Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has made inappropriate plays a new Thanksgiving tradition. That has helped make him a divisive national figure that wins player polls for the NFL's dirtiest player.
On the same day that Suh learned he won't be suspended for kicking Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, a compelling interview with Suh came out in ESPN The Magazine. The interview took place before Thanksgiving, but the themes still resonate.
"I'm a storyline," Suh told David Fleming. "I'm the chosen one for negative stories and controversial things. If I worried about it all, I would go insane. I just want to be a part of something that's great. Then I won't have to say anything, because that will always speak for itself."
In the piece, Suh was read quotes from a variety of different people, including former NFL star Mean Joe Green, Olympic track and field runner Lolo Jones and online commenters. He was then asked for his reaction. Suh's most telling response came to a suggestion from Greene that he shouldn't lose his fire.
"My fire is still there," Suh said. "And when I get a full opportunity to unleash my fire, it's like the hit I put on (Jay) Cutler. By no means am I trying to hurt him, but I am going 100 mph and trying to get him as quickly and as hard down to the ground as possible. That's the way I show my dominance, and I am going to continue to do that. If that situation happens again with Cutler, I'm gonna hit him the same way, if not harder."
Suh regrets his actions on Thanksgiving in 2011 against the Green Bay Packers and says he's learned from the mistake. But it doesn't sound like he's going to change his style of play anytime soon.