Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is a polarizing figure around the NFL.
At times he’s heralded as one of the game’s best defensive linemen and in other moments he’s criticized for his aggressive play, while being labeled as “overrated”.
He’s worked hard to put himself out into the mainstream media and is commonly featured in running Subway and Nike ads. He even made an appearance on the dating game show “the Choice”.
Yet Suh has been the subject of some negative press lately, most recently a law suit stemming from a December car accident in Portland.
Everyone seems to have an opinion of the third-year defensive tackle.
What does Suh think about all of this? True to his form, he kept everything football-related.
“I’m just excited to be here for football,” he said upon last weekend's launch of Lions training camp. “We’ve had a great minicamp, got a lot of work in, from an installation piece. The defense has taken a big step. We haven’t had to review much and kind of hit the ground running.”
Last season, Suh referred to his personal performance as “indifferent” despite claims from his own coaches that he had a legitimate impact on the game.
“I hold myself to a higher standard and I expect more from myself,” said Suh. “I’m the hardest critic on myself along with those two coaches I look deeply to (defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham and defensive line coach Kris Kocurek)”
Suh spent the offseason working on his game, citing his approach, attention to detail and technique as a few specific areas of focus. He claimed that he needs to concentrate on the fundamental elements of the position rather than the glory of a big play.
“There are some foundational things that I need to focus on before I can get to the exciting pieces, like making sacks,” he said.
Suh’s comments aren’t those of a player lacking confidence or one hoping to survive another week in training camp. They aren’t even from a man hoping to earn a starting job.
They are from a competitor striving for greatness.
“I would hope to be great,” said Suh. “I plan to be like guys I’ve seen play, Warren Sapp, Mean Joe Greene. You know them for a reason, they are memorable names because what they’ve done on the football field and what they stand for.”
Everyone will always have their opinions of Suh. In terms of his on field performance, he plans on providing them a few more.