‘T-Sizzle’ heats up rivalry with Brady
Suggs, the Ravens’ star pass rusher – not to mention the NFL’s loudest Brady-basher – had filled out his Pro Bowl ballot earlier that day. He was asked who he’d selected at the quarterback position.
Um, no Brady, he of the 31 touchdowns, four interceptions and league-best 109.9 passer rating – not to mention an October victory over Suggs’ team?
[Male model: Tom Brady’s un-athletic footwear contract]
Suggs shrugged. “I’m pretty sure he didn’t vote for me, either,” he said of the Patriots’ MVP candidate.
The player known as T-Sizzle has been hot for all things New England since Baltimore knocked the Pats out of the playoffs last January in a blowout Suggs described as a “humbling ass-whippin.’ ”
He and Brady jawed at one another when the two teams met at Gillette Stadium earlier this season, and each party engaged in some postgame trash talk, with Suggs goofing on Brady’s celebrity wife, Gisele Bundchen, and Brady firing back, “They talk a lot for only beating us once in nine years.”
That only seemed to encourage Suggs, who earlier this month complained that the NFL displayed favoritism toward Brady and Manning in terms of rules-enforcement and later admitted to a “personal vendetta” against the two while proclaiming that the Saints’ Drew Brees(notes) is the best quarterback in football.
After forcing a Brees fumble in Baltimore’s 30-24 victory over New Orleans on Sunday, Suggs made a point of telling me, “I don’t think he got rattled at all. A couple of times I was in his face, but it didn’t faze him. He’s one of the most composed quarterbacks in the league. And you notice he doesn’t whine to the refs when he doesn’t get the call like some other guys. That says a lot about that man.”
With Suggs obviously out to tweak Brady at every opportunity, a playoff rematch between the Pats and Ravens looms as a tantalizing possibility. When I asked Suggs on Monday night whether he hated the Patriots or AFC North rival Steelers more, he replied, “At this point I’d say it’s about 50-50.”
For the record, I also questioned Sizzle about the F-bomb he’d dropped earlier in discussing his Pro Bowl picks.
“Why Fitzpatrick?” he repeated. “He’s a good player. He’s from Arizona, you know. I played against him in high school. He was good – but he wasn’t that good.”
For the record, Fitzpatrick’s team, by my assessment, is better than only five NFL foes, the Bills’ recent run of four victories in six games notwithstanding. On Sunday they’ll try to make it five for seven as Fitzpatrick leads Buffalo into a divisional battle against Brady and the Pats. If you’re wondering where Suggs’ rooting interests lie, I have a pretty good idea of the answer.
[Rewind: Suggs accuses NFL of favoring Brady]
Now, on to our questions, with Sizzle the fast-rising Ravens (and everybody else) still staring up at the Brady Bunch:
1. New England Patriots: Will Bill Belichick come up with a goal-line package featuring 313-pound Dan Connolly(notes) as a running back – a package that could be deployed when the Pats are near their own goal line?
7. New Orleans Saints: Has anyone noticed that rookie tight end Jimmy Graham(notes) is really, really good – and might he follow Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates(notes) to complete the holy ex-hoopster-turned-All-Pro trinity?
9. Green Bay Packers: What dragged on longer – Brett Favre’s(notes) retirement, or the Pack’s offensive linemen making their way to the line of scrimmage in the final seconds of Sunday night’s defeat to the Patriots?
10. New York Giants: When Tom Coughlin sat in that darkened room for two-and-a-half hours after the Giants blew a 21-point lead and lost to the Eagles on Sunday, how weird would it have been if he’d bumped into this Texas Tech receiver?
11. Kansas City Chiefs: What kind of energy drink did Wallace Gilberry(notes) chug before Sunday’s game against the Rams, and does K.C. have a bona-fide pair of bookend pass rushers in him and Tamba Hali(notes)?
21. St. Louis Rams: With all due respect to Sam Bradford(notes), has anyone besides me pondered the idea that backup A.J. Feeley(notes) might have a better chance of prodding this flawed team to the playoffs?
23. Seattle Seahawks: With the way Matt Hasselbeck(notes) has been serving up turnovers lately, might a certain rookie wideout with a sweet tooth be temped to break into the quarterback’s house in the middle of the night?
26. Cleveland Browns: Can someone kindly remind me, again, how this team beat the Saints and Patriots?
28. Minnesota Vikings: Are we there yet?
32. Carolina Panthers: If Tyler Brayton(notes) tries to pull another punk move in Pittsburgh on Thursday night, don’t you get the feeling Mike Tomlin would give him a much swifter and severe punishment than Roger Goodell did last week?