Did the Detroit Lions’ season fall apart, at least in part, because of the actions of a player? Detroit Sports 105.1’s Matt Dery teased that thought earlier this morning.
— Matt Dery (@dery1051) January 31, 2014
So what’s the story? According to Heath Evans, Ndamukong Suh was that “uncontrollable” player. Evans cites players who he respects in the Lions locker room as his source and described antics such as showing up late to try to show he had power over Jim Schwartz.
Dery went on to say that Suh is liked in the Lions locker room to which Evans pointed out that there is a difference between being liked and respected.
Evans’ comments are in contrast to the public face Suh put on prior to the season in terms of wanting to be a team leader. Voted a team captain prior to the season, there must have been a decent level of respect among his peers. Did it erode over the season? Were Suh’s actions an indication of Schwartz losing the locker room on a greater scale? Is the hearsay overblown? Who knows, but it is more white noise for a player that has had a hard time distancing himself from that kind of talk.
In fairness to Suh, he has been the recipient of some not so nice reports from national people that haven’t been backed up by the local reporters who spend much more time around the team. It was Jay Glazer who reported that Suh could at times be overly aggressive in practices, including slamming heads into the ground. No local beat writer ever said they had seen anything like that.
You can listen to the podcast of the interview on the Detroit Sports 105.1 website.