It didn’t take long for Ndamukong Suh to develop a reputation as one of the most physical – if not dirtiest – players in the league. In fact, a report over the weekend claimed that Suh’s eccentricities carries over into practice with the same conduct he shows in games coming through on the Detroit Lions’ practice fields.
Head coach Jim Schwartz said Suh’s practice habits weren’t any issue for the team on Monday. Now center Dominic Raiola is also coming to the defense of Suh.
“That never happened,” Raiola said, via Mike O’Hara of the team’s official website. “It’s completely false. You have to look no further than his teammates voting him captain. He doesn’t do that in practice. It’s totally false.”
Raiola has to deal with Suh daily in practice for the past four seasons. He’s in a position to know whether Suh is going overboard on the practice field and treating his teammates poorly. He’s not buying it.
“He practices hard,” Raiola said. “That’s how you should practice — like a professional. That how he gets himself ready to play. I don’t know exactly what the words were but he’s not stomping on teammates, hitting people in the faces.”
The fact that Suh has been named a team captain seems to backup Raiola’s assertions. If Suh was injuring teammates or going over the line with his conduct in practice, he probably wouldn’t earn enough respect from his peers to be named a captain. There’s plenty of reasons to question Suh’s conduct during games and his instances of unnecessary roughness against opponents, but the thought that he’s treating his teammates the same way seems a little far-fetched.