National Football League
Brady-Suh highlights Pats-Lions preseason matchup
National Football League

Brady-Suh highlights Pats-Lions preseason matchup

Published Aug. 27, 2011 12:24 a.m. ET

Tom Brady wants to get hit.


''That's part of the preseason process, to have guys sack you and knock you on the ground so your body can kind of get callous to those hits,'' the two-time MVP said. ''That's actually a nice thing to have happen for a quarterback.''

Ndamukong Suh might make Brady wish he didn't say that.


Suh may grant Brady his wish when the Detroit Lions host the New England Patriots in a preseason game Saturday night. The reigning rookie of the year and All-Pro defensive tackle slammed Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton to the turf earlier this month and was fined for a third time in less than a year for being too rough.

Brady is well aware of Suh after playing the Lions, who led by 11 late in the first half only to get routed after he threw four touchdown passes in the second half. He also knows Suh is not alone, playing on perhaps one of the NFL's best defensive lines next to Corey Williams alongside ends Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril.

''They can get after the quarterback,'' Brady said. ''So, you're not going to be standing back there holding onto it for too long - not that we do that very often anyway. But especially a week like this where all those guys really feed off the sacks, the negative plays, their crowd really feeds into it.''

When Detroit's defense takes the field, its fans say, ''Suuuuuuuh,'' in unison and they do it again after each play he makes.

It's safe to say the legion of Lions fans are fired up about this year's team after enduring miserable football for much of this century.

Ford Field is sold out for the preseason game, a rare feat for the franchise, to watch Suh try to sack Brady and for Matthew Stafford to connect with Calvin Johnson and Co.

Stafford is excited about the relatively marquee matchup, too, but he's more fired up that the starters expect to make more than just a token appearance in the third of four preseason games.

''That's the biggest thing,'' Stafford said. ''We love that it's a sellout and it's national TV and we're excited about it. But it's about our football team and getting better. We're going against a great team in the Patriots and it's a chance to compete.''

Brady feels the same way, even going as far as insisting the previously lowly Lions will give him a feel for how ready they are to win games that count in a couple weeks.

''Hopefully we go out and play really well,'' he said. ''I think that would be a great way for us to kind of see where we're at against a very good team.''

In particular, New England offensive guard Logan Mankins is looking forward to matching up with Detroit's defensive line.

''It's going to be a big test for the O line,'' Mankins said. ''They've got one of the better front fours in the league, so we'll get to see where we're at this week if we can hold our own against them.''

Patriots safety James Sanders, likewise, has been impressed with Stafford and his options: Johnson and Nate Burleson along with tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler.

''A lot of very dangerous skill players, a great young quarterback,'' he said. ''It's going to be a test for our defense.''

Detroit's defense, of course, will face the daunting challenge of trying to slow down Brady. The reigning MVP looked as sharp as ever last week, leading the first-string offense to scores on four of six possessions in the first half against Tampa Bay.

''There's nothing like playing Tom Brady,'' Lions cornerback Eric Wright said. ''He's a jacket guy, a future Hall of Famer.''


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