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Lions’ Suh appreciates chance to talk with Goodell
Question of the Day
DETROIT (AP) - Ndamukong Suh got his wish.
Detroit’s star defensive tackle met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his staff Tuesday to clarify questions about his play and the game.
“I have gained a better understanding how I need to continue to play the game to help my team win,” Suh said in a statement. “I look forward to the rest of the season and doing everything we can to bring the Lombardi Trophy to Detroit.”
Detroit, aiming for its first postseason appearance this century, is 6-2 for the first time since 2007 and next plays Nov. 13 at Chicago. The Lions haven’t won an NFL title since 1956, but Suh and his teammates are playing and talking with a lot of swagger these days.
Suh requested the bye-week session in New York at NFL headquarters to talk about the flags and fines he has received. He was joined by Lions coach Jim Schwartz and team president Tom Lewand, according to Goodell.
The league said senior vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, football operations consultant Jeff Fisher, vice president of officiating Carl Johnson and vice president of football operations Merton Hanks represented the NFL during the session.
“Ndamukong plays the game with great skill and passion and is a major reason for the Lions’ success this year,” Goodell said in a statement. “In the course of our dialogue today, we reviewed video showing that Ndamukong has clearly made the adjustments to play consistently within the rules so that he can continue to help the team. We commend Ndamukong’s leadership in taking the initiative to schedule today’s meeting.”
Suh’s rough play has led to $42,500 in fines since Detroit drafted him No. 2 overall out of Nebraska in 2009.
In August, he was fined a third time for roughing up a third quarterback in less than a year after grabbing Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton and throwing him to the turf after he had gotten rid of the ball. Suh vowed back then he wouldn’t “by any means” change his game. He was fined twice last year for hits on Chicago’s Jay Cutler during the regular season and Cleveland’s Jake Delhomme in a preseason game. He shoved Cutler hard and high in the back and twisted Delhomme’s face mask and slammed him to the ground.
Suh has been able to absorb the financial hits, making $40 million guaranteed with a chance to get paid as much as $68 million in his five-year contract.
He previously expressed sympathy for officials who try to determine if he’s playing within the rules.
“I really feel like I put the refs in a tough situation because of my strength,” Suh said during the preseason.
Suh was the only rookie on the All-Pro team last season and is the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
He leads a defensive line with plenty of talented players, including defensive end Cliff Avril, the NFC defensive player of the week. Avril became the first Detroit defensive player to win the award since Shaun Rogers in 2007.
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