Ndamukong Suh is one of the most emotional players in football. That’s part of the reason he is so good. Despite having been fined and reprimanded many times by the NFL and accused of taunting opponents, Suh has vowed to not change the way he plays the game. After a recent meeting with Roger Goodell to discuss the NFL’s rules and the ways in which Suh has broken them, some people wondered if he would curb his playing style at all. As you can see from the images above, Suh is still letting his emotions get the best of him during game situations.
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had his ankle accidentally stepped on by one of his offensive lineman Sunday, and the Falcons say the Lions taunted him after the injury.
“I had respect for [Lions DT Ndamukong] Suh before the game,” center Todd McClure said. “But when Matt was on the ground, the things he was saying and the trash he was talking was definitely uncalled for. There are certain things you don’t do. [He said], ‘Get the cart’ and several other things that I can’t repeat.”
Roddy White said, “I lost a whole lot of respect for 90 [Suh] today, and also 92 [Cliff Avril], the [bleep] they were doing when Matt got hurt. That was unacceptable. … Like 92 was kicking [Ryan’s] feet, saying, ‘Get him off the field.’ We don’t do stuff like that. We don’t rally over guys when they get hurt. It was just inappropriate behavior. I mean, ‘Get the cart’? Are you serious? Come on. When you compete, you never want to see a guy get hurt.”
This is not the first, second, or third time Ndamukong Suh has been called a dirty player, so this isn’t new territory. Predictably, Suh denied the charge when asked about it Monday.
The Detroit Lions have quickly become one of the most intriguing stories of the preseason. Many believe this could be the year they take the next step, and their preseason performance against the Patriots Saturday night helped confirm those beliefs. The Lions defense appears to be on a mission and if Matthew Stafford is healthy their offense could create fireworks.
One player who has been fun to talk about for a variety of reasons is Ndamukong Suh. While we here at LBS enjoy and respect the way Suh plays the game, his reputation as a dirty player continues to grow across the league. Incidents from last year like this one and others from this season like the punch he threw at Logan Mankins on Saturday have resulted in a spanking from the media. At this point, it sounds like Suh couldn’t care less.
“I’m going to continue to play hard and play within the rules as I have been,” Suh told CBSSports.com on Sunday. “When I’ll consider myself a dirty player is when my mom tells me (I am).
One of the lamest questions the sports talk shows Barbaro’d this week was whether Ndamukong Suh is a dirty player. The “dirty” accusations stemmed from Suh wrestling Andy Dalton to the ground during a preseason game last week (video here). It wasn’t the first time Suh ripped the head off a quarterback (remember this video?), but it’s hard for me to view the Dalton play as evidence supporting the claim that Suh is dirty. As far as I can see it, that play happened legally within the flow of the game.
In order to determine whether Suh is a dirty player, you must first define “dirty.” When I think of a dirty player, I think of someone who delivers late hits. I think of someone who constantly hits people in the knees, head, or nuts. I think of someone who jumps into a pile late. That’s what being a dirty player means to me. A player who hits hard and relentlessly pursues quarterbacks is not dirty.
One of the biggest issues I’ve had with the NFL enforcing penalties and fines against defensive players is that they don’t take into consideration the context of a play. They don’t realize that players are going full speed and that many hard hits happen by accident. Defensive players have one mindset: kill the quarterback. If they pause to think about late hits, they won’t get the sack. I’m not saying a blatantly late hit is acceptable, but I am saying if a player has wrapped up the quarterback, I expect him to finish the tackle.
Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham made the same argument in support of his star player.
‘Tis the season for predictions. Forget the fact that we might not have football in 2011, because it won’t stop coaches and players from making outlandish statements about the future of their teams. Rex Ryan has already guaranteed — twice — that his Jets will win the Super Bowl next season. If you think that claim is far-fetched, you’ll love what Ndamukong Suh had to say when asked about the 2011 Detroit Lions.
“I don’t see there’s a reason why we can’t be 16-0,” Suh told the NFL Network via Pro Football Talk. “As long as we put in that hard work throughout – I don’t know if we’re going to have OTAs, but throughout camp and getting ready for that 2011 season — as long as we stay healthy and are putting in that work, I think we should be happy with what we end up with.”
Easy, killer. The Lions finished 2010 on a four-game winning streak, and the future certainly looks promising. They have tremendous young pieces on offense in Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best. Suh is a highly capable defensive anchor, but Detroit should probably aim a bit lower than 16-0, at least for next season. After all, their last winning season was 10 years ago.
Having said that, I have no problem with Suh saying what he said. The goal every week is to win, right? With that in mind, every team should be confident they can go 16-0 next year, otherwise you are anticipating losses. Winning teams aren’t built on losing attitudes.
Coaching quiz: if your place kicker suffers an injury in the middle of a game, who do you bring in to do the kicking? If you answered “your 307-pound defensive tackle,”Jim Schwartz wants you on his staff. When Lions kicker Jason Hanson was unable to attempt an extra point after injuring himself on a field goal attempt, Schwartz called on Ndamukong Suh to attempt the kick. Suh banged it off the upright and missed, preventing Detroit from taking a 14-10 lead. As a result, they now lead the Jets by only a field goal.
Regardless of the outcome, the attempt was quite the site. I’ve seen linemen attempting kicks in high school a few times, but I must say this is the first time I’ve seen a 300-plus pounder line up for a kick. You can scope out the Ndamukong Suh extra point video here.
If you missed this play over the weekend then you have to see it. With the memory of Ndamukong Suh’s monstrous Big 12 Championship game against Texas where he had four and a half sacks and tossed Colt McCoy around rag doll-style fresh in our minds, Suh had his first “I am here to dominate” moment in the NFL. Playing in Detroit’s third preseason game Saturday, Suh got a hold of Browns quarterback Jake Delhomme and spiked him to the ground like a volleyball. Donkey Kong got a personal foul flag on the play, but boy, was it worth it. Check out this must-see video of Ndamukong Suh on Jake Delhomme:
Lions fans are hoping there’s plenty more of that to come. I can’t even remember the last player to enter the league with as much animosity towards quarterbacks. I’m guessing Suh will be on Roger Goodell’s most wanted list by the end of the year if he keeps up this act. I hope he does.
Video Credit: YouTube user CastleDragon78