Know the enemy: Saints on Terrell Suggs

METAIRIE, La. – The New Orleans Saints would prefer to avoid making history Monday night when they go up against Baltimore Ravens pass-rusher Terrell Suggs.

The six-time Pro Bowl linebacker needs just a half-sack to reach 100 for his career.

Two of Suggs’ sacks came against Drew Brees – one in 2010 and one in just the third game of Suggs’ career in 2003, when Brees was with the San Diego Chargers.

But there’s another Saints player who’s been admiring Suggs’ work even longer – fellow Pro Bowl pass-rusher Cameron Jordan, who hails from the same town in Arizona where Suggs went to high school.

Here’s what the Saints had to say about Suggs this week:

Jordan: “A Chandler High guy. I’ve been watching him since I was probably like 12, when he was at my alma mater. He was a running back, a defensive end, linebacker. He was like all-world back then. Then, of course, he goes to our rival high school, some trash school across the street (Hamilton High), then he goes on to [Arizona State] and he sets the NCAA record for sacks (24 in 2002 as a junior and 44 for his career, both of which still stand). So I’ve been watching him for a long time. If anybody’s been watching him, I’ve had front-row seats my entire life.”

Jordan on what kind of running back Suggs was (he once ran for 367 yards in a game): “He was the same size when he was like 10. He was mauling kids. He was completely dominant.”

Brees: “He’s as productive as ever. And he’s multidimensional. I think some people maybe view him as, ‘Hey, he’s getting’ a bunch of sacks every year, so he’s kind of this pass-rush outside linebacker in a 3-4 system.’ But he’s really good against the run. He’s a smart, crafty player. You can just tell he’s played a lot of football. That’s a really prideful group there, too. Some of those guys, especially up front, have been there a while. He played with guys like Ed Reed and Ray Lewis for a long time. So I’m sure he learned a lot of football along the way from being with that group and being a part of some really great defenses.”

G Ben Grubbs (a former teammate with the Ravens): “His work ethic, God-given abilities, God-given talents [stand out]. You know, he loves playing the game. And when you see him play, if you’ve ever seen him practice, you can look at that guy and say he’s having fun doing what he is doing. And I just think that the way he approaches the game has enabled him to do what he’s able to do.”

G Jahri Evans: “He’s just consistent, man. He’s consistent against the run, and he’s consistent against the pass. He can get after the passer when they ask him to. And he boxes tackles in on the run. That’s what you see with Terrell, even when he missed those games through injury (a torn Achilles in 2012), he came back and he’s still playing at a high caliber.”

LT Terron Armstead: “They’ll play strong and weak, but most of the time Terrell is on my side. … Everything [stands out]. Savvy veteran. He knows exactly what he’s trying to do, where he’s trying to get on the field. You’ve gotta be aware of him the whole entire game.”

Jordan: “He’s just tenacious. He’s not only explosive, but at this point he’s so seasoned in the game -- he’s seen all the moves, he knows what to do. He’s played all the teams at least twice. I mean, what is he, like 35 years in? And he’s still playing at an elite level. So that’s very impressive.”