OWINGS MILLS — It’s obvious Terrell Suggs loves Steelers Week.
And he seems to thrive off of the attention he receives when he’s playing Heinz Field.
“This is my Madison Square Garden,” Suggs said on Wednesday. “I love playing in this stadium. I love the way the people treat me, the welcoming they give me with the ‘No. 1s.’”
Most people might be offended if a large group of people flipped them the … No. 1. But that’s commonplace on the road in the NFL, especially in a rivalry as decorated as the one between the Ravens and the Steelers.
Both teams faced off in Week 1, with Baltimore dominating the game on both sides of the ball. The defense forced seven turnovers at M&T Bank Stadium, which included three interceptions. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was sacked four times by a pass rush that continuously made things uncomfortable for the two-time Super Bowl winner.
The Steelers will be out for some revenge, especially since the first game became so lopsided. Since losing to Baltimore, Pittsburgh has won five of its last six games, including the last four in a row.
“We think their (expletive) is going to be a little hot,” Suggs said. “They are definitely going to have some ‘let’s get after them’ to their game.”
But Suggs added that one win doesn’t mean the Ravens have the leg up on the rivalry.
“In hindsight, who knocked us out of the playoffs last year?” Suggs said. “In 2008, a certain team beat us to go to the Super Bowl and danced all over the field, held up the AFC Championship trophy. We had to sit by and watch that.”
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin downplayed the notion that Pittsburgh would use Week 1′s blowout loss as motivation for this Sunday’s game.
“I don’t know that that’s necessary,” Tomlin said in a conference call with the Baltimore media. “Anybody that was there and a part of that understands that we laid a complete egg, and we’ve got to accept responsibility for that. I think to this point we have and I don’t see why this week would be any different.”
Since that Week 1 meeting, both teams have gone in different directions. Baltimore has been hot and cold all season, failing to play a full four quarters of solid football since the Pittsburgh game.
The Steelers, which began the year a run-first ball club, has since decided to spread the field and pass more, to help an ailing offensive line that has struggled to create holes at times for running back Rashard Mendenhall.
“It makes them more dangerous because they can do that, but they can run the ball,” Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain said. “Our No. 1 goal is to stop the run. If they try to go to the air, we got Terrell Suggs and (defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. So we got what we got. It makes them more dangerous because they can throw the ball effectively. But at the end of the day it’s still football.”
Both sides are expecting the rivalry to get back to the classic slugfests the two teams are used to this week, not the one-sided victory Baltimore experienced in Week 1.
Suggs, a movie buff, borrowed a quote from the 2005 film “The Jacket,” describing how he’s approaching Steelers Week.
“They’ve already declared war on us,” Suggs said. “We’re taking 53 men to the apocalypse and we ain’t bringing flowers. We’re going to make it as hard as we can for them to get organized.”
The Ravens welcomed left guard Ben Grubbs back to practice. Grubbs has a turf toe injury that he sustained in the season-opener against Pittsburgh. Grubbs was a limited participant in practice.
Also listed as limited were center Matt Birk (neck), cornerback Danny Gorrer (thigh) and running back Anthony Allen.
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata did not practice due to a thigh injury. The severity is unclear at this point. Wide receiver Lee Evans missed another practice with his ankle injury.
Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring, groin) and wide receiver/kick returner David Reed (knee) also missed practice on Wednesday.
By Jason Butt