Rumor has it that the Detroit Lions could anoint a first-time team captain in 2013, and I have a severe problem with that if I’m an honest fan.
Since entering the NFL out of Nebraska, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has been arguably one of the better defensive linemen in the league. A big, physical and imposing tackle with a clear passion for the game, Suh is definitely not a guy offensive linemen like going up against.
One of the biggest reasons Suh is not the favorite opponent of many linemen and quarterbacks is the fact that he plays the game in a way that it should not be played. Let me get one thing straight, here: Playing football throughout my entire life, I understood that the game must be played at 100 miles an hour until the whistle blows. You can’t take plays off nor can you risk not making a play by taking it easy.
But, there is a difference between playing physical and fast versus crossing a line of playing in a manner that is a detriment to the entire league. Suh plays the game with an intensity that is unmatched at times, often getting himself in trouble for going overboard on his attacks on quarterbacks.
We can’t forget the moments that have made him famous for getting the label of being a ‘dirty’ player.
The list of players he’s viciously or inappropriately hit resulting in a flag, ejection, fine or questions regarding his character: Quarterback Jay Cutler (forearm shove, ripping the face mask off, and on a third occasion throwing him to the ground after already establishing a sack), quarterback Andy Dalton (throwing him to the ground after already establishing a sack), quarterback Jake Delhomme (vicious face mask whilst throwing him to the ground), offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith (the famous foot stomp), plus several other questionable hits or penalties.
So, I mentioned that he plays the game at 100 miles an hour, right? Well, I forgot to mention that he tends to do that on his watch. Suh takes more plays off than the fat kid on your grade school pop warner team.
This guy could be getting the label of “team captain” in the coming days? God help that organization. Sure, from what we’ve heard out of the locker room and coaching staff, Suh has taken on more of a leadership role and has changed in a positive way.
Good for him.
I need to see it on the field for a full year before anointing him a captain of an NFL roster. Suh still is, and as far as I’m concerned he always will be, a dirty player. Until he can change that mantra about him and play every down with the same effort, he doesn’t even come close to deserving the title ‘captain.’