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Lions players say loss of Suh has been 'overblown'

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Detroit Lions players are tired of hearing how much worse off they will be with Ndamukong Suh no longer on the team.

"I think some of (those concerns) are overblown," defensive end Jason Jones said, via MLive.com. "I think so. I just think with the caliber of player (Haloti) Ngata is ... I don't think he's a slouch."

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It's true that Ngata isn't a slouch. At this stage of his career, he's also not one of the top two or three defensive players in the NFL, like Suh, who signed with the Miami Dolphins in March.

Losing a player of Suh's caliber is never good, no matter how it's spun within an organization. It also rarely happens, which is what makes this situation so interesting -- and why players are tired of answering questions about it.

What once was a strength cratered into a question mark. It wasn't just losing Suh. Nick Fairley -- who played well before getting injured -- and C.J. Mosley are also gone. In their stead are Ngata -- learning a new scheme -- Tyrunn Walker and Caraun Reid, both of whom are unproven, among other unknown quantities.

On the plus side, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is back. The Lions' defense turned around quickly in Austin's first year. It will be intriguing to see how much more creative he gets, especially with a bevy of linebackers and questions up front.

"Suh didn't make the defense," linebacker DeAndre Levy said Tuesday, per the Detroit News. "We had a lot of guys last year playing their best football. Obviously, Suh is a very great player. He brought a lot to the table, but it's up to the guys up front to kind of embrace that challenge."

The latest Around The NFL Podcast features Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo sharing his thoughts on the upcoming season.

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