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Lions DT Suh says lockout helping him regain his mental edge

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, fresh off winning the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, said over the weekend that the biggest benefit he's realizing from the lingering lockout is the mental break.

"I don't think anything is more affected than our minds in the game of football," Suh said in an interview with, via the *Detroit Free Press*. "Obviously, we're well-tuned athletes, or we wouldn't be in the position that we are, but mentally, if you're not into it and you can't focus, there's no way you can physically get it done."

Suh addressed a wide range of topics during the interview, including his place on NFL Network's "The Top 100 Players of 2011." An All-Pro as a rookie, Suh placed 51st on the list generated from votes by his peers.

"That ranking isn't going to win me any games," Suh said. "Until that ranking can win me some games, then I'll actually care about it."

Another television topic brought to Suh's attention was the possibility of HBO's "Hard Knocks" featuring the Lions, although the team declined to participate.

"I don't know if we'd be a good fit," Suh said. "I think it would be great for the city to see what we're doing and so forth, but, in my personal opinion, I don't really like the limelight ... especially when I'm in a workout. That's probably one of the most annoying things that you sometimes have to encounter.

"I'm actually kinda glad we (declined the offer), because I'd like to keep nice and quiet, keep everything in-house, then we'll show what we've got on that football when we get out there that first game."

Suh, the second overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, was more animated when the topic of expectations was broached. He believes he could have accomplished even more than the team-high 10 sacks and 66 tackles he amassed last season.

"I'm definitely surprised that people feel like I could accomplish what I accomplished and even more than that, because I felt I left a lot of things on the field," he said. "People may have preconceived notions of me not being able to do something ... I'm gonna go out there and continue to prove it, not only for myself and my teammates, but to show anything is possible. To show younger guys coming up in the ranks that you don't want to be me, you can always be better than me."

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