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One thing you can count on with the Detroit Lions is that they are never, ever boring. Follow the latest news including injuries, roster moves and more here daily from Oakland Press beat writer Paula Pasche. Plus you'll find regular commentary about the team.


Detroit Lions - Ndamukong Suh's absence shows disrespect to coaching staff, teammates

Ndamukong Suh is the Detroit Lions best defensive player. So why haven’t most of the devoted Lions fans embraced him?

It is a conundrum.

On the field Suh is all of that. He’s been voted to the Pro Bowl three of his four seasons. He’s been double-teamed since his first preseason game. He can dominate inside, although he can play out of control at times. 

Off the field, questions abound. It seemed Suh turned the corner prior to the 2013 season when his teammates voted him a defensive captain. 

It was short-lived. Captains don’t skip voluntary workouts. They especially do not snub a new coaching staff and their teammates by skipping out on a voluntary three-day minicamp which is what happened this week.

Yes, it was voluntary. But all the veteran leaders were in attendance as expected. 

Still, no Suh. 

Fan reaction, for the most part, involved two words: Trade him.

Oddly enough, the handful of players who were made available to talk to the media said they had not talked to Suh. Even Stephen Tulloch who was a defensive captain too.

Coach Jim Caldwell has made it clear he would like to work as much with each single player as possible. That includes Suh.

Yes, Suh and the Lions are working on an extension, but he is under contract through 2014. 

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report wrote Friday that the Lions have asked around about what they could get in return for Suh. That is basically due diligence in case negotiations blow up and a deal can't get done.

Team president Tom Lewand has been adamant that the Lions want to extend Suh’s contract. Last season they extended Matthew Stafford. It wasn’t complete until early July, but the quarterback didn’t miss a workout. 

Everyone agrees that when Suh does show up, he’ll be in excellent shape. No reason to doubt that. If he doesn't want to continue to play in Detroit, it seems like that he would want to show other teams he's a good citizen by attending all offseason programs. This absence doe not make him attractive to other NFL coaches.

Football is a team game. 

Caldwell is trying to create a family atmosphere where the players will all trust and fight for each other. 

A key member of the family is missing.

(Follow @PaulaPasche on Twitter. Order her book,  “100 Things Lions Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die’’ here. It’s also available at bookstores.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a horrible article. The writer should have done his/her homework. Suh never shows up for minicamp. Yet every single year he is one the most dominant, if not the best, defensive linemen in all of football. There are two main reasons why he should show up. 1. To get in shape 2. For the support of his teammates. Neither is an issue. He comes back in evem better shape every year. And if you watch any of the player interviews, they are fine with him being gone because they understand it is what works best for him. Stephen Tulloch even said the media was blowing it out of proportion. I also have a huge problem with the article saying Lions fans are calling for a trade. As a Lions fan, you would have to be am idiot to want to trade him. He is the backbone of the D-line. Lions fans have seem the past few years his production and know he doesnt attend the voluntary activites. So what if he doesnt. He isnt hurting the team and continues to be an amazing player.

12:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with everything you said. There is no evidence to back up the claims he or she is making. If you look at what players and even the coaches have been saying, it's obvious. The only people i see blowing smoke about Suh not being there is the media. And anybody who thinks trading Suh would magically make the lions better, they're in for a rude awakening. He's the rock of the defense. The secondary that everybody says is so bad would look infinitely worse. and while Fairley is good, he hasn't shown he can be counted on everytime like Suh. A horrible article indeed.

1:47 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brett Favre won a Super Bowl without attending voluntary workouts. Barry Sanders regularly skipped voluntary workouts and held out through mandatory ones... But, hey, it's way better for business to demonize the man.

3:28 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He was a good player last year, certainly not dominant as the previous comment indicated. While I know he has the potential to dominate at times we really did not see the level of performance you would need to justify his $22M cap number and when the team needed him to renegotiate he has been dragging his feet. He could be one of our best players but I predict he leave, wind up someplace like Dallas and underperform for them just as much as he has here.

5:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember barry sanders doing the same thing.... Multiple times. Even showing his face in rio de janero in 1997....but that is apples to oranges Lol ...we all loved barry... This is a witch hunt. Quit it. It makes you look and sound foolish. Guy's an ALL PRO .... They don't grow on trees....

5:25 PM 
Blogger Demetrius Jackson said...

I first did not believe it was an issue and he does miss every year. But thinking of it further and I have been part of a winning team and when the culture changed from us being a losing team to a state championship contender we wanted to be there. So no one missed. We couldn't wait to get back to the gym and teammates to get it started. He did what he did in the pass but that does not make it right. I think him being there is part of setting a winning culture right now. You don't want to set the image that you standalone walk by different rules. It separates you from everyone else. It makes a statement I live by my own rules. I don't need to be there. If you really think about how would you feel if you team at the office came to every morning meeting and this one guy never came when everyone said lets start a clean slate and change the culture and your leader started out by not showing up. It looks bad. It doesn't show you that he is committed. I am a Lions fan to heart but because we defend and allow guys to get away with this type of thing is why we have been a losing organization. If you want change then you have to change. Its starts with each man even the little things like coming to voluntary camp. The little things are part of make champions.

7:50 PM 
Blogger scp1957 said...

Yep, Ndamukong Suh and Barry Sanders, two peas in a pod. Neither one could be bothered to show up for voluntary camps. (Shoot, more often than not, Barry couldn't bother to make it to the voluntary ones.) Detroit never could stand either one of them. Snort, chuckle. See, the thing of it is, the internet isn't 'Letters to the Editor'. There's precious little civility to it. Consequently, these a--holes come on here, listen to one another spouting bile and hate, conclude that they're normal, and come up from beneath their rocks. What we need more of is bug spray, I tell ya!

12:05 PM 
Blogger scp1957 said...

Demetrius, the only ones who believe in that meeting and leadership crap are the guys with nothing inside them but formless ambition. The rest of us hate their damn guts. We know that the good leaders are the ones who make accommodations for the fact that we've got lives. Leadership is practices, not schemed.

12:12 PM 
Blogger scp1957 said...

His cap number is largely a consequence of choices made by the F/O. His average salary was $11,621,500 per annum. That's what he has been and is being paid. Everything else is cap chicanery, financial legerdemain.

12:23 PM 
Blogger scp1957 said...

Oops! S/B $13,569,000 per annum. My bad. Still, that's a far cry from $22 million. Shoot, Old Man Revis just got $12 million on a try-out deal.

12:30 PM 
Blogger scp1957 said...

"Underperform," '5:01 P.M.'? Really? Two consensus All-Pro seasons, one more non-consensus one, three Pro Bowls. More QB pressures than ANY other DL, over the last four years, from the tackle spot, exclusively. Were you smoking LSD-laced cannabis, when you wrote that?

12:35 PM 
Blogger scp1957 said...

Paula, as regards the most vocal fans never having accepted Suh, this may have to do with the fact that most of them do their commenting during "working" hours. (I'm retired.) So, the question you should be asking yourself is this, "Why do I give a flying puck for the opinions of people who routinely cheat THEIR employers of what they're OBLIGATED to give?

12:46 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TRADE SUH. If the Lions can have an "okay" defense with him, they can have an "okay" defense without him. He is not worth the money. He is not a LEADER and that is what the Lions need.

8:57 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what's the big deal? Suh may be a brute as a defensive tackle, but he'll always be a thug waiting to happen. Barry Sanders had the good sense to get away from the Lions while he was still healthy. None of it matters anyway. With or without the boy named Suh, does anybody really think the Lions are remotely close to being Super Bowl contenders? If so, they're even dumber than the Ford family hiring a career head-coaching loser like Caldwell. And the sorry beat goes on.

3:55 AM 

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