Warren Sapp is not a fan of Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. The former pass-rushing specialist made that clear once again during an appearance on “The Jim Rome Show” on Thursday, when he basically said Suh cannot seem to get a grip on the mental aspect of the game of football.
“When I watch him after a Sunday, when I sit down and watch the tape, get inside of it, he plays the game with no awareness, and just a blindness that I’ve never seen from a guy with that kind of ability and talent,” Sapp said, via MLive.com. “He’s just wasting it. Then you see him make two, three plays a game, and outside of him kicking (Schaub) in the groin, when did he make another play?”
More specifically, Sapp said Suh is always looking to rush the passer instead of making other plays that would help his team just as much or even more. He said he hasn’t “evolved as a pass rusher” and doesn’t use his head when lining up in certain situations where you should know what the opposition is going to do.
“When you line up as a defensive tackle, you look at the set and go, ‘Okay, 3rd-and-15.’ The first thing I think is draw or screen,” he said. “The Houston Texans went five quarters running draws and throwing screens on 10-plus downs, on 10-plus yardage. At no point did he recognize any of this. I’m sitting there like, here comes another screen or draw, son. It’s 2nd-and-15, 3rd-and-15, that’s what teams do. They want to see if you’re going to allow them to get the first down.
“Too many times I watch this young man put blinders on and he’s just after the quarterback. They’re not going to let you go to the quarterback free, son. You’re not that good of a pass rusher, so realize it’s a screen, turn, and go to the ball and help your team.”
Sapp then went on to toot his own horn a bit, saying that teams could only run certain plays against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he played for them because he, John Lynch and Derrick Brooks took things away from the offense. For what it’s worth, Suh had 10 sacks his rookie season and only four all of last year. He has 4.5 this season through 11 games, so Sapp has a point when he says he is not a pure pass rusher.
However, there are few people who would agree with Sapp that Suh is not a good football player. There’s no arguing that he plays dirty when you see plays like this one and this one, but he’s obviously a disruptive player that opponents need to keep tabs on at all times. If he could stop throwing cheap shots and learn to keep his cool, Suh would be one of the best defensive players in the NFL.
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