Earlier this offseason, Nick Fairley said that he and Ndamukong Suh give the Lions the best defensive tackle combination in the NFL.
The comment elicited a strong reaction among members of PFT Planet and around the league with arguments being made on both side of the coin, but Fairley’s partner on the line knows that such honorifics are ultimately meaningless. Suh says that he likes the challenge that comes with Fairley’s boast and agrees that he and Fairley “have the potential and the opportunity to be great,” but that they’re going to have to do more than talk to lead the Lions defense.
“I think it’s fun and it’s something good,” Suh said, via Andrew Siciliano of the NFL Network. “You’re doing something positive if you’re having a target on your back and you’re a main focus of offensive coaches and their staff. And they really have to focus on you guys and take the pressure off the rest of your teammates, allow them to make plays. If me and Nick can do that, that will be a great thing and something that I welcome and I know Nick welcomes. Let’s just make the most of it and instead of talking about it, let’s just be about it.”
It would be hard to overstate the importance of the Fairley-Suh duo to the Lions defense, so Detroit will need both players to be about it about as often as possible next season. That said, it would be just as hard to ignore that both Fairley and Suh playing well last season didn’t do much to lift the defense. It takes more than two players and the Lions will need to find others to turn things back around.