Schwartz expecting big season from Suh

Posted by ttwentyman on July 25, 2013 – 3:06 pm

Roary poses with DT Ndamukong Suh.

Roary poses with DT Ndamukong Suh at the 2013 Pro Bowl.

One would hesitate to say that a player who’s already been an All Pro in his career is poised to take a big step forward in his development, but that’s exactly what Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said he expects of defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh this season.

“I thought Ndamukong had the best spring he’s had since he got here,” Schwartz said Thursday on the eve of training camp. “ I think he’s poised to have an outstanding year.”

Suh was back to his disruptive ways last year after — by his standards — a subpar 2011 season. Suh recorded eight sacks and 35 tackles last year, but that was still short of the numbers he put up as a rookie when he stormed onto the scene with 66 tackles and 10 sacks.

Suh was an All Pro and Pro Bowler as a rookie in 2010. He was neither in 2011, but earned his second Pro Bowl nod last season.

“He’s always been in great shape, but his understanding of the defense and his execution of that was very, very impressive in the spring,” Schwartz said.

“I really think he can (take a jump forward).”

Suh makes up one half of what could be one of the better defensive tackle tandems in the NFL, if third-year player Nick Fairley shows more consistency in his game.

The Lions’ defensive scheme is built around the defensive line, and if Schwartz is right about Suh, and his number could reach or even exceed those of 2010, the retooled defense is already off to a good start.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 8 Comments »

NFL gaffe puts Pro Bowlers in jerseys donning pre-2003 Lions logo

Posted by ttwentyman on January 28, 2013 – 2:46 pm

Ndamukong Suh

Photo: USA Today

The NFL fined 49ers running back Frank Gore $10,500 for wearing his socks too low in the NFC Championship Game.

The league is notoriously strict when it comes to enforcing its dress code. Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson was fined $5,000 last season for not showing white in his socks during a Monday Night game.

For a league so obsessed with its uniform, it was funny to see Ndamukong Suh and Don Muhlbach wearing a pre-2003 Detroit Lions logo on their Pro Bowl jerseys Sunday night.

That’s two logos ago for those who are curious.

The NFL is solely responsible for the jerseys players wear every time they step on the field. The team does no alterations to the uniform.

It’s unclear if the league plans on fining itself for the gaffe.

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Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 7 Comments »

Day 4 in Hawaii, Ohana Day at Aloha Stadium

Posted by Tara Altman on January 27, 2013 – 1:05 pm

Roary poses with DT Ndamukong Suh.

Roary poses with DT Ndamukong Suh.

“Day 4 meant a bright and early wake up and an extremely fun event.

“Its’ Ohana Day at Aloha Stadium! Ohana day is a family day open practice at Aloha Stadium where families got the chance to come in, watch both AFC and NFC squads practice, had a chance at autographs from players, mascots and cheerleaders, and watched a performance by the Pro Bowl Cheerleaders.

“It was an exciting day and a lot of fun to see the fans from all around the nation coming together for the event. I even ran into a certain Defensive Tackle while I was there, Detroit Lions’ Ndamukong Suh that is.

“After the Ohana Day event, my day wasn’t even close to being over. I took a little bit of the time to go and visit the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. Taking the time to visit the area, learn about what took place, as well as pay my respects to those individuals is a memory that I will definitely carry with me forever.  Once I had finished up at Pearl Harbor it was time to get cleaned up before the NFL on Location Party.

“It was great getting to meet fans from all over, take photos, and even get a little dancing in with some fellow mascots. But now it’s time for me to sign off and get some shut eye before tomorrow.

“It’s Pro Bowl Time! GO LIONS!!!”

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Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy unite in Hawaii!

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on January 25, 2013 – 5:03 pm

Ndamukong Suh

(L-R) Henry Melton, Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh

Remember the days of Ndamukong Suh vs. Gerald McCoy in preparation for the 2010 NFL Draft?

Fast forward three years and the pair is together in Hawaii along with Chicago’s Henry Melton for the 2013 Pro Bowl.

Here, Melton, McCoy and Suh are posed following the NFC’s Wednesday practice.

Suh posted this photo on his Facebook and Twitter profiles!

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Ndamukong Suh to be featured in upcoming ESPN The Magazine article

Posted by ttwentyman on November 26, 2012 – 4:49 pm

Ndamukong Suh will be featured in an upcoming ESPN The Magazine article. The Lions defensive tackle talked about his image and how he believes the Lions will win “multiple” Super Bowls.

“I’m a storyline,” Suh told the magazine. “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.”

Here are some other excerpts:

I hated for that to happen to him (on Thanksgiving), and I’m sure he does now too. With time he’ll learn how to funnel his fire, but I hope he never loses that fire, because he has to have it to play that position. – Joe Greene, Hall of Fame defensive tackle for Pittsburgh Steelers

“I love that comment,” Suh told the magazine. “I definitely understand how to channel my aggression in a productive way. There are many reasons. One is I went through that situation last Thanksgiving. But also, any man, any child, grows up. You learn from your mistakes or you go backward. I’m the kind of person who wants to move forward. My fire is still there. And when I get a full opportunity to unleash my fire, it’s like the hit I put on 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 going to hit him the same way, if not harder.”

We are not currently dating. However, if the Lions win the Super Bowl and he wants to use the ring to propose to me, then we’ll see. — Lolo Jones, U.S. Olympian

“She’s a good friend, and we are not dating. We will not be getting engaged, because I won’t be giving that Super Bowl ring up. Maybe I’ll use the second one I get for that. I do see multiple Super Bowl rings in my future, especially with the team we have now. We’re a team where if we don’t make mistakes, we are insanely dangerous.”

Suh could be the nicest guy in the world for the rest of his career and he’ll always be the “dirtiest.” Might as well embrace it. – AnthGab, Sportsnation poll

“Embrace the role? I don’t know. People want to say, ‘We did a poll with 100 players out of 1,800 in the league who say you’re dirty.’ Do I really care? No. Now, if you got 1,800 out of 1,800 who said I’m dirty, would I care then? Nope. If you find my aggressive and dominating play dirty, then that’s your opinion. But I would assume most people want someone who is going to do anything and everything within the lines to win for their team, because I know I would.”

I have listened to the media hype about Suh since he got in the league … I have never thought he was a very good pro player. Suh belongs on the all-hype team. – Anonymous GM to Pro Football Weekly

“I’m not going to value your opinion if you don’t have the balls to say who you are, what team you work for and who you represent. That doesn’t seem like someone who has a job as a GM. That sounds like someone who used to have a job as a GM.”

Suh has not been the same player since the Stomp. – Caller on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit

“I’m not the same player — I’m a better player. I have a greater awareness now of how people look at you. Since that incident on Thanksgiving, there are a million cameras on me, so I have to understand that everything I do is being watched. I will always have to deal with that. But you can’t worry about it. My job is to defeat the guy in front of me, do it until he quits and then wait for them to send in the next guy.”

With all these traffic problems, he seems to be better at NASCARing all around America’s streets and highways than he is at playing ball. – Lions#20 on mlive

“That’s funny, but what am I supposed to say back to this person? I drove across almost the entire continent this summer with no issues. It’s always going to be, I’m an African-American guy who’s rich with a nice car and I sideswiped somebody who has a Ford Escort, or whatever it might be, and I’m going to be the bad guy.”

Suh just wants to dominate his opponent, and that’s just how it has to be on the football field. He puts pressure on everybody else to get on his level. – Panthers quarterback Cam Newton

“Cam’s words embody what I think a dominant defensive lineman should be: someone who affects the game on every single play for 16 games straight, a force who constantly gives offenses headaches and puts them under pressure. If I can do that in the middle, you can’t game-plan against it, whereas with a defensive end, you can shy away from that side of the field or bring in extra help.

“I also want the guys around me to do well and put up big numbers, because that’s a reflection on me. People forget that. If the guy next to you is playing well — I think Cliff Avril had 11 sacks last year — I feel like I helped. Even though it was a down year for me, it gives me joy to see one of my teammates doing so well. It’s not always about stats in this league, but to the outside world that’s what you are always going to be graded on, especially if you’re one of the elite guys. Any other regular defensive tackle with four sacks and 30-some-odd tackles, like I had last year, they’re in the Pro Bowl.”

What Suh did on Thanksgiving made me feel worse about being a lifelong Lions fan than the 0-16 season did or anything Matt Millen ever did. – Talitha0118 on

“I can understand someone feeling that way. It was definitely an embarrassing moment for our fans, and it was for me and my family. It’s something that will always be a part of the Lions, because I’m a part of the Lions. It’s something I will have to live with my entire life. But it was something you just have to grow from. I have grown tremendously from it. And it will never happen again.”

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 26 Comments »

Ndamukong Suh tells GQ Magazine he’s not a dirty player

Posted by ttwentyman on August 21, 2012 – 7:12 pm

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh recently sat down for a profile piece with GQ Magazine and talked about the stomp of Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith last year that earned him a two-game suspension, on being called a dirty player, on why he doesn’t let people get too close and much more.

Here are some excerpts:

On keeping a tight inner circle: “I don’t want anybody in my circle that’s a cancer to what I’m trying to create. So stay on the outside and make your opinions. They’re going to be meaningless to everything in the circle. The boundaries are up for me to keep, and a responsibility of my family, too.”

On being called a dirty player: “A dirty player is somebody who ultimately is trying to hurt somebody. There’s a huge difference. There’s no gray in that. Like, you have no conscience, no nothing, no guilt. I don’t have that mean streak in me. I don’t play angry. It’s not anger.”

On playing hard: “Go hard every single play. That’s how I’ve been taught. It’s like, I open the throttle too much? I get in trouble for opening my throttle…just like being on a jet. Like, you know, when they’re starting a plane, you just gradually, gradually throw it into full throttle. I’m always in full throttle. But they tell me now I need to be at three-quarters of a throttle.

On the stomp: “If you slow down and analyze anything, it’s going to look worse in my opinion. It was not intentional. If it was intentional, it could have been a lot worse. If I wanted to go out there to hurt somebody, I could hurt somebody. I don’t want any part of that.”

“I mean, if I wanted to hurt you, I’d go for your quarterback. Because me stopping your play is going to frustrate you more than me physically hurting you. Because I’m just that much better than you. That’s how I look at it. It’s like killing somebody with kindness.”

On quarterbacks he’s targeting: “I love hitting Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler. Ben Roethlisberger, I would like to go against him, because they say he’s one of the hardest to take down. I see that as a challenge, so I would love to take him down multiple times. Peyton Manning, oh, I would love that. I think Michael Vick, I did sack him, one of the most elusive quarterbacks to ever play the game. I took him down with one arm.”

Posted in Lions Insider Tim Twentyman | 12 Comments »

Megatron 4th on ESPN’s Top 200 NFL Players list; Suh, Stafford, Avril also ranked

Posted by Chrissie Wywrot on August 20, 2012 – 3:51 pm

ESPN has released its rankings of the top 200 NFL players, and the Lions are well-represented on their list.

Receiver Calvin Johnson is the highest-ranked non-quarterback at No. 4, trailing Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

“Johnson is an outstanding combination of size, strength and athleticism for the position,” ESPN wrote. “His length and strength create mismatches in most NFL secondaries.

“Opposing coordinators have to game-plan for him, and his impact is evident. He is physical with the ball after the catch and as a perimeter blocker. He wins most jump-ball opportunities and shows courage and concentration in traffic.”

Johnson had 96 receptions for 1,681 yards last season and scored 16 touchdowns.

Other Lions making the list: defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (33), quarterback Matthew Stafford (77) and defensive end Cliff Avril (113).

ESPN on Suh:

“Suh is a gifted interior defender for whom offensive coordinators have to account. He has excellent power to push the pocket in the passing game and hold the point as a run defender. He has great initial quickness with agility and balance to penetrate gaps.

“He is an instinctive player who feels pad pressure well. Suh bring a physical presence to the Lions’ defense that can intimidate his opponent, but he can also cost his team with unnecessary penalties.”

ESPN on Stafford:

“Stafford was able to stay healthy and had his most productive season of his short career in 2011. He has good size and athleticism with a powerful arm.

“He has improved his decision-making and was able to push the ball downfield more last season. He is best in the pocket but can improvise effectively to make a play downfield. Stafford is a talented, young signal-caller around whom the Lions can build.”

ESPN on Avril:

“Avril is an excellent athlete with great quickness off the edge. He is undersized but has deceptive strength to hold the point defending the run.

“Avril has expanded his pass-rush package with quick counter moves off his speed rush. He has good range in pursuit and chases down ball carriers from the back side. He has active hands to separate as a pass-rusher and set the edge versus the run. Avril wins with effort, instincts, technique and athleticism and should continue to make progress in future seasons.”

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Report: Suh sued for $1 million in damages from Oregon car crash last year

Posted by ttwentyman on July 26, 2012 – 8:50 pm

A woman involved in a car accident with Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is suing him for $1 million, according to reports by the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News.

The suit, filed in an Oregon court Thursday by Saadia Van Winkle, claims Suh engaged in negligence, reckless driving and intentional infliction of emotional distress when he crashed his 1970 Chevrolet Coupe into a curb, light pole, drinking fountain and tree on Dec. 3, 2011, in Portland.

Police said Suh was not impaired and was cooperative with officers after the accident. In the days following the accident, police amended their report after the passengers reported their injuries but had no plans to investigate the accident further.

Van Winkle’s attorney, Sarah Nelson, told the Detroit News her client suffered neck and back injuries, including a cut above her eye, requiring stitches.

“My client was bleeding at the scene, had a laceration above the right eye,” Nelson told the paper. “She still struggles with daily back pain and has got a scar above her right eye.”

A court date has not been set, according to The News.

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Suh looking to get back to rookie ways next season

Posted by ttwentyman on March 1, 2012 – 4:14 pm

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is the grand marshal for Sunday’s NASCAR Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Suh will give the signal to the drivers to start their engines.

Suh took time Wednesday to chat with the Doug & Wolf Show on KTAR-AM in Arizona.

During the interview, Ron Wolfley, a former Pro Bowl fullback with the Cardinals, asked Suh if he thought he was the best defensive tackle in the NFL.

“I think I have a lot of work ahead of myself to even be considered in that group,” Suh said. “There’s a lot of guys that are actually in the league right now that are quite good. One of them that I definitely consider a top defensive tackle is Haloti Ngata. He’s consistently doing it from year-in and year-out, and I look to kind of follow in those footsteps in being a consistent football player.”

Suh’s statistical production fell considerably from his All Pro rookie season on 2010 when he had 10 sacks and 66 tackles. Suh has four sacks and 36 tackles in 14 games last season.

“There’s a lot of things that I can improve,” he said. “There’s ways from my rookie season to last year and stats-wise and there are other ways from stats to helping my other teammates produce that I can get better at.”

Suh said he was he was in Detroit last week watching film and saw some mistakes that he had last year and said he was looking forward to correcting them heading into this season.

“I might have slipped a little bit in my sophomore season, but I look forward to picking up and getting back on that high horse of being a player and a guy on our particular football team that’s definitely relied on from the fan base, but not only that, my teammates.”

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Lions starting to feel the pain of the old rookie salary structure

Posted by ttwentyman on February 24, 2012 – 6:50 pm

The antiquated system of paying insanely high contracts to the top draft picks has now been replaced by a system that diverts that money to veteran players.

Unfortunately for the Lions, it came a little too late to help their current cap situation. The Lions don’t have a ton of salary cap space available for 2012, in part, because of the large contracts signed by high draft picks like Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh.

There is a silver lining for the Lions, though. At least they hit a homerun with each of the aforementioned picks and those players are now the young foundation of the team.

Heading into the final year of his rookie contract, Johnson’s cap number is around $22 million next season, which is why the Lions are hoping to sign an extension this offseason to reduce that number.

“Obviously, Calvin is going into his second contract and has a much higher base than some other players would have,” said Lions general manager Martin Mayhew at the NFL Scouting Combine Friday. “It’s an ongoing effect of drafting that high. I think originally, the idea and the concept was to help teams that hadn’t performed as well by letting them pick earlier. But what ended up happening over a period of time was that it hurt teams because they were locked into those deals.”

Count the Lions as one of those teams. And they could find themselves in similar situations with Stafford and Suh in the coming years.

“The system is a lot better now and makes a lot more sense,” Mayhew said. “The money should go to the veterans and that’s how the system is set up now. I like the way it is now.”

The Lions haven’t drafted as low as they are this year (23rd) since taking Robert Porcher with the 26th pick in the 1992 draft.

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