ALLEN PARK — Ndamukong Suh, Calvin Johnson and Don Muhlbach will serve as Detroit Lions captains on Sunday in Carolina against the Panthers.
Suh was criticized by many for not participating in the voluntary offseason workout program.
Jim Caldwell always defended the defensive tackle.
It was no different on Friday.
“Probably No. 1 is that he does what we ask him. He does everything in regard to what the rules require,’’ Caldwell said. “I know oftentimes people get hung up on when he was here, when he wasn’t here, all that kind of stuff. He wasn’t required to be here. ... If it was a guy I had to be concerned about who would come back out of shape and not able to function, this guy comes back in impeccable shape.
“He does all the things you ask him to do in this building. He’s exemplary in every fashion, he plays the game hard and tough. His teammates respect him as a result of that, so does the rest of the staff as well. I think most often anyone who plays against him has a pretty good measure of respect for what he does on the field,’’ Caldwell added.
Suh is not a vocal leader and that’s fine with Caldwell who used the old saying “Lead by example, when all else fails use words.’’ That’s the type of leader that Caldwell prefers.
The captains will change week to week. In the opener Matthew Stafford, Stephen Tulloch and Montell Owens were the captains.
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