Ndamukong Suh has long been a thorn in the NFL’s side ever since he was drafted out of the University of Nebraska in 2010. Suh won many awards in college such as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarick Award, Lombardi Award, and was also an All-American. However, Suh’s sullen attitude towards the game of football and those around him has teams wondering if he should be allowed to play football anymore.
There have been many reasons why opposing players have labeled Suh as one of the dirtiest players in the league. Here are a few of the incidents that have earned him such a title:
- In 2011 Suh angrily stomped on an offensive lineman’s head, driving it into the ground 3 times. The craziest part about his actions were that they happened after the whistle had already been blown. Suh was immediately ejected from the game, suspended two games, and did not receive any pay.
- Suh kicked Texan’s quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin and was fined $30,000.
- Suh hit Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle John Sullivan low on an interception return for a touchdown. Sullivan was lucky to escape uninjured from the hit when he mostly defenseless. However, the NFL fined Suh $100,000 which was the biggest fine in NFL history for such incidents.
- After the Week #2 game against the Arizona Cardinals this season, the NFL noticed an elbow that Suh seems to have directed at the head of a Cardinals offensive lineman. This incident is still under review by the league.
It astounds me how Suh continues to get away with blatant, after the whistle is blown, dirty plays. All the fines and suspensions that the league has handed down do not seem to faze Suh at all. Clearly, Suh needs to be suspended for a longer period of time so that he can revisit his thoughts and get a grip on his playing style.
However, I do not want to place all the blame on Suh, some of it belongs on Coach Jim Schwartz. Ever since Schwartz was hired, he has tried to create an identity of nastiness and toughness in Motor City. Let’s be fair, there is nothing wrong with your team having an air of nastiness that intimidates the opponent. When I hear the term “nastiness” together with “football,” I think of the Pittsburgh Steelers “Iron Curtain.” The Steelers have a long history of a defense that hits hard and flows to the ball. However what Suh is doing is beyond nasty, it is dirty! Jim Schwartz should be ashamed of himself for letting Suh run wild on the field without any team suspension or fine. In my opinion, Schwartz is a part of the problem because of his unwillingness to step in and do what a coach is supposed to do, control his players. The coaches and ownership of this team are supposed to be the first line of punishment and then the league steps in if more is needed. I have not seen any effort from the Detroit Lions to punish their troubled superstar.
Therefore, I believe that Motor City is in need of a changing of the guard in terms of players and personnel. Until this happens, Detroit will continue to earn a reputation for being a dirty team.