Saturday, January 14, 2012
Ndamukong Suh Says Players Respect How He Plays
After a dominating rookie season, the whispers started that Suh was a dirty player. I always thought he played hard, had an edge, but wasn't dirty. When you're so much stronger than the player across from you,a routine play can look like he's brutalizing someone. There was a poll taken duirng the season amongst NFL players and Suh was voted the dirtiest in the game. Suh also believes he's one of the most respected.
In an interview with NFL magazine, Suh said that many would like to be on his side.
“The players who said I am the dirtiest player in the league, it’s ultimately their opinion, but I would love to hear from many of them on their true opinion on that,” Suh said. “A lot of players have told me they see me as a protector of my teammates, that, side by side, I’m there when something goes down, and I step up beside them and for them when things get nasty. I play the game hard, and I play it physical.”
The dirty tag will stick with him until further notice. The fact that none of his teammates really had his back when he made the stomp on Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving didn't help his cause.
Maybe the opinions of two Hall of Famers could help him out. Richard Dent and Bruce Smith both said that they like the way Suh plays.
Hall of Famer Bruce Smith said he showed his son Alston, a high school defensive tackle who recently committed to Virginia Tech, a tape of Suh to demonstrate the right way to play the position. And Hall of Famer Richard Dent said he likes what Suh does — he just thinks Suh needs to learn how to channel his rage.
“Be smarter, get the next play, take your game to the next level,” Dent said. “Suh has to let his work be his message. Control that anger. You embarrass the guy in front of you with your play, you kick his ass that way, that’s the greatest response.”
I won't call him dirty just yet, but if he has more incidents like the Thanksgiving stomp, he'll wear the tag forever.