Ndamukong Suh has played an instrumental role in helping restore the roar in the Detroit Lions. For the first time in many years, the team has swagger.
However, some of the bad behavior by many of the younger players (who didn’t experience the infamous 0-16 season) hurt the Lions’ chances of having more success last year and could have even worse long-term repercussions in the future.
Fellow defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s recent arrest is just the latest sign that the team needs someone to find a way to inspire the entire team to stop making unnecessary bone-headed penalties, creating fights with each other and spending less time in the back seat of police cars.
Controlling his emotions on the field well enough to prevent stupid penalties and suspensions which marred his 2011 season are absolutely critical for the 6-4, 307-pound Suh. Those concerns might have contributed to Suh’s decline in production from his rookie to sophomore season.
Suh started all 16 games in 2010, finishing with 66 tackles, 10.0 sacks, three passes defensed, one interception and one forced fumble. He had just 36 tackles, 4.0 sacks and one pass deflection in 14 games (all starts) last season.
Entering his third year, the former second overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft says he’s ready to move on to becoming a leader for the Lions. Based on the location of his locker, the team seems to agree that now is the time to add that role to his portfolio. They’ve placed him between defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and quarterback Matthew Stafford, two of the team’s established leaders and it seems to be rubbing off on Suh.
The team seems to agree that now is the time for him to add that role to his portfolio based on the location of his locker. The Lions have placed him in between quarterback Matthew Stafford and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, two of the team’s most established leaders and it appears to be rubbing off on Suh, per ProFootballTalk.com.
“If I see a guy that needs some help and just might need a word here or (there) just to understand a little bit better, as Coach uses some of us as starters or guys that have been here a couple years that are still young that say look at what he’s doing and mimic that or whatever,” Suh said, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free-Press. “Then I’ll say, ‘Yeah, this is how I got to this position, this is how I got to my position to get to where Coach likes it.’”