By Ashley Dunkak
ALLEN PARK (CBS DETROIT) – Since once again putting himself in the national spotlight with bad behavior after an illegal block that resulted in a $100,000 fine, Ndamukong Suh has been the target of football commentators everywhere.
The latest and perhaps most sensational came from writer and commentator Jay Glazer, who talked disparagingly of the way Suh practices during the pregame show before the Detroit Lions faced off against the Arizona Cardinals Sunday.
“Even in practice, Ndamukong gives guys the business,” Glazer said. “He’ll slam a guy’s head against the ground. He’ll stomp on a guy. He’ll take little shots at guys. And guys are concerned if he can’t control himself even in practice with us, how can he control himself against someone else’s jersey?”
When asked about those allegations, head coach Jim Schwartz said the extreme actions Glazer mentioned had absolutely not happened, and he invoked the local media’s practice access as further evidence.
“You guys are at practice every day,” Schwartz began, “and I don’t think you guys would get scooped on anything like that. You saw just about every one of our OTAs. You saw every one of our training camp practices. We kept training camp open that last week, extra, even though Keenist wanted to close it. We kept it open that whole time.
“I can say unequivocally he has never slammed anybody’s head to the ground or stomped on anybody,” Schwartz continued. “That’s just inflammatory stuff. It gets headlines and it gets a reaction, but I would bet that you guys would have reported that long before a guy who’s never been to one of our practices reports it.”
While Schwartz is correct that local media can observe organized team activities and training camp in full, once the season begins, reporters can view only the first half hour of practice.
“All I can tell you is you guys saw all our practices,” Schwartz said. “Unequivocally, I think that’s off base. He’s done a very good job of, in practice, working around the quarterback. He had probably one time in all of training camp that he ended up in a power rush and put a lineman back into a quarterback – which is something we try to avoid as best we can – but he had one, and that was probably the least amount of all our defensive lineman. It’s a tough situation where you tell them to rush the passer but also don’t hit the quarterback, stay off of the quarterback. I think he’s done a very good job in practice of working through that and doing that.
“You guys don’t miss much,” Schwartz added. “The reason we don’t open it up in the regular season is just game prep and different things like that. We practice with shoulder pads, but our practices aren’t what you would say heavy contact like training camp.”