Warren Sapp not a fan, Suh defends himself and says he's not a dirty player
If Ndamukong Suh had stepped up in his second season, would there be so much discussion abut the Lions’ defensive tackle? After finishing as defensive rookie of the year in 2010, Suh’s sack and tackle numbers were down.
Also he missed two games due to a suspension. For a defensive tackle, stats aren’t everything, but Suh didn’t seem like the dominant player that he was as a rookie.
At the Super Bowl on Tuesday, NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp had plenty to say about Suh, according to quotes from the Lions’ web site.
“He’s never been a hip thrower and a true pass rusher, in the sense. He was just overpowering and throwing people out of the way. People didn't understand that he was just going to go through them, that is the way he rushes,’’ Sapp said.
The seven-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle also ripped on Suh for not working hard enough last off-season.
“From his first year to second year, he hasn’t worked on anything. You are looking at the same guy rushing in the same fashion that he was when he first got in the league. I understand that you’ll do it your first year because no one has seen it. Second year, you better come show me something, son, you came with the same bull rush,’’ Sapp said. “All I have to do (as a offensive lineman) is give myself a nice base and get ready to go.’’
During the NFL lockout last offseason, Suh routinely tweeted while traveling around the world. The Lions players held eight days of workouts on their own and Suh showed up only for the final day when the NFL Network cameras were there.
Sapp also insinuated perhaps Suh’s endorsements were getting in the way of his preparation.
Suh is traveling this offseason too only it seems he’s making an effort to repair his image after The Stomp on Thanksgiving that cost him the two-game suspension.
His last stop was on ESPN2’s Face to Face on Tuesday night. This was recorded last week before Sapp made his comments.
Hannah Storm asked Suh about his reputation as a dirty player who tries to hurt other players.
“I would never hurt somebody because why would I want somebody to hurt me. Taking someone’s livelihood away and their opportunity to fend for their family and grow, for someone to say that, it’s kind of outrageous,’’ Suh told Storm in an interview taped at the University of Nebraska, Suh’s alma mater.
While he was suspended there was some chatter that perhaps he would be required to take anger management classes. Turns out it was just chatter.
“It’s funny to me. Like I said, I don’t have issues. (I am not) beating up people in bars. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I think people try to make their own opinion and I think it’s a story line. It’s a great story line,’’ Suh said.
“I understood this year that a lot of people seeing me as a dirty player is a good story line to have and that’s what it is to me. It’s kind of comical to me to keep saying something and really don’t have any substance behind it,’’ he added.
He said he knows in his heart of hearts he’s not a villain.
Suh was fairly guarded with Storm, but he did let out one moslty insignificant nugget. He said he has a photographic memory which helps him when watching film and preparing for games.
Up next for Suh? Would be surprised if he doesn’t show up in Indianapolis this week.
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