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Outside the Game: Terrell Suggs has film in his future

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

As a child, Baltimore Ravens endbacker Terrell Suggs had films in his imagination. Now, he's writing and producing them. Suggs' love of film parallels his interest in football, and dates back to his early childhood.

"It started with toys," Suggs recently told Yahoo! Sports. "The first film you ever make is with your toys, and you've got your characters, and you line them up."

Now, he's developing a filmmaker's eye.

"I'm a big 'Star Wars' fan, and who doesn't love [Martin] Scorsese?  But lately, I've been a fan of Christopher Nolan [of 'Dark Knight' and 'Inception' fame]. He's been going yard with his films."

"Inception" is one of Suggs' favorite movies. "I wonder what they were thinking when they shot this." he said.

Suggs has been a football star ever since the Ravens took him in the first round of the 2003 NFL draft out of Arizona State. He was the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, and he came back from an Achilles injury remarkably quickly in 2012 to help his team to a 9-2 record, fighting for the top spot in the AFC playoff picture.

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Most of all, he likes to sack quarterbacks. "They're the golden boys -- the pretty boys. I like to beat up on them a little bit."

But the veteran has started to think about a life past football, and film will play a leading role. Suggs' production company, Team Sizzle Films, is a growing concern. The company recently signed a distribution deal for its first film, "The Coalition."

"It's huge for us," Suggs said. "We've got momentum, and we're making some strides. We want to make our own pictures and green-light other people's pictures. We're shooting for the moon."

Suggs loves his role as a writer, and he attacks new projects with the same competitive sense he's used to push himself to the highest points in pro football.

"I love all aspects of the creative process, especially when I'm working with Monica," Suggs said of his writing partner, Monica Mingo. "Especially when we're writing a script, I love to fight with her. Arguments can get pretty heated, but we trust that whatever we agree on is the best thing for the project."

Judging from what we've seen, Suggs probably has an easier time getting his own way with Ray Lewis.

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Suggs' injury gave him time to reflect on his love of football, and what it means to him.

"You become a little vulnerable when you get injured, but you also get to learn things about yourself that you never knew. During football season -- yes, I am a full-time football player. Offseason, with all the work I've done, I consider myself a filmmaker now. It's not just a hobby or a passion for me -- film has become my life.

"Winning an Academy Award is like winning a Vince Lombardi Trophy, and I'm in it to win."

Suggs hasn't bagged either prize just yet, but don't count him out.

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