Ndamukong Suh unfazed by latest scrutiny
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- For better or worse, mostly worse, the spotlight keeps getting brighter on Ndamukong Suh as every step he takes on the field gets heavily scrutinized.
Some of it's justified. Some of it maybe not.
Either way, it’s adding up.
The Detroit Lions’ website is reporting that Suh has been fined $31,500 for a hit in Sunday’s game on Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weedon.
Suh, 6-foot-4, 307-pound beast in the middle of the Lions’ defensive line, tries not to worry about it all. He just keeps playing.
“You roll with the punches,” Suh, in his fourth NFL season, said Wednesday following practice. “Not everything is going to go your way in life. I’ve understood that, grew up that way.
“I wanted Nintendo 64 when I was little. My mom said no, so I had to deal with it.”
Suh, who reacted as if he didn't know another of his hits was under debate, has kept a sense of humor about it all for the most part this year. His weekly sessions with the media have gotten considerably longer and much more entertaining than in past years when he came off as surly more often than not.
Asked Wednesday for his reaction to losing his appeal on the $100,000 fine he received earlier this season, Suh just pointed to the blank expression on his face.
“Can’t do anything about it,” he said. “You’ve just got to move forward. That’s the only thing you can do. Just move on to the next week.”
This week, it's the hit on Weeden. No penalty was called on the play, but the league decided to take a closer look to determine whether there was a “potential helmet-to-body” shot, according to Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating.
If the report is accurate about the latest fine, it brings the total amount in fines/suspensions to nearly $375,000 in his career.
Suh’s teammate, Dominic Raiola, couldn’t believe that the hit from Sunday was even being questioned.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Raiola, an offensive lineman. “I mean the guy’s violent. Football’s a violent game. I don’t think you can ever make hitting somebody soft.
“I saw the play on the sideline. It was a football play to me. But I guess maybe my view of football is different from the way football is viewed now. I really don’t know what they’re looking at.”
Suh knows that every move he makes is going to be picked apart – analyzed and overanalyzed – for probably as long as he plays the game.
He has incredible strength, plays on the edge and has crossed the line often enough during his four-year career that anything he does will be under review by fans, analysts, other players and the league.
Being classified as a multiple-repeat offender doesn’t help.
“There’s always going to be a microscope on me no matter where it is from media, from NFL to little kids to everybody,” Suh said. “My face is out there.
“Do I think it’s fair? Nothing in life is fair. It’s a double-edged sword. Having some success in the game is obviously going to garner attention.”
From “The Stomp” (Thanksgiving Day 2011 against Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith) to “The Kick” (Thanksgiving Day 2012 against Houston quarterback Matt Schaub) to “The Block” (opening game 2013 against Minnesota offensive lineman John Sullivan), Suh has a track record that makes at least part of this scrutiny understandable.
“Scrutiny’s part of this game, particularly for high-profile players,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. “He fits the bill.”
Call him dirty, call him whatever you want. Suh doesn’t seem to care.
He’s not going away and neither is the obsession over him.
--- Receiver Calvin Johnson (knee), running back Joique Bell (ribs) and cornerback Rashean Mathis (groin) all took part in at least part of Wednesday’s practice.
--- The Lions brought back receiver Patrick Edwards for the practice squad and released tight end/running back Shaun Chappas.
Edwards cleared waivers after being released Monday from the 53-man roster. He had been active for four games, the maximum number allowed to still be eligible for a practice squad.
--- Dorin Dickerson, a 6-1, 226-pound tight end, took part in his first practice as a Lion. He was signed Tuesday to add depth because tight end Tony Scheffler is out with a concussion.
“He’s a little different kind of tight end than what we have,” Schwartz said. “Little bit shorter, little bit stockier. He’s got some explosive speed. Sort of a hybrid-type guy, has been a wide receiver in the past.”
--- Rookie running back Theo Riddick attended practice after suffering a concussion 10 days ago, an indication that he’s made some progress even though he hasn’t been cleared to return yet.