DETROIT — Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was voted the league’s dirtiest player for the second straight year in a midseason player poll by the Sporting News.
The irony: Suh has been called for merely one 5-yard penalty — an offsides penalty — in eight games.
Despite Suh’s lack of on-field controversy this season, one anonymous NFL defensive player told The Sporting News, “He hasn’t done anything crazy (this year). The type of hits he puts on quarterbacks, the way he finishes guys — some of them are legal, but a lot of them I’d say, are over the top.”
The only real questionable issue with Suh this season was an aggressive hit on Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on Oct. 22. But while some had a problem with it, Cutler did not.
“It was like a wrestling move a little bit,” Cutler told reporters in Chicago two days after the incident. “(Suh) plays hard. It’s out of the pocket. He’s playing football. I don’t have a problem with that, I really don’t. I don’t think it was dirty. He plays an aggressive style of football. That’s just who he is.”
Oddly enough, Cutler finished tied for first with Suh as the NFL’s least-liked players in a similar poll earlier this year.
In 2011, Suh’s bad-boy image made sense. His reputation took a massive hit when he stomped on Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving, resulting in a two-game suspension by the NFL.