Former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz probably isn’t high on the list of people one would expect to come to the defense of Ndamukong Suh. But with Heath Evans telling Detroit Sports 105.1′s Matt Dery last week that Suh was “uncontrollable” at times and tried to show power over his head coach, Schwartz has chosen to stand up and publicly refute the comment. Schwartz did so in a released statement:
Ndamukong Suh was not late for any team meeting, practice or team travel in any of our four years together with the Lions. Anyone who reports otherwise is either being untruthful or has been misled.
Evans cited conversations with three different players in stating what he heard regarding Suh’s actions last season. While what he had to say might play well nationally where Suh envokes strong emotions, it is in contrast to the sentiment expressed by local beat writers who are around the team on a daily basis. Suh was reportedly much more available and made himself a bigger part of the locker room as he sought to take on a larger leadership role. Those steps seemed to be well received with his teammates voting him one of the team’s captains prior to the start of the regular season.
Still freshly fired by the Lions, Schwartz could have stayed silent on the topic and no one would have blamed him. Clearly he felt the need to comment on Evans’ accusations, suggesting the words passed on to Evans were either severely overblown or flat out lies from teammates who want to bring Suh down.