Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  By DAVE DYE  |  Last updated 8/13/13
ALLEN PARK, Mich. Who are you and what have you done with Ndamukong Suh? The Detroit Lions notorious bad boy has had a reputation for being introverted and not so social, particularly with the media. But after opening a post-game news conference last week with a cordial Hello, press greeting, Suh took it a step further Tuesday following practice when he requested a group hug from the media. It all came after Suh, 26, was asked about this new side of him that appears to be emerging this year. I just feel like you guys, honestly, havent had a chance to truly see who I am, said Suh, entering his fourth season in the NFL. Granted, Ill take some of that blame. I dont let myself always be out in the public eye just because I am a very private person. I think everybody has an opportunity to grow up and change their ways and find ways to be funny. You want to live life on the happy side. You never want to live it on the sad side. I love you all. Lets have a big hug. Im serious. I want a big hug. Suh then put his arms around a couple of reporters standing next to him. In the past, his relationship with the media has been surly, partly because he got tired of having to constantly answer questions about altercations on the field (stomping on an offensive lineman with his foot, kicking a quarterback in the groin, etc.), along with arrests and numerous other off-the-field issues. Even Suhs teammates have seen a different side lately to the 6-foot-4, 307-pound defensive tackle. Cornerback Chris Houston praised Suh for the leadership qualities hes been bringing to the team in recent months. I was more of a guy that just spoke with my (body) language and really my play, Suh said. That was me speaking. Im still quiet. I still keep to myself. Thats just my nature. Im going to never be able to get away from that. But Im not afraid to talk to guys. I think everybody saw me as a guy who was just in his own shell. I had this bubble over in this corner (of the locker room), that me and only Kyle (former teammate Kyle Vanden Bosch) shared and that was it. Then I went home and was with my family. Yeah, I do that but Im not unapproachable, Suh added. Im not apt to not go out with guys and not do things. Its just sometimes I like to be with myself. I dont have a problem by any means talking to anybody and hanging out with anybody, offense, defense, special teams, whoever. Me and Mule (long snapper Don Muhlbach) had a great time at the Pro Bowl together. Suh, who made 22 sacks in his first three seasons, put the onus for a successful season on both the defensive and offensive lines. The Lions have plenty of playmakers at the skill positions on offense. The secondary should be improved, but any remaining weak links on the back end can be hidden better if Suh and company up front are able to consistently win their battles. I think as our team goes, those two lines go, Suh said. I think thats just the way it is. I think both groups understand that. I know Dom (center Dominic Raiola) understands that. He preaches that. I understand that. I preach the same thing. We need to push each other in camp. Even when were going against each other, beat your friend up, pick him up, push him up to the huddle and lets start it all over again. Suh laughed at the suggestion that hes been taken out of some drills during training camp simply because he was dominating too much, which made it impossible for the offense to try to run plays effectively. Youve got to ask Schwartz (coach Jim Schwartz) on that, I dont know anything about that, Suh said, unconvincingly, with a big grin. Im not a guy that likes to take plays off. I just go out there and do my job and play as hard and vicious as possible. With Vanden Boschs departure, Suh has taken on the role of making the calls for the defensive line. Suh said hes learned that its not all about brute strength, even in the trenches. When I was coming out as a rookie, it was just being physical and playing as hard and fast as possible, Suh said. Now its a combination of the two (physical and mental). One where I can cheat a guy, where I can beat a guy because I see him leaning, I see a guy doing something different. He thinks Im doing this (because) we always do this in a particular play. I can switch it up a little bit and beat a gap. Its just playing those mind games now and really understanding the defense and where I can find little pieces to make plays. Suh is working as hard as ever in practice. Hes getting closer to his teammates and becoming their leader. He seems to be much more comfortable with being a high-profile professional football player. It wouldnt be surprising if that all leads to a monster season considering his enormous talent. EXTRA POINT The revolving door in the Lions' secondary continued Tuesday when they signed cornerback Conroy Black, who was on the team's practice squad last season, and released Brandon King, who had been added to the 90-man training -camp roster only a week earlier.
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