On Saturday, Ravens defensive end/linebacker Terrell Suggs was named as the Associated Press’s NFL Defensive Player of the Year for 2011. Suggs posted the best year of his nine-year career in Baltimore, with 14 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions. He was the best player on the Ravens’ defense, which finished the year ranked third overall in the league. Unfortunately, he was a bit quiet in the postseason, as the Ravens barely squeaked by the Houston Texans in the divisional round before falling just short in New England in the AFC Championship.
Suggs was the third Raven to win the award, joining Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Since 2000, a Raven has won the award four times (Lewis 2000, 2003; Reed 2004; Suggs 2011). No other team has had more than two such awards in that span (Pittsburgh).
While Suggs freely admits that the season was a failure without the Lombardi Trophy, this is a nice individual accolade to help ease the pain.