Ndamukong Suh– Photo: AP
NFL fines Lions’ Suh $20K for slamming Bengals QB
August 17, 2011 — ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — Ndamukong Suh has been fined a third time for roughing up three different quarterbacks in less than a year.
The Detroit Lions defensive tackle doesn’t plan to change his game. “Not by any means,” he said Wednesday after he was fined $20,000 by the NFL for a hit on Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton last week. He didn’t like it much, tweeting: “$20,000REALLY???!!!”
The former Nebraska star said he plans to appeal the fine. “Who wouldn’t?” Suh asked. The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year grabbed Dalton and threw the rookie to the turf after he had gotten rid of the ball late in the first quarter of Friday’s preseason game. Suh was flagged for unnecessary roughness.
“The league puts it on the defensive player to know when the ball is gone,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. Suh 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.
Suh’s checking account can absorb the latest hit. His five-year contract is worth $40 million guaranteed and as much as $68 million, though the NFL has increased the fine each time. “Twenty grand? For the preseason? They’re trying to send a message,” teammate Nate Burleson said.
Suh was fined $7,500 for what he did to Delhomme, grabbing his face mask, twisting it and slamming him to the ground. He was docked $15,000 for shoving Cutler hard and high in the back from behind during a game last December.
Detroit’s second exhibition game is Friday at Cleveland. Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas said he and his teammates are mindful of what Suh can do. “Everybody sees it and it’s the back of your head, but it’s not really something you worry about,” Thomas said. “Most of our focus and attention is between the whistles and it seems he’s getting a name for himself for what happens after the whistle.”
Suh, though, likes the comparison that has been made between him and former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal, whose size and power made him simply stronger than opponents, some of whom fell or flopped after he touched them.
“Shaq had the same problem when he was in the NBA,” Suh said. “He kept playing. NBA Hall of Famer soon to come, one of the greatest big men I’ve ever seen, so I hope to follow in his footsteps.” Suh has some sympathy for the officials, trying 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,” he said. But it’s not going to stop his relentless pursuit of players with the ball? “I’m not going to stop playing hard,” he said. “I owe it to my fans, my teammates, the coaches. That’s one of the reasons why football is football. It’s physical contact, aggression that is made exciting.”