Last season was spent explaining his behavior more than it was making plays. And Ndamukong Suh, the Detroit Lions’ fiery defensive lineman, said that will change this year.
”Is ‘good’ good enough? No, not at all,” he said. ”I would hope to be great.”
Suh emerged as a force in his rookie season of 2010, finishing the season with 10 sacks and anchoring a Detroit defensive line that looked like it had the potential to be among the league’s best. Last year, he had only four sacks, and although he was still a handful for opposing blockers, he made as much news for his style of play as for his production.
To get there, Suh has to control his emotions. He was suspended for two games for stomping Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving Day. He racked up fines almost weekly for out-of-control play.
”I didn’t like my approach, now that I look back on that particular season – especially compared to my rookie season,” Suh said. ”There’s really some foundational things in my game I need to focus on.”
Suh requested a meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss his play after he’d drawn several penalties and fines. Then on Thanksgiving, he stomped at Green Bay offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith and was suspended for two games.
Now Suh is talking about a renewed focus. The 25-year-old defensive tackle is still one of the game’s most recognizable young stars.
”Accountability is making sure you’re prepared and whatever you have to do to make sure you’re a contributing factor to this team,” he told Yahoo! Sports. “Everybody’s a professional or else you wouldn’t be on this team, and you need to do whatever’s extra to get you to that same level. My attention to detail has increased, and I think that will be an added factor to help me be the player that I want to be.”