Nov 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (90) runs off the field after the game against the Green Bay Packers during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at Ford Field. Detroit won 40-10. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

From Now On, Detroit Lions Fans Should Let Ndamukong Suh Be Himself

It’s been a tough offseason for Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. First, many accused him of not doing all he could to help the team financially. Now, considering he missed the first round of voluntary team workouts, many are accusing him of being a bad teammate.

From the beginning, it’s been clear that Suh is his own person, both on and off the field. No amount of public outrage is going to change his opinion or outlook, nor force him to act a certain way, do certain things or be a different person.

Love him or hate him, it’s time for Detroit fans to let Suh be himself most of all. Not every player fits into the cookie cutter mold of what the media and fans define as “the perfect teammate” or “perfect player.” Despite what many think or project, that player might not currently exist in the NFL.

It’s easy for many to target Suh for these shots in his own city because many don’t like his past on-field antics, nor appreciate the fact that he’s an individual. In spite of that, Suh has not yet missed a mandatory team appearance, hasn’t done anything to undermine his role with his fellow teammates and by all accounts, remains a player that the important people within the organization still value.

If Suh doesn’t tune out all the noise, there’s a chance Detroit’s vitriol could very well drive him out of town eventually. It seems that’s the goal of many who criticize and over-analyze his every move. If they ride Suh long enough, they figure he’ll simply choose to leave on his own and become someone else’s problem. For those who wish that, the phrase “be careful what you wish for” applies.

The essence of the NFL is freedom of expression and choice. Jim Caldwell wasn’t blindsided that Suh missed the non-mandatory workout, and reported he’s been in contact with Suh during the offseason as much as any other player. Had Suh been off the grid, that would have been reason for concern, but he’s done his own thing, and by all accounts, continues to prepare for the season on his own. Suh has also been a consistent player during the season.

As long as Suh is back for mandatory team activities, returns for training camp in July and suits up for the opening game in September, that’s all that should matter. How he chooses to handle his offseason in the meantime is his business.

Love him or hate him, it’s simply time to let Suh, a unique individual, be himself for the rest of his Lions’ career.

Tags: Detroit Lions Ndamukong Suh

  • Robert Ballard

    I have no problem with that except…..he is the Captain of the Detroit Lions! Why not act like it!

  • twelsh36446

    No one will stop Suh from being himself, but don’t give us fans BS about it either. Like Robert said he is the Captain and should be held accountable. I think he is overrated and overpaid myself. I’m sure the Lions could take the money they pay Suh and do much better with it team wise. Time to draft some new tackles

    • jack_sprat2

      He didn’t campaign for it. As it happens, the Lions assign Captains by position groups, or at least did so under Schwartz. Caldwell is free to do his own thing, too. It’s not as if they paid him more for the privilege.

      • twelsh36446

        As it happens, his team mates voted him captain last year, and he did let it be known he wanted to be the captain before he was voted one.

  • Len Conyers

    Translation Lions fans: keep acting like a bunch of needy, clingy, bitches and you’re going to lose your man.

    I understand you can’t get over the fact that he’s a Captain, but he is in on the field leader, a do as I do type. He may never be the kind of ra ra, locker room leader that you want him to be, but I’ll be damned if I would want him on any other team.