For the past couple of seasons, I’ve been in the camp that has defended Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. It seems every time he makes a tackle, he gets hit with a fine or calls for a suspension. My defense was always that it wasn’t his fault he was better than every other player on the field.
But after his display on national television on Thanksgiving day, the guy might have even lost me.
Some people have called Suh a dirty player befor eit was cool to do so, and those people may have been right all along. Prior to his “Thanksgiving Stomp” on Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith that got him suspended for two games, most were still in the camp that I mentioned above.
But after deciding to show that up this year with what appeared to be an intentional kick to the groin of Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, as well as many other questionable plays, it seems Suh has lost almost all support outside the city of Detroit.
Let’s face it, the whole “dirty player” tag gets thrown around quite a bit too often. If it’s your guy doing it, you just say that he is “hustling.” But if a guy for another team does it against your team, well you then have no problem throwing out that tag. But when a guy continuously does it, you really have to wonder if it can be defended anymore.
The moment “the kick” happened on Thanksgiving day, I quickly tweeted out that I try to defend the guy, but stuff like this just keeps happening. This, of course, was met by plenty of criticism from my followers saying I was just being a Texans homer and that it was “very clearly” unintentional. But here we are just four days later and it has become a consensus around the league that it was absolutely intentional.
So much so that the board is expected to meet soon to declare if Suh should face yet another suspension for the play. After fines for hits on Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton and Jake Delhomme, I guess we shouldn’t really be surprised. But the response from Texans quarterback Matt Schaub on local radio this morning was quite surprising.
In covering the Texans, one thing I can tell you about Matt Schaub is that he uses a lot of recycled, cookie-cutter answers with the media. He never says anything out of line or something that will cause a controversy. Yet, when asked about Ndamukong Suh, he spoke his mind when asked if he would like a guy like Suh on his team.
“No. You don’t want a player like that. The stuff that he stands for and the type of player he is, that’s not Houston Texan-worthy. That’s not what we’re about as a football team, as individuals, collectively as a group, we’re not that type of person.”
That’s a big change from his statement to local media that he had “no comment about that play or that player” immediately following the game.
Look, any time you get caught below the belt, you’re not going to like it and there might have been more going on down on the field than we as fans know about. Guys like Suh try their damnedest to do whatever it takes to help their team win and sometimes it doesn’t come off as that. Hitting a guy low on purpose and trying to injure them is a dirty player. I’m sure he didn’t set out to kick Schaub in his stuff, but a guy that’s already under the microscope with the league as Suh is, well you have to be smarter than that.
At the end of the day, I wrote after the stomp last year that Suh was still young, immature and he would grow out of it. I’m more on the fence now about that thought. There comes a point where you’re only hurting your team with stunts like this and they need to be reined in. That begins with proper coaching.
Filed under: Detroit Lions