It's been a difficult year for Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. It began with an Achilles injury suffered in the preseason, and then a torn biceps after he returned.
But Suggs is getting healthier and has played well in the playoffs. Now, the extra week between the conference championship game and the Super Bowl should have him even better when the Ravens take the field to play the 49ers.
"He's getting better," coach John Harbaugh said. "He's becoming quicker, faster, more explosive; all of those things. You can tell that the Achilles is healing. He's just playing more like a normal 100-percent Terrell Suggs would play."
--An under-the-radar move was made by Harbaugh in preparation for the Super Bowl. Harbaugh brought in former Philadelphia Eagles assistant coach Juan Castillo as a consultant for the game and he will coordinate the running game next season.
Said Harbaugh, "He'll be kind of a lead coach in terms of the run game and organizing the run game for us. Of course, he'll work closely with (offensive coordinator) Jim (Caldwell) and all the coaches."
Harbaugh knows Castillo from his years as an Eagles assistant and feels fortunate to add him to the staff.
"He had lots of opportunities," Harbaugh said. "I can tell you that, on both sides of the ball to be a lot of different things because that's the kind of coach he is. It ranges from assistant head coach, an offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator and those things are all things that to a coach of his caliber, those were opportunities that he had, and he chose to come here."
---Ravens safety Bernard Pollard promises to be a quote machine during Super Bowl week in New Orleans. A rugged hitter who is often critical of NFL rules and fines, Pollard already has things off to flying start with some eye-opening comments on cbssports.com.
Because of the emphasis on player safety, but with players always getting "bigger, stronger and faster," Pollard wonders about the future of the sport.
He said, "Thirty years from now, I don't think it will be in existence. I could be wrong. It's just my opinion, but I think with the direction things are going -- where they (rules makers) want to lighten up, and they're throwing flags and everything else -- there's going to come a point where fans are going to get fed up with it.
"The league is trying to move in the right direction (player safety), but, at the same time, (coaches) want bigger, stronger and faster year in and year out. And that means you're going to keep getting big hits and concussions and blown-out knees. The only thing I'm waiting for -- and, Lord, I hope it doesn't happen -- is a guy dying on the field. We've had everything else happen there except for a death. We understand what we signed up for, and it sucks."