Suh attributes offseason absences to being a loner

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With Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh entering the final year of his rookie contract, every twist and turn in the relationship between player and team serves as a potential clue regarding the future.

When it comes to Suh’s failure to show up for much of the Detroit offseason program in Jim Caldwell’s first year as head coach, the second overall pick in the 2010 draft says not much should be read into his decision to not be around.

I’m there when everyone reports,” Suh told John Canzano of the Oregonian.  “I like being in my own niche and by myself. I have my trainers here [in Portland].  I get 1-on-1 attention.  I have every ounce of this campus to myself.  My coaches have been here.  I’ve probably talked with our head coach more than just about any player on the team.”

Talking to the coach is one thing.  Emerging as a leader on a team devoid of many is another.  But if Caldwell hopes Suh to step up and hold others accountable, Caldwell may not want to hold his breath or any other bodily function.

“I’m naturally an introvert,” Suh said.  “I’ve always been kind of to myself, and in my own world.  I have a small group of friends.  I’ve always been that way. I’ve always been super quiet.  I like to be that way.”

The interview with Canzano doesn’t address whether Suh likes to be a Lion, and more importantly whether he’ll remain a Lion beyond 2014.  With a cap number north of $22 million, the Lions won’t use the franchise tag next year, since keeping him for 2015 would exceed $26 million.  Without a new contract, he’ll hit the open market in March.

Which means that the introvert could be exporting himself to a new team.

50 responses to “Suh attributes offseason absences to being a loner

  1. not every talented player is cut out to also be a leader. it’s clear suh is not, but his talent is considerable enough to make him an elite player regardless.

  2. Hard to keep good players in Detroit. Love Suh, even if he dons another uni.

    But please stay and be a part of the solution. The Lions becoming a winner would mean so much more than you understand.

  3. The guy is the best paid player on the middling team. He carries a reputation for effective physical play on a dominate D-line, that is prone to giving up 40+ points a few time a year. He signed his contract, and will get his money as he signed for and is credited for.. I would never resign him. With a contract year, that is the respect and leadership you bring after they dropped a lion share of there budget on you. Terrible manners and more.

  4. For the first two years of his career, Gerald McCoy at Tampa Bay (same draft class, 1st round as Suh) was compared to Suh. McCoy’s injuries those years had some saying he was a bust. Well, the last two years have shown the truth. Gerald McCoy is a better player in all aspects. He doesn’t get suspended; he’s the team captain; he leads the team in sacks; he’s feared all over the NFL, not for his temper, but for his ability. The Bucs came out on top here. I do wonder if Suh will be around Detroit longer term. And if he crosses the new Head Coach there, Caldwell may just do what Gruden did to Keyshawn: BENCH. There is no room on an NFL for a guy who wants to be a loner.

  5. Both Suh and Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay) are up for new contracts. Suh pulls the absenteeism ploy mentioned in the article, while McCoy shows up to voluntary team workout events, community events, leads, and mentors others. Over the last two years, McCoy has outperformed Suh in both tackles and sacks. Suh in fact, really had his best year as a rookie and has been up and down every year. Gerald has improved every year. Which guy would you want on your team now?

  6. You sure can tell that it’s vacation time in the NFL. Sports writers have to make up provocative stories to fill the empty pages. First of all, Suh has ALWAYS used private trainers during the off season and has never attended the voluntary conditioning phase of the off-season. He always reports to mini-camps and training camp in absolutely top condition. His personal conditioning program is very demanding and far exceeds the ones in Allen Park. Tell me the last time you saw him run out of gas late in a game.
    Secondly, Suh is not going anywhere. If he became a free agent there would be 31 other teams knocking on his door and his trade value would put the Herschel Walker deal to shame. Suh will remain a Lion.

  7. He’s not worth $22m. I’d cut him. I know no one will agree but I’d be expecting a leader for that $$$.

  8. Andre Johnson and Vernon Davis attribute their absenses to being greedy bastards?

  9. @explosionsauce
    Give it a rest. How long ago was that? Are you that lame that you have nothing original to contribute to a discussion?
    And for all you bucks fans…..for all of McCoys great play the last 2 years (since you want to discount the fact that they were both drafted FOUR years ago), whose played on the better team. Have McCoy ever been to the post-season? Does McCoy receive the kind of attention from offensive coordinators that Suh does? Lions drafted the better player, all that dirty talk is for people who don’t know real football

  10. 1) I see no problem with it. not everyone is leader material mentally. Suh has played at pro bowl level almost every year.

    2) cutting him now would be silly. the cap hit alone would kill us. get what we can out of him this year and if he doesn’t redo a nw deal let him walk.

  11. With all of the talent on Detroit’s D-line I am sure one of them will step up into a leadership role, I wouldn’t be worried if I were a lions fan. Although as a Vikings fan I hope he leaves the nfc north when his contract is up.

  12. And for the delusional Buc’s fans, McCoy would be riding the bench behind Suh and Fairley if he were in Detroit.

  13. @uncleruckus

    Yeah dude is still dirty, he does something every year to remind us. Last year it was the nasty cheap chop block on an O-lineman. Then he tries to deny it after the fact. I’d respect him more if he owned up to it. The man plays like a beast possessed (that’s ok!), don’t try and lie and tell me I didn’t see what I saw. That’s where my dislike comes from more than the dirty play.

  14. “I’m naturally an introvert,” Suh said. “I’ve always been kind of to myself, and in my own world. I have a small group of friends. I’ve always been that way. I’ve always been super quiet. I like to be that way.”

    Sound like anyone else we know that preferred the company of a few close friends over his teammates?

  15. Well flickaboogie, who are you calling delusional my friend? You say to Bucs fans that “McCoy would be riding the bench behind Suh and Fairley if he were in Detroit.” Again, McCoy’s outperformed Suh for the past two years–not to mention he shows up to work. If you think McCoy would ride any bench on any team, that’s up to you. But I speak on facts. Not to mention, Suh would probably be suspended anyway. I think his days in Detroit are numbered.

  16. What’s the problem here? So Suh got 4 sacks in a season and got suspended two games for stomping on an opponent’s arm that same year. Lots of guys underperform and hurt their team by their behavior. That’s just how Suh is….a loner. I mean, what head coach wouldn’t want a whole team of guys like this? Yeah, the Lions ought to sign this guy up long term. Signed, The State of Wisconsin

  17. Suh, wouldn’t get as much grief if he hadn’t come out and stated that he wanted to be the leader of the team. Leaders show up and lead by example. Others demand respect through shear intimidation and yelling the loudest (boot camp sergeants). The latter gets no respect.

  18. Coming from a Raider fan, I would still rather have Suh over McCoy based on there style of play. I do believe Suh is the better player but GM is still a great player I would love to have. I honestly don’t see Suh staying in Detroit past this year and if he wants to stay the better player he needs to figure it out now or GM will be the better option. But right now side by side I would rather have Suh.

  19. So much for that “championship DNA” …

    Suh just happens to be one of those few guys who has it over on the NFL. Drafted high before the last collective bargaining agreement, he’s totally overpaid when compared to the four or five year first contracts that rookies get now. He’s got more money than he can ever spend (well, maybe) … and he’s going to get another truck load come September.

    He’s one of the few NFL players who are actually in the driver’s seat. His play has been good – when motivated … but nothing spectacular on a regular basis. He’s got it made … at the expense of the Lions.

  20. If he doesn’t re–sign with the Lions I think it would be fun to see what would happen if he went to play for the Texans. That would be something! Clowney and Watt at, with Suh in at tackle. Fearsome foursome indeed!

  21. Whats the big deal here?

    Suh has never presented him self as some sort of rah-rah leader.
    Suh mostly just claims tp be good at playing football (if you want to argue about that fine but its a different story.)
    If you know any actual successful introverts you also know that they need time alone – its makes them better sharper and more focused.

    Im a bit weary of extroverts assuming that everyone is going to be a vocal leader just because they are themselves. I hear this from owners and from media personalities.

  22. Suh is dead common and stupid. We could excuse his being a loner if he didn’t act like does on the field. The fact is that he has not learned how to be an adult and will never mature.

  23. If Suh is unsigned by this years trade deadline and the team is struggling I could see them trading him to another team for several draft picks. Jerry Jones alone would piss himself trying to throw draft picks for Suh. He did it for Roy Williams and Jon Kitna and they sucked.

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