Suh: “We’ve continued to rebel against that and prove that we’re a team to be reckoned with.”

Posted by Tara Altman on January 3, 2012 – 5:58 pm

“Defensively, we obviously didn’t play well against Green Bay. We gave up too many points and that’s something that for whatever reason happened. We’re just happy and lucky enough to be in the situation that we are, going into the playoffs, and that that game really doesn’t matter anymore. Obviously, I looked at it – we’re on a short week and didn’t have a chance to look at it as a team – but obviously it was addressed.

“The most important thing now is what’s at hand. You’re wasting time if you’re dwelling on the previous game. Something that I’ve learned very quickly in this league is that you have to have a quick loss of memory with the good and the bad, because the next game is the most important game, especially in this situation going into the playoffs.

“We did what we were supposed to do this season. In my opinion, I always expected to be in the playoffs. When I first came out in the draft people told me we have some good pieces, but we were a few years away from being in the playoffs. I never believed that. I saw something different and we’ve continued to kind of rebel against that and prove that we’re a team to be reckoned with. With 10 wins, that’s a good start, it’s not the best start, but it’s a good start, and now it’s back to 0-0. It’s a new season and whoever goes undefeated is going to be considered the best. We want to be that undefeated team. There’s no question that our regular season helped us, but like I said, it really doesn’t matter now.

“The biggest thing I’ve noticed with the Saints, particularly their offense, is that they live off of big plays. When I was watching that game when we played against them in December, we obviously helped them to continue to have big plays with allowing drives to be sustained with penalties and things of that sort. The biggest thing that we need to do on the defensive side of the ball is make them prove that they can drive the ball on us and take us down all the way from 90, 80 yards and score, punch it in, not to just allow them to throw a 50-yard pass and then go from there to another 30-yard pass and a touchdown. You have to make them drive the ball, and really, third down is always a key thing. You need to put them in tough situations and make them prove that they can get out of those tough situations. As a defense, that’s what we always want to do, put them behind the eight ball and make big plays.

“It’s a great opportunity to go against them, they obviously have a lot of Pro Bowlers on their offensive line, so it’s always a great challenge. I’m excited to be able to play in that stadium, I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and it’s going to be a fun opportunity.”

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Suh: “It’s definitely exciting to be heading into this last game knowing we’re in the playoffs.”

Posted by Tara Altman on December 28, 2011 – 4:16 pm

“It was definitely a great team that we beat. There’s a lot of Pro Bowlers on that team. Obviously a Pro Bowl quarterback in Philip Rivers, as you saw with the rosters coming out last night. Being able to limit him to things that he didn’t want to do, and limiting them to a pretty small amount of yards as a total offense was good.

“Obviously our offense did a tremendous job of helping us on the defensive side. We were hardly on the field in the first half and the same thing in the second half. As a defensive player that’s good, but you do get a little bored.

“It’s always a big thing for us to want to stop the run. The Chargers weren’t a big, big running team, although they had a lot of good running backs back there, and a good friend in Ryan Matthews – stopping him is always exciting, and getting the trash talking rights. It’s always good to be able to have a good run defense against a good team like that.

“I think Green Bay has been pretty consistent with staying with their game plan and keeping their quarterback the same way, running the offense in the same exact way. Obviously you can see that (Aaron) Rodgers is aware of some weak links, or not necessarily weak links, but mismatches where he might need to move his feet a little bit more. I remember watching the game against Chicago, he moved his feet quite a bit in comparison to the beginning of the year where he wasn’t. You notice things of that sort.

“They moved the ball pretty well against us last game, but the one thing that we did was hold them to a pretty good third down percentage. Basically we have to beat them and slow them down on first and second down and then third down we know we always take care of business, we’ve been known for that. But its’ a matter of getting to that third down position. First and second down is very important to us and that’s something that we definitely need to work on and is something that we’ve been working on all season.

“For me, it’s definitely exciting to be heading into this last game knowing we’re in the playoffs. It’s always exciting being in the playoffs in the pros and I don’t expect this to be the last time that we do this. It’s a great way to start my sophomore year in the NFL and it’s a good way to really ‘start’ the end of the season.

“I’ve played in rain, I’ve played in snow, I’ve played in the bitter cold, I went to Nebraska with an outdoor field. The weather in Green Bay is definitely not an issue to me. I saw that it was 20 degrees when Chicago was playing them. I look forward to it, still being in no sleeves.”

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Suh: “I’m just happy to be back here with my teammates.”

Posted by Tara Altman on December 14, 2011 – 4:49 pm

“Watching the last two games from home was something that I had to deal with. Obviously, I would have liked to be here with my teammates, but in these circumstances I couldn’t be. I just had to deal with it the best way I knew and move past it. I’m lucky enough to be back now and I’m just happy to be back here with my teammates, getting ready to go to Oakland this weekend.

“It’s always exciting for me to play football, but this will be the first time in the last two weeks that I get to play, so I’m looking forward to that and to being on the road. There’s great odds at stake with this game and it’s all in our hands.

“Watching the defensive line, Nick (Fairley) had a fast start at New Orleans and it was unfortunate that he got nicked up and wasn’t able to finish, but things happen in the game of football and we all understand that injuries and setbacks are always a part of the game. We’re happy to have him back now, and hopefully for this weekend, so that way both Nick and myself will have an opportunity to get back on the field and help the team reach the goals that we have set out for ourselves.

“Losing guys, particularly to injuries, is the name of the NFL, especially late in the year because guys bodies get tired for whatever reasons and injures pop-up. There are also other things that you have to deal with and coach (Schwartz) has said that many, many times. We have everybody that we need in this facility and guys are going to have to step up at particular points because injuries and certain things happen. I think my teammates have done that and I look forward to being a part of it for the last three games that we have for sure and obviously, if we take care of business, we look forward to getting into the playoffs.”

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Suh: “If you’re not gap sound and if you can’t recognize those things, then it becomes a problem for you.”

Posted by Tara Altman on November 22, 2011 – 4:06 pm

“The game was obviously a slow start, we don’t want to start out that way; but, we’ll take the way it ended with the win and the way that we battled back throughout the second, third and fourth quarter.

“I felt like the Chicago and Carolina game were very similar in the aspect that we didn’t allow the big plays that happened against us affect us because we combatted them. That’s what you have to do in this league. You have to combat big plays because of the type of athletes and the type of players that are in the NFL. You have to be able to limit them, but if they do happen, combat them and make them your own.

“The Packers offense in the running game is very simple. They run a lot of stretch, lead opens, some pretty basic plays. The one way that they get you within that simplistic running game is through a ton of different formations and different ways that they get to the same play, which throws people off. If you’re not gap sound and if you can’t recognize those things, then it becomes a problem for you.

“On top of that, their passing game, they have a great passing attack. They have six solid receivers on their team, especially with a rookie coming in. It’s something that their quarterback is definitely a big part of. Just like Peyton Manning is to Indianapolis, Aaron Rodgers is to Green Bay.

“Playing football on or near Thanksgiving has always been a big thing for me, especially since I got to college. We played the day after Thanksgiving at Nebraska, we were always a lucky team to be a part of that. That was always a fun game and now I’m lucky enough to be part of a great organization, a great team in the NFL that plays on Thanksgiving, and on top of that, we’re the first game of the day. It’s good to be around that tradition. I’m looking forward to, starting this year, ending the bad record that we have had the past 10 years (on Thanksgiving).

“I have a good amount of family and friends coming in, it will definitely be a full house; but it’s always good to have family and friends in. I’ll be eating my mom’s lovely, lovely food, relaxing and watching some other games. There are two other games after us, so I’ll watch that second game and other than that, just hang out. I’m very glad that we’re the first game, so I’m looking forward to taking care of business and having a happy weekend.”

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Suh: “We always have the opportunity to get after quarterbacks and exploit them.”

Posted by Tara Altman on November 16, 2011 – 5:38 pm

“Chicago was a tough loss, but we aren’t in a do or die situation; we’re in a situation where we can continue to master and take care of our destiny. I know as a team we want to finish up these last seven games strong, starting with Carolina, and it will be good to be back at home.

“Against the Bears, not all three phases were working together and we obviously – on the defensive side of the ball – didn’t get turnovers to help our offense, which is what we should be doing. We gave up too many turnovers and I think that was the biggest reason to why the score got so lopsided.

“We did do a lot of good things, but we didn’t do enough to win, and that’s all that really matters. You can play as best as you want, but still allowing one big play in the run game and maybe two big plays in the pass game – it’s not enough. We didn’t get the turnovers for our offense to put points on the board, and that’s what we do as a defense. This is why it’s a team game, you give and take and help each other out when needed.

“Things happen, and we’re lucky enough to have a strong team, a mature team – and young at that – that can learn, forget and move past this to get ready for the next game.

“Looking at Carolina, I think turnovers have been a factor in their games, which is a good thing for us. I think they’ve also been in a lot of shootouts. Their defense hasn’t played as well as I’m sure they had hoped, and as far as I know, they’ve been plagued with injuries; but that’s the name of the game and you have to be able to bounce back from those types of things.

“With Cam Newton, I think opportunities definitely present themselves with rookie quarterbacks, but I think that’s the way it is with all quarterbacks as long as you execute your game plan. With as well schooled as we are as a defensive line and a defensive unit, as well as the great coaches that we have, we always have the opportunity to get after quarterbacks and exploit them.

“They have a great running game. They have a great running back in a good friend of mine, Jonathan Stewart, as well as No. 34 (DeAngelo Williams), it’s a great tandem, and you can throw Cam Newton in there too. Steve Smith is a hell of a wide receiver, has been to the Pro Bowl many times and his veteran status continues to produce. They have a great group of guys that we’re going to have to watch and I’m just highlighting the guys you might be seeing. They also have Jeremy Shockey and (Greg) Olsen, who used to play in Chicago, those are guys who can hurt you as well.

“It doesn’t feel like we’ve lost three of our last four games, and for whatever reasons we’ve lost, I don’t really care. It’s over and done with. We need to focus on these next seven games which are very important for us to get where we need to get to.”

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Suh: “It wasn’t a horrible start, but it wasn’t the best start that I was looking for.”

Posted by Tara Altman on November 9, 2011 – 5:15 pm

“During the bye week I relaxed with some good friends, old friends, some teammates and so forth down in Miami. I wanted to see some sun. I got a good amount of relaxation, sitting by the pool, had great dinners and enjoyed my friends’ company. It was fun to be there and look around. I’ve only been to Miami twice, so it was nice to go back down and check it out on my own terms.

“I watched all of my rushes during the bye and just thought back on how I’ve played throughout the season, where I’m at right now, where we’re at right now as a team and how I can better myself to help better the team. I wasn’t necessarily pleased with how I started the first half of the season. It wasn’t a horrible start, but it wasn’t the best start that I was looking for. I’m looking to be able to come back in the second half with a fresh start, newfound energy and get ready to go in balls to the wall.

“We’ve got eight games to take care of, starting first with a great rival in Chicago when we go in there on Sunday. It’ll be exciting. I want to take care of these eight games and get to the playoffs, but first and foremost, we have to take care of the first game which is at Chicago.

“We played Chicago pretty early in the season, and got to see them when they were down, now we get to see them when they’re up as a team and it’s an opportunity to play them at their supposed best. I look forward to going against a very potent offense, which they are right now. They seem to be going on all cylinders which is fine for us, we love a challenge and we’re definitely ready to defeat this challenge and take care of business.

“As for the ‘Dirtiest Player Award,’ for the defensive players who said that they would want me in front of them, I appreciate that, anything else other than that, I really don’t care. That’s not going to win me a Super Bowl and it’s not going to win me an NFC Championship; when it does, then I’ll care. When it’s a valid award of being an All-Pro, a Pro Bowler and things of that caliber, then I actually recognize and appreciate those.”

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Suh: “I’m going to have a newfound energy going into the second half of the season.”

Posted by Tara Altman on November 2, 2011 – 4:53 pm

“Our main goal was to get to Tim Tebow, we wanted to rattle him and not necessarily speed his process up, but he’s a guy that needs to be comfortable in the pocket to be able to deliver great throws and even sometimes under duress he makes pretty good throws. We wanted to make sure we shut down that run and that gave us a lot of opportunity to get a lot of sacks. The defensive line did a great job of doing that and my teammates did an excellent job of getting back there and getting him down.

“I think the state of the defense right now is wanting to continue to be more consistent and not allow big plays. I think that’s the only thing that’s really hurt us in the past, allowing big runs and big passes, which have led to scores, but as soon as we combated that in the last couple of weeks, we’ve been pretty successful.

“I think this is a perfect way to go into the bye week, being half way through the season, being not too bad at 6-2, learning and getting our health back. For me, I’m going to come back and my tank’s not going to be on F it’s going to be on A because I’m going to have a new found energy going into the second half of the season. I’m going to remove myself from football for a little bit and come back with a very distinct focus and drive to get us to Indianapolis.

“It depends on how I feel, but most of the time I usually workout everyday through the bye week, but it’s really just kind of keeping my mind off of football. I think that’s something that I have to do even during the week when we are playing. I think Friday and Saturday are my days to kind of remove myself in the afternoon, during that time is when I clear my head of everything football and get that new found energy that I get when I come back from Saturday night.

“I like to watch football when I’m away from the field, I try and watch it as a fan, which is very hard because I break it down so much, analyzing stuff. I try to watch it, but I wish the NBA was on because I would watch an NBA game, or I’d go to an NBA game; but I’ll figure something out.”

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Suh: “My mentality is to never disrespect the game or disrespect the guys that have come before me.”

Posted by Tara Altman on October 26, 2011 – 4:20 pm

“It was a good game. Obviously, we didn’t come out on the right end of the stick, but I think we learned a lot of good things. It’s a matter of us continuing to learn from these mistakes that we’ve made, that have caused us to not come out on the right end of these games. Now, we have an opportunity to move past it, as I felt we did on Monday, and now we’re getting focused on taking care of the business on the road again as we play Denver this Sunday.

“With a win, you need to approach it like a loss, it’s maybe a little more in depth with an (actual) loss because you didn’t come out on the right end of it, but you need to have the 36 hour rule. Live and learn from it and move on because there’s nothing you can do with that game anymore except to learn from your mistakes and not let it happen again. I think that’s the biggest thing you need to do and I think we’ve done that as a team. I think we came out today with a great practice, and obviously we need to finish strong going into this bye week.

“Tim Tebow is a quarterback that’s been in a lot of big games. He just got his first start of this year, but he’s definitely played a good amount in that offense, he played a good amount last year, and now at this point in time in his career he’s getting the opportunity to take that team by the ropes and really make the most out of it. I think he did that last week, bringing the team back in Miami and now he’s able to get home and maybe feel a little more comfortable with his fans behind him and so forth.

“Ultimately, us as a defense and as a front four, we want to go in and cause havoc and we feel that if we shut down the run as we want to do every single game, making them one-dimensional, they’ll have a tough time beating us because we feel we have the type of players that can keep them on their heels and force them to play the way we want them to and if that happens we should definitely come out with a win.

“My character and mindset when approaching the game of football, a sport that I love and have grown to love, my mentality is to never disrespect the game or disrespect the guys that have come before me. I only want to live up to the things that they’ve done in the past and try to exceed them and I think that’s what they would expect and hope for. That’s my mindset and approach to the game.

“With that, really being in everything, with the team that I’m on, the type of players that I’m around, I play for them and the coaches and the true fans that we have that stick by us no matter what, that don’t waiver because we may have had two stumbles. I think this team is continuing to really grow and I think we’re only going to get better. I think these two losses at home are only going to allow us to get stronger. We don’t want to allow that to ever happen again at home for the rest of the regular season and hopefully moving forward into the playoffs.”

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Suh: “I think this obviously put a bad taste in our mouth.”

Posted by Tara Altman on October 19, 2011 – 4:35 pm

“It was definitely not an easy task to deal with that loss, especially with the type of success that we’ve had, and not losing since last December; but that’s something that’s good. I’m not saying we’re glad to have this taste in our mouth, but maybe it’s a good thing to have this now, you’d rather have it now then anytime during the playoffs.

“We’ve had some close calls, we’ve obviously come back from some tough downs during games, and it was just that we couldn’t overcome the mistakes that we made. Not to take any credit away from San Francisco and the way that they played, because they did play pretty well, but we made a lot of mistakes that they ended up capitalizing on and I think that’s one of the reasons that they won.

“I think this team has a want to, to win. With the maturity and the drive that everybody has in that locker room, if we would have ended up at 16-0 or 24-0, whatever it may be, we still would have had that same drive. I think this obviously put a bad taste in our mouth that we don’t like and we’re going to do everything in our power, and the way that we came out in practice today, that we don’t ever want to have this taste again throughout the rest of the season. If we do it’s going to have to be a fluke, that we didn’t give that game away or make a ton of mistakes to lose the game.

“I think we play pretty solid defense over all, but it’s a matter sometimes that for whatever reason we make a mistake here and there and we let out a big play. That’s where we really have struggled and I think earlier in the games what we’ve done is we’ve allowed a big play that has gotten us to, or allowed that team to get down to the 20- or 30-yard line and we’ve held them to a field goal. As of late, primarily this last game, we’ve let out big plays and gotten them down to the 2-yard line or the 5-yard line and we’ve ended up not holding them to a field goal and allowing them a touchdown, which is not like us. We need to get back to our old form in holding teams to field goals and really holding them out of field goal range like we’ve done in the past.

“Atlanta has a very powerful offense. I think they’re very well balanced from receivers, to running backs, to their offensive line, to their fullbacks – they’re a very balanced offense and have a great quarterback at that, one that can manage the game really well and that’s what they expect from him. It’s a team that definitely poses a big challenge for us in all phases, not just in the running game, but as well in the passing game with them having a well-schooled quarterback who has played in tough games and in tough situations. It’s exciting, it will be a lot of fun. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back on the football field and having the opportunity to go out there and win.”

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Suh: “They elected not to go for the field goal, that’s really kind of a slap in the face to us.”

Posted by Tara Altman on October 13, 2011 – 4:37 pm

“That was definitely in the top two for the loudest crowds I’ve ever been a part of. It’s exciting, we expect more and more of that. The fans had a huge impact on the game, from just being hyped and ready to go into the game. I was so surprised that when the Tigers had a good play during our pre-game warm-ups, the crowd erupted and it wasn’t even half full in the stadium. With all of those false starts from Chicago, they definitely deserve a game ball.

“That long drive (in the first quarter), when I look back on that and watch it on film, I don’t think they did a lot to us. It was more that we did a lot to ourselves, some penalties here and there, they obviously made some good plays. (Matt) Forte had maybe one or two good runs in there, but we realized we were getting a little too close to our end of the field, so we tightened up, took care of business and made some plays where we needed to make them and got ourselves off the field.

“They elected not to go for the field goal, and that’s really kind of a slap in the face to us when they’re in field goal range, so we were like, ‘We’re going to stop you and get the ball back to our offense and you’re not going to get any points,’ that’s what we did.

“It felt good to stop them, especially me being one of those guys that got to be a part of that stop. I think the right side did an excellent job in forcing their offensive linemen back and then Kyle (Vanden Bosch) and Corey (Williams) and I got to get off the ball and tackle Forte from the back. I let my non-verbal actions speak for me, giving my flex to the crowd. That was my excitement.

“Stopping the running game is something that we always pride ourselves on continuing to do. It’s been weird this year, for whatever reason, the majority of the teams that we’ve played through these first five games have been big running teams and that’s what they center around their scheme. I think it’s something they end up playing really well into what we emphasize, and that’s something that we want to shut down and be able to get after the pass. It’s been good and we’ve been able to do that, especially allowing them to break some good runs off in the first half, and then in the second half completely shut them down.

“The 49ers are a very conservative offense, they don’t take very many risks and that’s something that I think is good for us when we shut down what they want to do, which is their run game, and force them into long-yardage situations, get them behind the eight ball and having them have to come back because our offense is putting points on the board and putting points on their defense. That puts them in situations that they don’t want to be in. I think that’s something great for us to have, it’s just a matter of us going out and executing and putting them in those toughsituations.”

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