Suggs carries no 'malice' back to Detroit

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- When Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs returns to Detroit on Monday night, he won't be carrying any "malice" in his heart.

In his only trip to Ford Field, Suggs was ejected from a game in which the Ravens set a franchise record with 21 penalties (one shy of the NFL record). That 35-17 loss to the Lions, which happened eight years ago, stirred up some not-so-fond memories for Suggs.

"It was an interesting day," said Suggs, who was quite lighthearted when reminiscing about the incident. "But that was the past. We don't ever want to see that side of us again."

Suggs was ejected with 4 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, when the Ravens had received 12 penalties while the Lions had only two. He was incensed after he was flagged for a questionable roughing-the-passer penalty.

He jumped into the face of referee Mike Carey and apparently bumped his face mask against the bill of Carey's cap. Carey said after the game that Suggs "bumped me with malice in his heart."

Asked about the incident Wednesday, Suggs said with a smile, "Yeah, I had a lot of malice in my heart. I think I head-butted a ref."

Suggs was fined $15,000 by the NFL for making "impermissible contact," but he wasn't the only Ravens player who lost control. Cornerback Chris McAlister threw the ball at a receiver after an interception and nose tackle Ma'ake Kemoeatu flashed an obscene gesture to the Ford Field crowd.

In addition to Suggs, backup safety B.J. Ward was ejected from the game for making contact with an official, even though it was Ed Reed who grabbed an official by his shoulder. In less than three minutes, two Ravens players were escorted off the field.

"The last time I've seen that many ejections, I was watching [the World Wrestling Federation]," wide receiver Derrick Mason said at the time.

When told in 2005 about Carey's "malice" comment, Suggs responded: "I heard that word means he felt like I was going to do something. You can't throw somebody out because you think they're going to do something to you. First of all, if I was going to do something to you, I would have done it in the first three steps."

Now, all that is on Suggs' mind when he steps on Ford Field again is getting a win for the Ravens (7-6), who are fighting for their playoff lives.

"[The memories] won't come back at all," Suggs said. "Like I said, that was then and this is now. But, wow, time sure does fly."