Craig Remsburg column: Lions’ Suh must think more on the field

Ndamukong Suh is regarded by many to be the NFL’s dirtiest player, maybe rightfully so.

The Detroit Lions defensive tackle has stomped on a prone Evan Dietrich-Smith of the Green Bay Packers and kicked Houston quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin area.

Suh has also roughed up QBs Andy Dalton of Cincinnati, Jay Cutler of Chicago and Jake Delhomme of Cleveland.

He was fined for those three indiscretions, as well as $30,000 for the kick on Schaub. For his foot work on Dietrich-Smith, Suh was suspended two games.

This past week, the star Lion was fined $100,000 for an illegal low block on Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan during an interception return.

Reputed to be a decent man off the field, Suh is a beast between the lines.

He’s lucky the NFL saw his latest indiscretion a fineable offense and not one that called for a suspension. With Suh’s track record, a suspension seemed automatic.

His hit on Sullivan, a block below the waist while the latter was attempting to run down the Lions’ DeAndre Levy during what first appeared to be a “pick-6” play, may have been deemed illegal by referees, but it wasn’t so egregious it demanded Suh sit down for a game or two.

The Lion said he wasn’t purposefully going after Sullivan’s knees. Suh apologized to Sullivan during halftime of the Lions’ eventual 34-24 victory.

Said Sullivan: “He apologized … and it’s fine. I think guys get caught up in the play sometimes. So, sometimes things happen.”

Suh’s illegal block cost the Lions a touchdown. Fortunately for the team and its fans, it didn’t cost a win. If it had, Suh’s subsequent fine would have been the least of his problems.

The play was stupid and uncalled for. Sullivan wasn’t going to catch Levy before the latter reached the end zone. Perhaps Suh – named a Lions captain last week – was just trying to make sure.

It still didn’t warrant the action taken, however. Suh needs to think more instead of just reacting in an aggressive manner.

That’s not easy to do in the heat of the moment when playing such a violent game. But there’s a line in pro football you shouldn’t cross and Suh apparently likes to live on that line.

If he really wants to lead the Lions this season and beyond to playoff contention, he has to be more careful not to make plays that are uncalled for and just plain wrong.