Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told 790-AM in Atlanta that he wished the organization had done more to address defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh's on-field behavior problems before Suh earned a suspension for stomping an opponent on Thanksgiving Day.
"Itâs funny how things go. I think, early on, he had a couple of borderline sort of plays and, looking back on it, probably not enough people talked to him in those situations. And then when this thing happened, probably too many people talked to him," Mayhew said Wednesday, according to the Detroit Free-Press. "He had everybody -- the guy driving the bus to the games had an opinion on what Ndamukong needed to do. I got letters from every sports psychologist and counselor in the Detroit metro area."
Suh had no personal fouls in the three games after his suspension; he had six penalties, a disqualification and three more personal fouls in the Lionsâ first 11 games.
"Ndamukongâs a very, very intelligent person, intelligent football player," Mayhew said. "... And heâs going to come through this thing. Heâs actually come through it, as far as Iâve seen. He came back with a great attitude, played great down the stretch, and weâre going to put this behind him."
Mayhew also bemoaned the Lions' bad luck with running backs this season. Second-year speedster Jahvid Best missed the final 10 games of the season with concussion problems, while 2011 draft pick Mikel Leshoure missed the entire season after tearing an Achilles tendon in training camp.
"We really became one-dimensional down the stretch," Mayhew said. "It was a good dimension. ... But just having a run game and having solid players you can go to who can run the ball -- Kevin Smith came in and performed well for us, but Jahvid Best, we feel, is a very special player. Mikel Leshoure, we think, showed he was a special player during training camp.
"Those guys would have upgraded our offense tremendously."