Suh, Lions showing lack of experience and maturity

Detroit Lions Ndamukong Suh tries to argue his case with umpire Paul King at the start of halftime against the Green Bay Packers in Detroit on November 24, 2011. UPI/Jeff Kowalsky

At Ford Field on Thursday, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh got tangled up with Green Bay’s Evan Dietrich-Smith, got frustrated, then stomped on Dietrich-Smith’s arm as the offensive lineman lay on the ground.

Suh’s act was highly unnecessary and honestly, pretty stupid. But not as stupid as his remarks following the game while describing what happened.

Instead of owning up to the situation and apologizing to his teammates for potentially costing them the most important game of the season, he blamed the refs for misinterpreting the situation.

“My intentions were not to kick anybody,” Suh said before going into how the officials “misinterpreted” his stomp. “I was on top of a guy, being pulled down, and trying to get up off of the ground and why you see me pushing his helmet down (is) because I’m trying to remove myself from the situation, and as I’m getting up, I’m getting pushed, so I’m getting myself on balance and getting out of the situation,” Suh said. “With that, a lot of people are going to interpret it as, create their own story lines for seeing what they want to interpret it. But I know what I did, and the man upstairs knows what I did.”

Um, no. Suh clearly wasn’t trying to “remove” himself from the situation and his entire explanation is riddled with immaturity. He sounds like a high-schooler who got caught drinking and now he’s trying to tell his parents that he was a victim of circumstance. Like, “No Ma, I wasn’t drinking. I just went to that house because I was trying to see if other kids would help me volunteer at the homeless shelter. Once I saw that they were drinking, I tried to remove myself from the situation by leaving right away. But my friends misinterpreted my actions and started shoving beer in my face.”

Part of Suh’s explanation stems from the fact that some fans and media members have defended his actions. He’s a big star on a team that is finally heading in the right direction so whenever Suh has been flagged for unnecessary roughness, some are quick to say, “Well, he’s just being aggressive” or “Other players are getting away with the same things!” Thus, Suh must have figured that people would eat up whatever garbage excuse he tossed their way.

But this latest situation has caused many Lion fans to flip. When Suh was ejected the Lions were only down by a touchdown and there was still plenty of game left. As soon as he got the boot, Detroit fell apart and everything unraveled at the seams. If you’ve read the fallout from his actions, fans aren’t rushing to defend a player that continues to cost their team yards, points, and just maybe their first playoff berth in over 10 years.

The Lions are a good football team but they’ve shown their youth several times throughout the year. They’re a team that doesn’t play with a lot of composure and for that, I blame head coach Jim Schwartz, who hasn’t displayed much composure himself. It’s almost like Schwartz and his players are trying to prove that they’re not going to be everyone’s doormats anymore but they have no self-control, poise or grace so they come off looking like a bunch of punk kids on the playground.

Given the Lions’ brutal schedule down the stretch, if Schwartz doesn’t get a hold of the reins soon this team will go spinning out of control. (If it hasn’t already, that is.)

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Ndamukong Suh kicked out of Lions-Packers game

Ndamukong Suh was kicked out of the Thanksgiving battle between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers. The Packers had just failed to convert on third down inside the Lions’ 5-yeard line, setting up a fourth down and a likely field goal while holding a 7-0 lead over the Lions. Suh got tied up with offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith and then proceeded to deliver what seemed to be a blow to the face to the linemen while they were on the ground, and then as he was getting up he clearly stomped Dietrich-Smith with his foot. Suh was called for unsportsmanlike conduct and then ejected from the game. The entire episode was caught on television.

Instead of going up 10-0, the Packers were awarded a first down as a result of the penalty and then were able to get into the end zone, resulting in a 14-0 lead. We’ll see if this impacts whether the Lions can win the game, but Suh’s stupid play will definitely make things more difficult. Plays like this can be turning points in a game and even a season. As I’m writing this the Packers have gone ahead 21-0, so Suh’s bonehead play may have opened the flood-gates for the high-octane Packers. You don’t give Aaron Rodgers and the undefeated Packers extra chances to beat you.

Apart from that, this will have a lasting impact on Suh’s reputation. This was clearly a dirty play from a player who has developed a reputation as the dirtiest player in the NFL. Suh is clearly a great lineman and a big reason for Detroit’s resurgence, but this play on national television during Thanksgiving will follow him for a long time. He is very possibly facing a suspension as well.

Suh recently met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at Suh’s request to get a better understanding of the rules. Suh isn’t the only player baffled by the NFL’s attempt to protect quarterbacks and defenseless wide receivers. In many ways the NFL is ruining the game as legitimate hits are being called as personal fouls. These calls have huge impacts on the game, and we saw one today with a lame call on a clean hit on Aaron Rodgers.

But Suh’s penalty today had nothing to do with a new push to protect the quarterback. The game was already marred by some silly skirmishes and Suh wasn’t the first player kicked out, but Suh’s penalty was old-fashioned dirty play from a player who seems to let his aggression get the best of him. By doing it on a national stage, he’ll be an even bigger target for the officials going forward.

2010 NFL First Round Recap: Head-scratchers, values, sleepers & more

That’ll do it – the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft is in the books. All in all, even the most die-hard draft fans would have to admit that the move to prime time was a success. The action was quicker, the coverage was tighter and the event was interesting throughout. I was skeptical about the new format at first, but I admit tonight was entertaining.

Below is a recap of the first round, including head-scratching moves, valuable picks and more. I also preview the second round by listing my top 5 players that are still available.

Head-Scratcher: Broncos trade three picks for Tim Tebow.
Tebow fans will certainly criticize me for this, but this was the worst draft-day trade I’ve seen in recent memory. Inexcusably, the Broncos parted with a second, a third and a fourth round selection to trade up to the 25th overall pick to take Tebow, who may or may not wind up being a quarterback at the next level. He’s the ultimate developmental project, so hopefully Denver is willing to wait three-plus years while he works on his throwing motion, his footwork and his release. And here’s the thing: if he doesn’t become a quarterback, then how bad does this trade wind up looking? Let’s say he becomes an H-back or is only used in the Wildcat, then the Broncos just traded three picks for a role player. Think about that for a second. There’s a good chance that Denver was afraid of someone else taking Tebow before they had the chance to select him in the second round. (Buffalo was apparently trying to move up as well.) But three picks in exchange for one of the biggest risks in the draft? Don’t get me wrong – Tebow is a pure football player, a winner and a worker. There’s something about him that makes you want to throw conventional wisdom out the window and predict success for him. But I can’t justify what the Broncos gave up here. It just doesn’t make sense.

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Lions Draft Talk: Ndamukong Suh

Despite speculation that they could trade for Albert Haynesworth or select Oklahoma State offensive tackle Russell Okung, the Lions took Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh with the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

This is just one man’s opinion, but I think when people look back to evaluate this draft, Suh will be regarded as the best player. I realize I’m not going out on a limb with that statement, but it’s almost comical that some media members had the Lions selecting Gerald McCoy over Suh at this pick. If anything, I have to believe that Detroit would have taken Okung before it took McCoy over Suh.

Suh was incredible this past season for the Cornhuskers. He racked up 12 sacks, 85 tackles and 24 tackles for loss, which almost matched McCoy’s entire resume at Oklahoma. This isn’t to say that McCoy is a bad player – on the contrary, he’s a solid prospect. But Suh was the best defensive player in the nation last year. He’s strong, powerful and incredibly athletic. He’s more of a bull-rusher than a true pass-rusher, but Jim Schwartz should work wonders with him in Detroit.

The Lions were wise not to over think this pick. He was the best player in the draft and fits well next to Corey Williams on the interior of their defensive line. I can’t wait to see what Schwartz can do with him next season and kudos to GM Martin Mayhew for once again adding the best prospect at his position, following the picks of Matthew Stafford, Louis Delmas and Brandon Pettigrew last season. (Of course, it’s not hard to add the best prospect at his position when you pick No. 1 and No. 2, but let’s not dwell on the obvious.)


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The Lions’ potential dilemma: Suh vs. Haynesworth

There’s growing speculation that the Lions might part with a draft pick or two in order to acquire Albert Haynesworth from the Redskins. The compensation in the deal from the Lions’ standpoint has been rumored to be anything from their first round pick, to a better cell phone plan for Daniel Snyder.

But why would the Lions want Haynesworth when they will likely have the opportunity to draft Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh with the second overall pick tomorrow night?

Some pundits believe that the Lions will take Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy over Suh at No. 2, but that’s crazy talk. McCoy is a fine player, but he’s not Suh. McCoy racked up 83 tackles, 33 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in three seasons at OU. Suh nearly matched that production last year alone, so let’s stop with the comparisons already. If the Lions intend on drafting a defensive tackle at No. 2, then they’re going with Suh over McCoy and I’m willing to risk my extremely low blogging reputation on it.

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