Terrell Suggs was voted the NFL’s best defensive player last year and is easily the best player on the Baltimore Ravens. But now that he is likely to miss the majority if not all of the 2012 season, the Ravens will need someone to match his production if they want to be successful in 2012. However, getting a player who can put up 14 sacks, 70 tackles, and seven forced fumbles, as Suggs did in 2012, will be no easy task.
Alabama’s Courtney Upshaw was expected to start in place of Jarrett Johnson, now in San Diego, and learn the ropes from Terrell Suggs. Now it seems that Upshaw will be taking Suggs’s spot after he tore his Achilles. Upshaw was inundated with tweets this morning, telling him to get reading to take over the NFL’s best. Upshaw had this to say:
I keep getn these ‘it’s time to man up’ tweets…I mean it’s the NFL…with T. Sizzle healthy I wud have to man up its big boy ball… – Ravens rookie LB Courtney Upshaw
Courtney Upshaw sure seems ready to start right away, but he’ll face competition from two other young players, hungry for playing time. Paul Kruger and Sergio Kindle will be the other two in the mix for the two vacant linebacking positions. Terrell Suggs’s position was a hybrid DE/OLB that specialized in pass rushing while the other SAM LB position that was vacated by Jarrett Johnson, focuses on setting the edge and stopping the run. Upshaw’s strong pass rushing ability makes him the favorite for Suggs’s spot. However, I’m interested to see how Sergio Kindle will fit into this as he was once the favorite to start opposite of Suggs before his head injury which has kept him off the field since he was drafted.