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Coach, teammate defend Suh for his no-shows

Suh Getty Images

On Tuesday, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh made his first appearance of the year at his team’s offseason workouts, after skipping the first two phases of the program and also not showing up for the first voluntary minicamp of the Jim Caldwell regime.

Caldwell and at least one of Suh’s teammates expressed no concerns about the player’s past absences.

“I don’t understand why that would even come up as an issue,” Caldwell said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.  “He didn’t do anything wrong, he didn’t break any rules. It’s all voluntary. I don’t think it makes much sense.”

While it was wise for Caldwell to not say or do anything to suggest that the sessions aren’t voluntary, it’s hard to digest the notion that there should be no concern over Suh boycotting the opportunity to get to know the new coach and his staff and to prepare in a structured setting for a contract year (unless he’s extended).  Of course there should be concern, and of course the concern should make sense.

Defensive tackle C.J. Mosley agreed with Caldwell’s assessment.

“We’re talking about Suh here, and in all my years there’s never been a guy who’s been more professional about his job,” Mosley said, via Birkett. “That’s the last person you need to worry about.”

Still, with limited opportunities in the offseason for players and coaches to work together and a new coach in town and Suh hoping to get a contract that pays him a lot of money and the Lions hoping to chop down a cap number that exceeds $22 million, Suh arguably should have have treated the 2014 offseason the same way that virtually every other player on every other team has treated the offseason program — but showing up for it.

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42 Responses to “Coach, teammate defend Suh for his no-shows”
  1. sterling7 says: May 21, 2014 9:12 AM

    What else did you expect them to do-trash’em? This man has not been a dominate top 5 at his position (a top 10 definitely) and he’s not a leader, although at this point for a new contract he’ll tough it out and act as if he cares. He’s been this way his whole life, he’s known for this attitude his entire college/NFL career-only a fool would expect him to change!

  2. Norseman says: May 21, 2014 9:12 AM

    Lots of truth avoidance in camp Detroit these days.

    Oh, and BTW they didn’t really try to trade Suh either.

  3. realnflmaster says: May 21, 2014 9:19 AM

    Suh is a lockerroom headcase and Caldwell is a terrible coach.

    4-12.

  4. awdlmd says: May 21, 2014 9:19 AM

    I am sure he is hard at work training on his own, refining his pass rush moves such as the kick to the junk move.

  5. indywilson40 says: May 21, 2014 9:20 AM

    A clueless coach and a guy that barely knows Suh are his staunchest supporters. No wonder the Lions organization is a joke.

  6. thelionsrgreat says: May 21, 2014 9:22 AM

    And continuing to cover for him will lead to the same lousy stuff us fans have gotten used to from our lions teams. More disappointment. Really would like to see him move on, the sooner the better.

  7. doctorrustbelt says: May 21, 2014 9:23 AM

    You want to root for the underdog lions… but… lazy losers like suh and fairley make it very difficult.

  8. officialgame says: May 21, 2014 9:23 AM

    Hey, no big deal, he was busy shopping for fake wood and sconces with Kerry Williams.

  9. crownofthehelmet says: May 21, 2014 9:24 AM

    So the supposedly best D-Line in football have their 2 stars skipping OTA’s. Great start to building checmistry with the new guys.

  10. lionrexx says: May 21, 2014 9:26 AM

    I laugh at all the people who question his decision to work out on his own, because how dare he do this and not obey the wishes of the masses… and realnflmaster, you must be in the lockerroom to see the interaction these two have there, Right ?…smh

  11. godfatherd says: May 21, 2014 9:32 AM

    The guy did exactly what he has every years he’s been in the league. This might be the most overblown story of the month.

  12. troy43mvp says: May 21, 2014 9:36 AM

    When something is not mandatory it shouldn’t have to be defended.

  13. 3yardsndust says: May 21, 2014 9:39 AM

    Suh is a lazy head case with a team full of enablers. Disgusting.

  14. justanothersportsjunkie says: May 21, 2014 9:47 AM

    If it’s that big of a puzzle to you, why don’t you have him on PFT live and ask him directly?

  15. clevelandrocksyourface says: May 21, 2014 10:02 AM

    Suh’s a punk and the dirtiest player in the NFL now that Wines Hard retired.

  16. johnelwayishorsefaced says: May 21, 2014 10:05 AM

    To everyone who has commented here: Your personal opinions of Suh are completely irrelevant.
    The fact of the matter is that he’s a pro bowler and the best defensive tackle in the NFL.
    You hate him because of one or two incidents that were way overblown by the media but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a dominant player.
    It really doesn’t matter to us Lions fans that you don’t like him. In fact we prefer it that way. We think your whining is funny and it makes us all that much happier when he sacks your quarterback.
    I will personally think back on these comments and laugh at you every time Suh dominates your offensive line and makes a great play this season.

  17. wisconsinhillfolk says: May 21, 2014 10:05 AM

    Voluntary.

  18. campcouch says: May 21, 2014 10:06 AM

    If Suh magically became a free agent,I wonder how many of the folks that find him lazy,disgusting and a head case would lobby for their team to sign him.

  19. rc33 says: May 21, 2014 10:09 AM

    The quote from CJ Mosely is flat-out laughable. “Never seen anyone more professional?” A guy that kicks players when they’re on their backs, stomps on face masks….are you kidding me?
    Please Detroit, by all means, drastically overpay this 4-3 only, above average-only Defensive Tackle. Please give him tens of millions of dollars.

  20. oldbyrd says: May 21, 2014 10:16 AM

    He’s a problem. Great player but, I wonder if the Lions got fair value for him, if he,s worth the trouble.

  21. thestrategyexpert says: May 21, 2014 10:17 AM

    Great so our coach doesn’t know how to play detective and he’s stumped, that’s wonderful.

  22. crownofthehelmet says: May 21, 2014 10:21 AM

    clevelandrocksyourface says:
    … the dirtiest player in the NFL now that Wines Hard retired.
    ————————————————
    Sour grapes.

  23. weepingjebus says: May 21, 2014 10:26 AM

    Everyone’s probably glad he’s not showing up, sort of like how it’s nice to not wake up to a grizzly in your garage.

  24. simplesimon1 says: May 21, 2014 10:27 AM

    So, let me get this straight.

    First, I wonder how many people that hate Suh are the same people that love and defend idiots like Aldon Smith. But anyways….

    Suh doesn’t show up and the media and all the haters can’t find enough ways to flip out. I even saw people like Sapp and Evans flying off the table about it, and then asking Rod Woodson if he thought it was a big deal, and all Rod said was “No” and that he skipped them too….LOL

    Now, Suh shows up but all anybody wants to talk about was how he didn’t show up earlier.

    Good lord. No matter what the guy does he can’t win. We even have a player where the media goes through all the plays to see if anything was missed after the fact, like was done last year. It’s gotten old.

    Suh is the unquestioned best DT in football now that we don’t know how Atkins will respond after his injury. He gets double teamed on every play and still has more QB pressures than any other DT, period. His play hasn’t declined despite what the talking heads say. In fact, last year was his best statistical year. Just take a look at PFF.

    In the end, he will dominate at his position again this year, quietly be one of the most charitable players off the field and, once again get dogged every step of the way. Only reason people hate Suh is because he’s not on their team.

  25. justanothersportsjunkie says: May 21, 2014 10:43 AM

    rc33: “A guy that kicks players when they’re on their backs, stomps on face masks”.

    If this is in reference to the incident involving Evan Dietrich-Smith, give over it already. It was a stupid example of losing it in the heat of the moment and he was appropriately reprimanded & penalized. It was, also, 3 years ago.

    If Dietrich-Smith was wearing his helmet on his upper arm then, yes, Suh stomped on his facemask.

    You are a microcosm of what’s wrong with society. You, like the media, fixate on the small percentage of anything negative and totally ignore all of the positive because it feeds your need to express self-righteous indignation while, for the media, it sells more newspapers or get more hits on their blogs.

  26. purpleguy says: May 21, 2014 10:51 AM

    The issue wouldn’t come up if Suh simply acted like a captain. The solution to the no-shows is just to not make him a captain.

  27. harrisonhits2 says: May 21, 2014 10:57 AM

    Suh is the epitome of an over entitled me first bottom feeder player. Would not want a cancer like that on a team I follow.

  28. johnelwayishorsefaced says: May 21, 2014 11:02 AM

    You people never cease to amaze me with your fantasy versions of things Suh has done.
    Some guy above said that he “stomps on face masks” Really? When was that? Please enlighten me. I remember him kicking Evan Dietrich-Smith in the arm after he wouldn’t stop untying Suh’s shoes in the pile. I also remember the media sensationalizing it to the point of calling it a stomp but I just can’t remember him stomping anyone’s face mask for the life of me.
    Please provide supporting evidence for your statement.

  29. maninthebox044 says: May 21, 2014 11:14 AM

    Defensive tackle C.J. Mosley agreed with Caldwell’s assessment.

    “We’re talking about Suh here, and in all my years there’s never been a guy who’s been more professional about his job,”…said one player about another who’s the exact opposite of the word professional”.

    Looks like the new Detroit regime is adopting the make-excuses-for-the-biggest-baby-on-the-team of their predecessors.

  30. hyzers says: May 21, 2014 11:24 AM

    When a Suh story gets published, the wild delusions of his haters come out of the wood work.
    “Not even a top 5 DT.” “Stomped on a facemask.” “Lazy.”

    Can’t believe I’m even responding to such jealousy-fueled ignorance.

  31. granadafan says: May 21, 2014 11:30 AM

    Yes, OTAs are voluntary, but Suh is a captain and supposed leader of the team whose role is to set an example for his teammates. It speaks volumes when you’re huffing it and suffering in drills with the guys next to you, yet the captain decided to not to show up. You don’t see QBs skipping out on OTAs.

  32. conormacleod says: May 21, 2014 11:46 AM

    godfatherd says:
    May 21, 2014 9:32 AM

    The guy did exactly what he has every years he’s been in the league. This might be the most overblown story of the month.
    ——————————————-
    How’s that working out for the team? NOBODY expects this team to make the playoffs…ever.

    With a new coach, it IS a big deal. He just basically told the new coach that he doesn’t care who the coach is, he is going to do his own thing. This isn’t baseball. In the NFL, it is important for the team to come together as a team.

  33. mazenblue says: May 21, 2014 12:07 PM

    So much jealousy of the Lions. WOW

  34. mazenblue says: May 21, 2014 12:09 PM

    Also, Suh donates more than your favorite super hero or chicago care bear ever has.

  35. winstonjed44 says: May 21, 2014 12:33 PM

    Where’s the list of all the players that missed the voluntary workouts for every team? There are plenty of players on every team that don’t go to these workouts. Do you really think it will affect his performance on the field when the season comes? Because he didn’t come to the workouts means he hasn’t already established a relationship with the coaching staff? Give me a break.

  36. tedmurph says: May 21, 2014 1:52 PM

    Disrespectful to his team and the new regime. Those of you that say others would want them on their team if he were available; no thanks. Has Haynesworth written all over him, especially once he gets his next contract.

  37. ragnarthegreat says: May 21, 2014 1:53 PM

    Like most of us, I only know the guy from what I see on TV and hear about from reporters. Things like 4 fines from the league in 4 years totaling a record amount. Stomping on people’s heads repeatedly in front of a TV camera. Dominating a player and then low blocking a center at the knee who had been getting the best of him and finally being suspended for 2 games when most players never get suspended in a whole career. This isn’t rumors or opinions. Based on this factual information, you are free to love him as a player but I don’t want him on my team.

  38. jayblack073 says: May 21, 2014 2:39 PM

    I was hoping the Lions would be getting a bit better but it seems like they are about to implode. Why did you pick Detroit of all places, Golden? I would’ve taken less than half of what they offered to play with a real franchise.

  39. bbbmf says: May 21, 2014 3:03 PM

    He follows the same routine every year. If he shows up in shape and ready to go, which he always has, there IS no issue.

  40. bamboozle99 says: May 21, 2014 3:20 PM

    Smart for Caldwell not to engage in a power struggle with Suh. He clearly needs to look elsewhere for leadership.

  41. staffordsyear says: May 21, 2014 3:58 PM

    When your the best DT in the league and put together pro bowl seasons about every year(3 out of 4 to be exact) you can do whatever you want.

    Jealous much people?

  42. salmen76 says: May 21, 2014 4:17 PM

    The fact that the OTAs are ‘Voluntary’ is exactly why Suh and ALL other players should show up when they begin. By not showing up you are demonstrating that you’re the type of person that just wants to do the minimum expected of you. Anybody can do the minimum. Its those dedicated, hard working, lean forward, self disciplined players that show up for OTAs. And that’s one of the reasons that the Lions will NEVER even go to a Super Bowl much less win one. I’m glad Suh is a lazy undisciplined player. Because that makes the Lions just that much easier to beat. If Suh dedicated himself to the OTAs and played up to the level of his talent with ‘discipline’ (avoiding silly personal fouls) it would be very hard to beat the Lions. Geaux Saints!

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