Suh Joins Workout, Feuds with Local Media

Ndamukong Suh (Leon Halip/Getty)

Lions defensive tackle makes appearance at voluntary, player-organized workout. But the local media wasn't happy with his refusal to answer questions.

With the Well of Information going dry, and the league's ongoing lockout showing little signs of advancement, even the media is beginning to crack.

On Friday, Lions second-year defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh made his first appearance at a player-organized workout, but was later targeted by local media outlets after evidently refusing to answer their questions. Because Suh had earlier been a part of an NFL Network segment, the snubbed reporters fired back.

Detroit News columnist Chris McCosky suggested that Suh only joined his teammates because the NFL Network was there, damning Suh's participation as a "brazen piece of self-promotion" -- meanwhile contradicting the player's own comment to Huge Show host Bill Simonson (more on this later) that he had simply scheduled it with teammates Dominic Raiola and Kyle Vanden Bosch.

The workout, held at a local high school in Birmingham, MI, will likely be the team's last until the lockout is lifted.

Suh had been in the local media crosshairs after his notable absence from the team's previous voluntary sessions. Quarterback Matthew Stafford and many of the Lions' bigger names have been present, and the team averaged between 25-30 players at the gatherings.

The team's players have held a handful of organized practice sessions since the lockout began in March, setting a benchmark in player-led workout participation for a league that has been divided by the impasse.

Suh, meanwhile, spent his time rehabbing from shoulder surgery in Nebraska, along with a well-publicized Euro-trip.

And the NFL Network thing? Suh implied that it wasn't intentional, and that retired NFL player and analyst Willie McGinest -- who practiced with the team -- approached him before the workout and asked if he and Vanden Bosch would participate in two segments.

The tale of Twitter, however, would make it appear more personal. Just hours after the workout session, and after a media backlash became apparent, Suh retweeted at one point, "Not sure why anyone who wrote an article criticizing @ndamukong_suh's absence would be surprised he didn't speak with them when present."

Later on Friday, in a rather lengthy interview with Grand Rapids' based talk show host Bill Simonson, Suh responded the criticism.

"It's not a problem with me, it is what it is," he said. "My main focus was to first and foremost work out with my teammates, and that's all I really wanted to do. Willie McGinest and NFL Network, he had asked me well before the media had come out and before we started workouts whether or not it would be alright if I did one or two clips ... and we took care of it."

Added Suh, "I was running late for an appointment, and that's why I told the media that I (didn't) have time to sit down and speak and take questions."

Suh also claimed to be working out four-to-five hours every day, and that he considers the Lions a playoff contender. Said Suh, "We have a lot of great tools, we're very young, and our coaches and front office (did) a great job with drafting the various players we did. Now it's time for us to come together and put it to use, become a cohesive unit and take down the NFC north, and obviously the rest of the NFL."

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