Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh opened up his big arms Tuesday and invited a throng of reporters to join him in a group hug. That really happened. "I'm serious" he said. "I want a big hug." Suh continues to be a marvel both on and off the field. He has been a mostly unblockable force in team drills since the beginning of camp. During a full-pad full-contact run drill the other day he was blowing plays up almost before the quarterback could hand the ball off. It happened three times in a row. Finally Suh had to be taken out of the drill so the offense could run the play. "You are going have to ask (Coach Jim) Schwartz about that" Suh said laughing. "I don't know anything about that." More impressively though has been how far Suh has come as a leader and a teammate. Through his first three seasons he was aloof and quiet. He didn't go out of his way to mingle or bond with teammates outside of his position group. This year he's often seen in a pack of teammates. He has reached out to younger players like Nick Fairley Ziggy Ansah and Devin Taylor. Chris Houston on Monday told the story of a text message Suh sent out in the summer to all the veterans. "He texted a lot of us and came up with leadership roles for people" Houston said. "Like what can we talk about as a group instead of the coaches telling us what we need to do. That's what leaders do. They don't wait for the coach to get on us." Suh's making all the defensive line calls during the games. He's more vocal on the field and in the meeting rooms. He has been more available to and cooperative with the media. What gives? Maybe it's because veterans Kyle Vanden Bosch and Corey Williams are gone and Suh no longer feels he has to defer the leadership duties to older players. Maybe he's just more comfortable with himself and his place on this team. "I don't know that I deferred" he said. "I was more of a guy that spoke not with language but with my play. That was me speaking. I am not saying that I am not still quiet because I am still quiet. I keep to myself. That's just my nature. But I am not afraid to talk to guys.
Lions DT Ndamukong Suh coming out of his shell
Detroit News | Aug 15