Wednesday, February 1, 2012

An unbiased view of Ndamukong Suh

Suh's back in the news. It seems he's joined the seemingly endless string of talking sports heads on the tube and even offered up an interview to ESPN reporter Hannah Storm. That will likely be aired repeatedly until either people watching at home go on a jihad, and storm Bristol, Conn. -- home of the 4-letter network, or they find somebody or something else more interesting. In today's rapidly evolving news cycles, I'd bet on the latter. Besides, nobody knows where the hell Bristol is anyway. Hmm. Maybe there's a method to their madness, but I digress.

Suh seems to think he's just misunderstood. He also claims he would never intentionally attempt to hurt another player on the field. The problem with that is -- the videos don't lie. We've all seen them -- and those were no accidents. Ndamukong, in his latest lame excuse, tried to say he was a nice guy because he doesn't beat up people in bars. Whether or not he attempts to do that is irrelevant. Besides, if he tried that stuff in the wrong bar, Suh himself might be the one that found himself on his back getting stomped on. It all depends. He may be a lot of things, but Suhperman, he is not.

Consider Warren Sapp, a former defensive tackle himself, and a probable future Hall of Famer. Sapp wouldn't appear to have any "axe to grind" with Suh, personally or professionally. Also, when someone like Sapp brings his career credentials to the table for an interview, and gets into some detail about playing defensive tackle in the NFL, one would be hard put to argue the credibility of what he has to say. Been there, done that. Pro Bowl appearances galore. The man knows what he's talking about.

Recently Sapp suggested Suh is basically a one-trick-pony. He's a very strong guy with an impressive "bull rush". That enabled Suh to rack up some impressive performances and stats in his rookie year. Yet Sapp went on to explain that Suh didn't develop anything new for his second season. At about 6' 4" and 300 pounds, there's little doubt Suh can bring a lot of force by lowering his head and charging.

Thing is, the opposing offensive linemen aren't exactly Barney Fifes. 6' 4" and 300 is probably about average and they're pros too. While they may have underestimated Suh as a rookie -- given all the film study they do -- there's no way that same tactic, all by itself, was going to be successful the next year. They adjust. If Suh didn't learn anything new, it should come as no surprise that his stats plummeted during his second season. Like Sapp said -- if all an offensive lineman has to worry about is a bull rush, then he just needs to establish a "base" and stand the other guy up for a couple seconds. By then, the play's over.

Suh has claimed that reports labeling him a dirty player are without substance. Certainly the man is entitled to his own opinion, as are fans, whether they be from Detroit or elsewhere. But who can offer the most objective view? The other players. Want to talk about substance? In a recent poll, fellow NFL players voted Suh the dirtiest player in the league by over a 4 to 1 margin. That's not only substantial -- it's a landslide -- that speaks volumes.

Further, some reporters that have done some serious digging, have apparently discovered Suh was perceived much the same way in his years at Nebraska. Whether the Detroit Lion brain trust knew this or not when they made him a top draft choice is unknown. They certainly should have.

Here's wishing Ndahmukong the best, and a long and glorious career in the NFL.

Forget anger management classes. Near as I can tell, the only thing they accomplish is lining the pockets of a "counselor" somewhere while further pissing off the person that has to attend them.

Suh just needs to quit with the excuses, own what he has done, learn from his mistakes, and don't repeat them. I think that's called growing up.

Might happen. Might not.

Time will tell.

1 comment:

  1. He's just a goon that can be polite when he has to. He's over rated by his local media and fans and has zero credibility or respect anywhere else.