Ndamukong Suh is already being mentioned by most around the NFL as one day being among the greatest players at his position. Then you realize he's played defensive tackle in all of 21 NFL games.
Suh's brief career with the Detroit Lions has already earned him a reputation as an unrelenting monster on the field. Intimidating. Ruthless, sometimes to the point of drawing penalties for his hits on quarterbacks. His opponents -- even those he considers close friends -- recognize Suh's intent to cause pain.
It's possible no one believes him, but Suh says there's no part of his game that plays on intimidating the opposing team.
"For me, I don't think any part of my game is intimidation or fear factor," Suh told reporters during a conference call Thursday. "It's more of, either you need to guard me, or I'm going to hit your quarterback. … It's not necessarily me putting fear, of like I want you to be scared of me. It's the fear that if you don't take care of business, and study, and come up with a great plan, I'm going to hit him, and the other guys I play next to are going to hit him as well."
Of the field, though, there's a different Suh. He's stoic, chill and noticeably quiet. It's as if there's a switch that gets flipped and the Lions get the NFL version of the Incredible Hulk. Suh said he had several friends on the other side of the ball in the Monday night win over the Chicago Bears -- particularly Zack Bowman and Amobi Okoye -- but those friendships end between the lines.
"For me, to have dinner with (Okoye) before the game, with his family and some of my friends, the next day I'm not going to speak to him," Suh explained. "I'm not going to high-five him. I'm not going to say anything to him, because it's all about business. When I step in between the lines, we're not friends. That's just the way it has to be."