Detroit Lions  

 

Suh believes he's aggressive, not dirty, in trenches for Lions

  • By NFL.com
More Columns >

It's easy to agree that Ndamukong Suh is a fearsome presence in the middle of the Detroit Lions' defensive line. But is the 2010 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year a dirty player?

That question was pushed to the forefront again this week after Suh was flagged for another personal-foul penalty, with Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton the victim in the Lions' preseason opener.

Suh grabbed Dalton high and threw him down with enough force to separate the quarterback from his helmet. Dalton's pass fell incomplete, and out came the yellow laundry.

Suh is developing a reputation, no doubt. But he doesn't believe he should be viewed in a negative light.

"There's always a fine line of dirtiness and a fine line of aggressiveness," Suh told the Detroit Free Press on Sunday. "I know to this point that in my own heart I haven't crossed that line by any means."

The league office disagrees if you look at Suh's discipline record. The defensive tackle has been fined twice for his rough tactics, with another likely to come for his encounter with Dalton.

Suh said changing the way he plays is out of the question.

"I'm never going to put myself in that position," he said. "I'm never ever going to put myself in a position to where it's 'should I or should I not?' It's either you do it or you don't. If he has the ball, then play."

Suh is of the opinion that slow-motion replays have the effect of making his efforts appear more brutal than they really are.

"You can always have your opinion when it's slow motion," Suh said. "But when it's fast and 100 miles an hour, 200 miles an hour, you see what you see. And I saw he had the ball, so I took him to the ground."

Fellow defensive tackle Corey Williams believes Suh is a victim of his own tenacity.

"It's really hard, because you work that hard to get to the quarterback, or you work that hard to get to the running back, you want to get them on the ground as hard as you can and as fast as you can," Williams said. "I know he ain't intentionally doing it. He's not trying to hurt him. He's just an aggressive player. He's just real physical."

Lions coach Jim Schwartz no doubt enjoys having an anchor to his defense that intimidates the opposition but said Suh needs to be smart about his play.

"It's a fine line, and you don't want to take aggressiveness away," Schwartz said. "But you also need to be aware, and we need to do a better job with that."

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop

NFL News
CONTENT
15