is very athletic. He is more athletic than people give him credit for.”
Browns coach Pat Shurmur returned the favor during his conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday, marveling at Suggs’ nine sacks this season.
“He’s going to get pressure,” Shurmur said. “He’s one of the premier pass rushers in this league, and he proved it the other night. I mean, nine sacks, and he was involved in the rush on most of them. So I think he draws a lot of attention. And when you’re looking at, OK, who do you got to get a hat on and who you don’t want to wreck the game, he’s one of the first guys that comes to mind.”