Is Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh a raging madman the NFL must contain at all costs?
Apparently so, given his well-earned “repeat offender” status in commissioner Roger Goodell’s world.
Suh insisted that he didn’t stomp on Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith, despite glaring video evidence to the contrary. He claimed he was just trying to pry himself loose from a clinging opponent:
“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 my 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. With that, a lot of people are going to interpret it as, create their own storylines for seeing what they want to interpret it. But I know what I did and the man upstairs knows what I did.”
Skepticism abounds. Packers guard T.J. Lang was among those not buying that explanation.
“He clearly had Evan by the face mask pinned to the ground,” Lang told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “His explanation is crap. There’s no room for that. It’s a dumb penalty. He hurt his own team today.”
Suh’s latest assault on civility occurred during Family Viewing Hours on Thanksgiving Day. Goodell can't be happy -- and an unhappy Goodell issues harsh punishments.
Check out the negative media reviews of Suh’s work:
Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News: “This was their moment and they blew it. More pointedly, Ndamukong Suh blew it. This was the Lions' chance to stamp a mark of legitimacy on their season. Instead, Suh stomped a mark of lunacy, and a rollicking holiday turned ugly. Suh plays on the edge and this time he crossed it, no matter how fervently he denies it. Suh and his teammates showed their immaturity, which allowed the Packers to flex their power. Unbeaten Green Bay rolled to a 27-15 victory on Thanksgiving Day, pushed by a Suh stomp that changed the game, got him ejected and likely will get him suspended.”
Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports: “It’s no surprise that Jim Schwartz’s Detroit Lions are out of control. This is not to say that Schwartz, whose energy and imagination are refreshing in a business filled with so many dolts, encouraged Ndamukong Suh into the dirtiest play since Albert Haynesworth did the two-stomp on Andre Gurode’s face in 2006. Schwartz, by nature, is not a dirty guy and doesn’t coach his players to be like that. But it’s also not much of a surprise that the same coach who earlier this season stormed after San Francisco counterpart Jim Harbaugh is now watching his team’s best player face a suspension for losing his cool.”
Michael Rosenberg, Detroit Free Press: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes you get kicked out for acting like an idiot. The Lions lost a big game and a piece of their reputation, and they deserved to lose both. Bad, angry and stupid is no way to go through Thanksgiving, son.”
Kevin Seifert, ESPN.com: “Thursday will go down as the day Ndamukong Suh lost his innocence. No longer can there be a reasonable debate about the style and intent of his play, much less his comprehension of its consequences, not after his game ejection and subsequent explanation after the Detroit Lions' 27-15 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The entire nation watched Suh pound the head of Packers guard Evan Dietrich-Smith into the ground three times and then stomp on him as the two were separated. Many of you saw his postgame comments, a scary mix of manic sentences and paranoid conspiracy theories that suggested the gulf between Suh and the NFL's accepted way of life is widening rather than closing here at the end of his second season.”