Ndamukong Suh is without a doubt one of, if not the best defensive tackles in the NFL today. He also may be one of the most polarizing players.
Suh is known for being a dirty player throughout the league and also with fans. It seems that every impact play the Detroit Lions' DT makes involves some form of controversy.
I'm still scratching my head as to why there is any to begin with?
Are some of Suh's actions dirty and go beyond the scope of the game? Instances like stomping an opposing player last Thanksgiving is certainly an example of that. Sure the man stretches what is considered "tough football" and dirty play every week but why are fans complaining?
Brandon Marshall is a guy who's complained recently about Suh's actions. Marshall took to Twitter to call out Suh for his dirty hit on Jay Cutler, a hit that caused the Chicago Bears' QB to take a play off.
In recent years the NFL has made a number of attempts to create a safer game, namely in terms of concussions. The result has helped player safety during games but has been met with much skepticism from NFL fans. Some claim the new emphasis on player safety is taking away from the raw aggression that makes football such an intense sport to play and watch.
There are numerous instances where a receiver gets brushed by a defender, sometimes lighter than a strong breeze and pass interference is called. Other times a player gets called for an illegal hit when no foul actually occurred.
When discussing these dirty plays Suh's name is always one that comes up. He, along with Pittsburgh Steelers LB James Harrison, have become the faces of dirty play in the NFL.
Yet to me, Suh's hit on Cutler represents what old-timers call "tough football." He had an opportunity to hit the QB (something very few defenders are even allowed to do nowadays) and took advantage of it.
Did he drive Cutler into the ground? Absolutely. That's what a DT does against a QB. It's part of football.
I don't hear anyone complaining about Ray Lewis, another player who plays physical football and loves to get in his opponents' faces. Lewis isn't stomping on opposing players or throwing forearms at QB's heads but he plays a similar style that's focused on physicality and aggression.
Or how about what goes on during every play in which a defensive lineman meets an offensive lineman? If fans witnessed what really goes on in the trenches during a football game I doubt they'd be so quick to point Suh out as the ultimate villain.
Now Suh certainly does some dirty things on the field but for all the fans who claim the new rules are taking away from the game, why aren't you standing up for the guy who plays football like you want?
Fans want the hard hits? They want the defensive players to be a bit nasty? Well look no further than guys like Suh who play football with toughness and passion. There are items that even I won't defend Suh on but the hit against Cutler is being blown way out of proportion.
It's just an example of a hard play in a physical football game. Isn't that what fans have been screaming for since the new rule changes started coming about?
If the opposing coach and QB don't have a problem with it, why should the fans?