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Often loud, Suggs takes quiet approach on Day 1

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Often loud, Suggs takes quiet approach on Day 1

NEW ORLEANS (AP) As Terrell Suggs made his way to his seat for his first media appearance of Super Bowl week, a member of the Baltimore Ravens' PR staff pointed at the linebacker and whispered to a colleague: ``I think somebody should be here.''

Yes, generally, better safe than sorry with Suggs. Never know what he's liable to say.

Except this time, the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year was hardly a loud mouth. Not in the mood, apparently, to stir things up before his Ravens face the San Francisco 49ers for the NFL championship next Sunday.

Given a chance to crack wise or lob insults on a variety of topics - from President Barack Obama's concerns about football safety to New York Jets coach Rex Ryan's tattoo - Suggs was soft-spoken and thoughtful Monday. Even made sure to praise the 49ers.

Now we'll see what happens Tuesday in the circus that is Super Bowl media day.

The last time Suggs was seen leaving the field after a football game, he was tossing curse words and insults in the direction of the New England Patriots after Baltimore's defense shut out Tom Brady and Co. throughout the second half of a 28-13 victory in the AFC championship game.

Since then, Suggs has kept things low key within earshot of reporters, aside from the occasional non sequitur shouted in the locker room at the Ravens' practice facility last week.

Asked Monday whether he would be providing any bulletin-board material for the 49ers to latch onto, Suggs quietly replied: ``Maybe. Got to wait and see. I mean, nothing I do is scripted, so got to wait and see what I come off the noggin with, when I come off the top.''

Yet as he sat there in front of microphones and cameras, wearing a pinstriped gray suit with polka-dot tie and just-so pocket square, Suggs sounded mostly, well, scripted.

He did make sure to correct a reporter who opened a question by pronouncing Suggs' first name incorrectly - for the record, the emphasis goes on the second syllable, not the first - but otherwise said many of the right things.

Someone wanted an assessment of 49ers left tackle Joe Staley, one of the players who will try to slow Suggs' pass rush, and this is what came forth: ``Solid. Very good offensive tackle. I think he's highly underrated, but he was a Pro Bowler this year, so I think he finally got his just due.''

Then Suggs thought back to Baltimore's 16-6 victory over San Francisco last season and offered this: ``Had a little bit of a hard time with him. You know, he's a great player.''

What about San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the guy Suggs will be chasing Sunday?

``I like the way he plays,'' Suggs said.

Someone else wanted a nickname for Baltimore's defense. No luck there, either.

``Ask me on Feb. 4,'' the day after the Super Bowl, was the reply.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

When the topic turned to Obama's recent statement about wondering whether he'd let a son play football, Suggs gave a considered response, saying that he respects that point of view ``for the simple fact that this is a very physical and dangerous sport that we play.''

Asked whether he would allow his own 4-year-old son to pick up the sport, Suggs said: ``Absolutely, but it would have to be his choice. Football isn't for everybody. If my son ... came to me and said, `Dad, I want to play football,' then I would let him play.''

Toward the end of Suggs' interview session, a reporter brought up Ryan's body art.

After playfully saying to the reporter, ``Are you from New York? Last I checked, it was 49ers-Ravens. ... The Jets are nowhere around,'' Suggs launched into a from-the-heart discussion (OK, with some kidding around, too) about what the media doesn't need to know.

``Who cares? I've probably got something on my (body) that y'all don't see that's probably inappropriate, but who cares? I think you blow that all out of proportion,'' he said. ``Everybody should have a certain amount of privacy, even if they're in the public eye. ... We're not just football players. We're not just coaches. We're human beings, too, and just keep that in mind.''

It's been a difficult season for Suggs, who played in only eight of 16 regular-season games because of injuries. He missed the first six weeks because of an Achilles tendon problem, then also missed time with a torn right biceps.

A guy with four double-digit season sack totals - including a career-high 14 in 2011, when he also led the league with seven forced fumbles - only had two in 2012.

As someone who, as he put it, has ``rarely ever been injured,'' it wasn't easy to deal with. But his teammates are sure he's rounding into form at the right time, the postseason.

``He's what you want in front of you - a playmaker, a guy who never stops,'' Ravens safety Ed Reed said. ``And he's been playing like that in the last three (games).''

One more game to go.

And five more days to watch what he says.

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Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter athttp://twitter.com/HowardFendrich

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Ravens tight end suspended a year or more for violating substance abuse policy

Ravens tight end suspended a year or more for violating substance abuse policy

The NFL announced today that tight end Darren Waller of the Baltimore Ravens would be suspended for a year or longer for his second violation of the substance abuse policy.

Waller was a 2015 sixth-round pick out of Georgia Tech who served a four-game suspension to start the 2016 season for a substance abuse violation. After returning from his suspension last year, he posted 10 catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns in a limited role.

After his 2016 violation, he was quoted as saying [via Ravens.com]:

“There were other personal issues, and [marijuana] was the one thing I always turned to,” Waller said. “It was just about finding more positive outlets for me to do, like talking to people about it and things like that. I’m definitely at a better place with that now.”

Unfortunately for the Ravens, he will miss the 2017 season and potentially longer after the latest violation. It leaves the Ravens down two tight ends from last year after Dennis Pitta was released earlier this month after re-injuring his hip.

MORE RAVENS: Zach Orr considering coming out of retirement

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Former Raven Zach Orr considering NFL comeback after postive health prognosis

Former Raven Zach Orr considering NFL comeback after postive health prognosis

In January of 2017, former Ravens linebacker Zach Orr took the podium at the team's training facility alongside head coach John Harbaugh, GM Ozzie Newsome and defensive coordinator Dean Pees, to announce he would be retiring from football at the age of 24.

Why? Orr suffered a shoulder injury during their week 16 game against longtime rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, which shed light into a condition he's had since birth.

He had a routine MRI, but the Ravens training staff suggested a full body CAT scan as well. The CAT scan reveled Orr had a congenital back/spine condition where one of the upper vertebra isn't totally formed causing there to be an opening. Less than 1 percent of people are born with such a condition and he wasn't aware of it until he suffered this injury.

Doctors told Orr he was at risk of paralysis or even death if he played with such a condition. He also would have never been able to pass an NFL physical, ultimately forcing him to retire.

During his press conference, Orr said this,

"If there's some miracle way where I can play the game, I promise I'd be the first one to grab my cleats again, start back training and try to find a way to get back out there," Orr said.

Well, fast forward to today and it seems that miracle may have happened.

NFL Network reporter Mike Garafolo told Good Morning Football that after getting a second opinion from doctors, and receiving positive news, Orr is considering a return to the NFL.

"I had my mind made up. I was like man, the doctors told me I was done. This is a serious issue. So I'm going to leave it alone. But I just kept hearing that from multiple people and some were telling me to just go check out and seek out some more opinions and things like that and come to find out my condition, it is rare – .01 percent of the people have what I have – but there's no actual evidence or facts that I'm at a higher risk than any other player. And it's actually been documented that a college player who had the exact same thing that I have that returned to play with no problems."

The doctors' real concerns would be if someone with Orr's spinal condition played with a herniated disk. He did suffer from herniated disks last season, but that injury has since diminished. 

MORE RAVENS: 2017 PRESEASON SCHEDULE

If Orr does decide to get back into the NFL, getting signed could be pretty easy. 

When he announced his retirement, he never filed for retirement papers and the Ravens never placed him on their reserve/retired list because they never thought he would play again.

Because of this, Orr is considered an unrestricted free agent and can sign with a team right away. 

Orr had his best season in 2016, where he lead the Ravens in tackles with 133. It's been reported that eight teams have reached out to the linebacker since his announcement and that he will be meeting with the Lions on Thursday.