Leadership hasn’t been a chief concern when it comes to Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
A much bigger question has been whether Suh can control his emotions on the field well enough to avoid the penalties and suspensions that marred his 2011 season. Those concerns might have contributed to a drop in production from his rookie to sophomore seasons. Suh is ready to move past those things and move on to becoming a leader for the Lions as he prepares for his third year in the league.
Based on the location of his locker, the team seems to agree that now is the time to add that role to his portfolio. They’ve placed him between defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and quarterback Matthew Stafford, two of the team’s established leaders and it seems to be rubbing off on Suh.
“If I see a guy that needs some help and just might need a word here or (there) just to understand a little bit better, as Coach uses some of us as starters or guys that have been here a couple years that are still young that say look at what he’s doing and mimic that or whatever,” Suh said, via Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free-Press. “Then I’ll say, ‘Yeah, this is how I got to this position, this is how I got to my position to get to where Coach likes it.'”
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley’s arrest is the latest sign that the Lions need some one to find a way to get all the Lions pulling in the same direction at the same time. As much as they need Suh’s play to rebound to his rookie level, it would also help the team immensely if the defensive tackle could inspire his teammates to spend less time in the back seat of police cars in the future.