The Detroit Lions were not a good team last season, but they were a feared team.
Players on the Lions came in first and second in a poll of NFL players conducted by ESPN that asked, “Who is the most feared player in the NFL?”
Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh came in first, with 19 percent of the vote, and Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson came in second, just behind Suh. ESPN hasn’t broken down all of the details of the survey results, but presumably it was predominantly offensive linemen and quarterbacks ranking Suh as the most feared and defensive backs ranking Johnson as the most feared.
Suh has previously come in first in surveys asking players to identify the dirtiest player in the NFL, but Suh would like to think his presence at the top of this survey is about the way he can affect an offense by playing within the rules.
“If it’s feared from the context of they don’t want to play against me and they are worried about how I may affect the game and affect the offense, it’s definitely appreciated,” Suh told ESPN.com. “It’s definitely seen as a plus and a positive. Guys have respect for you, just like guys have respect for Calvin. I’m surprised I edged him out but, hopefully, I don’t have to edge him out and we can just be co-winners. I prefer that.”
Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt came in third, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis was fourth, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was fifth, Bengals linebacker James Harrison was sixth and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was seventh.