After a bevy of fines led to recent criticism of Lions' defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, including a column by CBS Sports writer Mike Freeman in which the word "nastiness" was used (no, really, we're serious), consider former Giants' defensive end Michael Strahan in Suh's corner.
The current FOX Sports analyst dismissed allegations that Detroit's second-year player was a dirty player.
"I don't think Suh is a dirty player at all," said the seven-time pro bowler in a recent FOXSports.com article. "He's talented, he's aggressive and he's had some penalties, but that doesn't make him dirty. He's just a guy that sets the tone for not only the defense, but for that team."
The vitriol aimed towards Suh has stemmed from two preseason incidents, including Suh's swipe at Patriots' offensive lineman Logan Mankins during Saturday's exhibition win over New England. In the version not available to casual viewers of the game's highlights, Suh was clearly defending fellow teammate Lawrence Jackson from Mankins' own dirty doings.
Continued Strahan, "Before, a lot of teams looked at Detroit as just a team to get in and get out, without anybody getting hurt and get your victory, and now you know you're in for a fight. A guy like Suh is one of the reasons for that."
The FOX Sports crew is among the many that expect Detroit to field a team to be reckoned with in 2011.
"I think that's a pretty pick this year, especially with a healthy quarterback in Matt Stafford," said former Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson.