Chicago Bears: Ndamukong Suh

Thanks everyone for participating in our weekly Twitter mailbag. This week, we’ll start off with an interesting question regarding whether the Chicago Bears should try to trade for Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Enjoy the weekend.

.
Perhaps familiarity breeds contempt, but of the 10 Chicago Bears players surveyed in our NFL Nation survey, just two listed Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as the league’s most feared player.

Nonetheless, both Suh and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson share the honor.

The duo obviously has experienced several run-ins over the years against the Bears. In Johnson’s case, it’s been simply a case of dominance. In 13 career games against the Bears, Johnson has hauled in 63 passes for 928 yards and seven touchdowns. The only other team he’s done more damage against is the Green Bay Packers (71 catches for 1,163 yards and 12 TDs in 12 career games).

Suh, meanwhile, conjures mention of dirty play among Bears players and has for years.

Although Suh didn’t take part in any questionable encounters against the Bears in 2013, Bears receiver Brandon Marshall did mention “borderline illegal” play back in November when discussing the club’s defensive line as a whole. Obviously, Suh is that unit’s leader.

“I’m looking at film today, and it was kind of disgusting to see the D-line go out of their way to knock our quarterbacks down after every single play,” Marshall said. “The ball was gone. They’re pushing them down. They’re hitting them below their knees. It was kind of disgusting. It seemed like it was game planned, but it was borderline. You can’t say it was illegal. But it was definitely one of those things where you say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to pay attention to this.’”

Back in 2012, Suh drew heat for a hit on quarterback Jay Cutler that forced him to leave an October contest with bruised ribs. Suh wasn’t fined for that incident, and Cutler actually considered the hit to be clean.

That didn’t stop Marshall from offering his take on Twitter and ESPN’s “First Take.”

"A Suh," Marshall tweeted. "What u did to Jay wasn't cool. Great players don't have to do that. A Suh. Something I've learned and now passing down to you. Succeed with character."

Later on "First Take," Marshall said: "Last night the leg whip that Ndamukong Suh placed on our quarterback Jay Cutler: That was dirty. That was dirty. He can be one of the best D-tackles that ever done it, but he cannot do that that way. If you look at it, c'mon man, this is not wrestling. You don't do that. That's not clean."

Throughout the series between the Bears, the teams have engaged in aggressive play often deemed illegal by the NFL with Suh being involved in many of the incidents. In 2011, Suh yanked off Cutler’s helmet during a 37-13 win at Soldier Field. In that game, six players received fines totaling $62,500, including Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford ($7,500) and former Chicago cornerback D.J. Moore ($15,000), who were involved in an incident that led to an on-field brawl between the teams.

During the first meeting between the teams in 2011 -- a 24-13 Lions win at Ford Field on Oct. 10 -- former Bears safety Brandon Meriweather received a $25,000 fine for a vicious hit on receiver Nate Burleson while cornerback Charles Tillman was fined $7,500 for a horse-collar tackle on Jahvid Best.

Going as far back as 2010, Suh was fined $15,000 for shoving Cutler hard in the back during a 24-20 Bears win.

So while Johnson might actually be somewhat feared by the Bears, perhaps Suh is simply hated.

Bears give Ndamukong Suh silent treatment

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
4:48
PM ET
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears are making sure that their preparation for the Detroit Lions on Sunday does not include engaging Ndamukong Suh in a war of words.

The Lions’ defensive tackle definitely has the Bears’ attention heading into the first of two division matchups this season. It’s just that nobody feels the need to stoke his ire this far in advance of game time.

“I like him,” Bears tight in Martellus Bennett said Thursday. “I met him a couple of times in person and he’s a nice guy. He’s interesting. I don’t think about him often. I’ll think about him this week when I have to play against him.”

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has the biggest beef with Suh after a few eye-opening confrontations in recent years, but even he was keeping the talk to a minimum.

“I never talked to the guy besides a few choice words on the field,” said Cutler, who was shoved by Suh in the upper back during a 2010 game, had his helmet ripped off by Suh in a 2011 game and was slammed to the turf by him last season causing a rib injury. “Other than that, I don’t know him. I don’t talk to him.”

Taking things even further when it came to being noncontroversial, was Bears rookie offensive lineman Kyle Long, who has simply decided to say nothing for the rest of the week. Long, who declined interview requests Thursday, has the task of blocking Suh on Sunday in just his fourth NFL game and second ever on the road.

Suh, on the other hand, told reporters in Detroit on Wednesday that he is looking forward to the matchup against the player many perceived was drafted by the Bears specifically with the Lions’ defensive tackle in mind.

“We’ll see how well he is prepared to block me when we play on Sunday,” Suh said. “That’s their opinion, that’s their choice, that’s their draft. That’s not anything of my concern. I just look forward to digest whoever I have in front me.”

Long did have at least a little to say on the subject earlier this week when he appeared on ESPN 1000’s weekly “Football Night in Chicago” show on Monday. And just like his teammates, the comments were more complimentary than confrontational.

“Suh is just relentless,” Long said at the time. “He is a relentless football player. He is somebody that is just going to always keep coming and give you his best. He's got that kind of presence where you're like, ‘I can't take a play off.' If you do, he will expose you.”

Besides the Cutler hits, there are plenty of others over the years that have earned Suh his “dirty player” tag. The most recent came earlier this season when he was fined $100,000 for a low block during a Week 1 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Bennett, who is known to give his opinion on a myriad of subjects, gave pause when he was asked if Suh was a dirty player.

“Hopefully he takes baths,” Bennett said. “I don’t think he’s dirty as a player. You can say anybody is a dirty player if somebody does something you don’t like one time in a game. I don’t think he’s dirty. I think he plays hard and plays with a lot of passion.”

Asked his opinion, Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer was only slightly less quiet about Suh than Long.

“Suh is a very physical, athletic, talented defensive tackle,” Kromer said.

Suh ready for Chicago rookie Kyle Long

September, 26, 2013
9/26/13
1:07
PM ET
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- When the Chicago Bears drafted Kyle Long in April, part of the reason was to look to the east, to a rival.

To Detroit.

Suh
Part of Long’s job Sunday will be the reason why he was drafted -- to try and block Ndamukong Suh.

“We’ll see how well he is prepared to block me when we play on Sunday,” Suh said. “That’s their opinion. That’s their choice. That’s their draft.

“It’s not anything of my concern. I just look forward to digest whoever I have in front of me.”

Suh has three career sacks and 13 tackles against Chicago, but as it is with a lot of his opponents, what he does is more about disruptions and pressure on opposing quarterbacks and offensive lines.

He is a strong enough player that teams have to pay attention to him even if the numbers he puts up aren’t gaudy.

“It’s always nice to be noticed, but to me it’s not necessarily a compliment,” Suh said. “It’s just, it is something that they felt they needed to do and they did it, and I look forward to the challenge.”

There is little question, though, that Chicago will keep an eye on Suh.

"I've been doing some early preparations," Long said on "Football Night in Chicago" on ESPN 1000. "I've been trying to sharpen my mental sword I guess you could say. I've been just trying to pick up some tendencies that I can use against their defense, hopefully.

"Suh is just relentless. He is a relentless football player. He is somebody that is just going to always keep coming and give you his best. He's got that kind of presence where you're like, ‘I can't take a play off.' If you do, he will expose you. What people can't see through all the time with all the media scrutiny is truly how great of a player Suh is and how great of a player (Nick) Fairley is and the devastation those two guys can impose on an offense."

Bears coach Marc Trestman also respects the Lions' tandem.

“(Suh is) one of the best in the business at what he does,” Trestman said. “Both tackles, Fairley too, they’re both powerful guys and they penetrate and they do all the things you’re looking for in defensive linemen.”

Long preparing to face relentless Suh

September, 25, 2013
9/25/13
3:40
PM ET
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears' Week 3 Sunday night road win in Pittsburgh was on Kyle Long's thoughts until approximately 6 a.m. on Monday. That’s when Long finally went to sleep after the rookie decided to stay up and watch a saved television copy of the Steelers game, despite not returning home until 3:30 a.m. following the team’s postgame flight back to Chicago.

In the NFL, teams are required to move on from a victory or a defeat at lightning speed, and for Long and the rest of the Bears’ offense linemen, that means getting a jump start on their next opponent: the Detroit Lions.

Long said Tuesday night on ESPN 1000’s “Football Night in Chicago” he began the process of breaking down film on Detroit’s talent defensive tackle duo of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley since early in the week to get a jump start on the process.

“I’ve been doing some early preparations,” Long said. “I’ve been trying to sharpen my mental sword I guess you could say. I’ve been just trying to pick up some tendencies that I can use against their defense, hopefully.

"Suh is just relentless. He is a relentless football player. He is somebody that is just going to always keep coming and give you his best. He’s got that kind of presence where you’re like, ‘I can’t take a play off.’ If you do, he will expose you.”

The upcoming battle between Long and Suh could be especially physical on Sunday since both players are known for their strength and nasty on-the-field demeanor. Although Long has yet to cross the line after the whistle the way Suh has throughout his three-plus years in the league. Suh is without a sack through the first three games of 2013, but his 8.0 sacks last year was the second-highest total of any defensive tackle. Fairley is second on the Lions defense with 1.5 sacks, behind rookie defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (2.5).

“What people can’t see through all the time with all the media scrutiny is truly how great of a player Suh is and how great of a player Fairley is and the devastation those two guys can impose on an offense,” Long said.
Reggie BushRonald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty ImagesIt's one thing for Reggie Bush to talk about titles, but it's another for the Lions to win them.
While the groundwork for every NFL campaign is primarily laid in the offseason, championships are never won in May.

But organizations need to set lofty goals. Have you ever heard of an NFL team striving for mediocrity?

So while a part of me wants to cringe when I read Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley quoted in the Detroit News saying that his team is "going to the Super Bowl”, or watch a video of Detroit running back Reggie Bush tell reporters that he signed with the Lions "to win championships," the reality is that every NFL player should feel that way about the prospects of his respective club this time of the year.

(Read full post)

Forbes: Suh, Cutler are NFL's least liked

October, 24, 2012
10/24/12
7:22
PM ET
If Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had to guess which player in the NFL is the most disliked, his sore ribs might inspire him to pick the Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh, and according to a list published by Forbes on Wednesday, Cutler would be right.

Read the entire story.

Gruden puts blame on Bears' OL for Suh hit

October, 24, 2012
10/24/12
12:38
PM ET
SuhJerry Lai/US PresswireInstead of blaming Ndamukong Suh, Jon Gruden pointed a finger of blame elsewhere.
From the perspective of a former offensive coach, Jon Gruden had less of a problem with Ndamukong Suh's hit on Jay Cutler on Monday night than he had with what led to the vicious sack.

"As an offensive coach, I had a real problem with the protection," Gruden said Wednesday on "Mike & Mike In The Morning" on ESPN Radio. "The guy came through there clean.

"But it was a vicious hit, I didn't think it was a fine-able hit in my opinion. When a defensive player is unblocked and he has a chance to hit your quarterback, usually they hit you hard. That's been a common trend throughout the years from the films I watched."

The NFL will not fine Suh for the hit, which knocked Cutler out for one play and then sent him to get evaluated before halftime.

(Read full post)

Cutler: Won't have problems vs. Panthers

October, 23, 2012
10/23/12
2:14
PM ET
Jay Cutler plans to resume practicing on Thursday, and he doesn’t think the rib injury sustained in Monday night’s 13-7 win over the Detroit Lions on a sack by Ndamukong Suh will be a hindrance when the Chicago Bears host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Soldier Field.

In fact, Cutler says “I’ll be good to go by Thursday.”

(Read full post)

Marshall rips Suh; no NFL fine for hit

October, 23, 2012
10/23/12
10:15
AM ET
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and coach Lovie Smith didn't have a problem with Ndamukong Suh's violent sack on Monday night, but Brandon Marshall was not as nonchalant.

"A Suh. What u did to Jay wasn't cool. Great players don't have to do that," Marshall tweeted after the Bears' 13-7 win over the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field. "A Suh. Something I've learned and now passing down to you. Succeed with character."

The NFL has determined upon review that Suh's violent sack of Cutler was a perfectly legal play, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder. The game officials were correct in their decision not to penalize the Lions, and Suh does not face a potential fine.

Marshall called into ESPN's First Take on Tuesday and did not back down from his comments.

Read the entire story.

Lovie not worried about Cutler's rib injury

October, 23, 2012
10/23/12
12:49
AM ET


CHICAGO -- Jay Cutler suffered a rib injury on his right side Monday during the Chicago Bears' 13-7 win over the Detroit Lions when he was sacked in Ndamukong Suh, and underwent x-rays in the locker room before returning to play the remainder of the game.

[+] EnlargeJay Cutler
Jerry Lai/US PresswireJay Cutler completed 16 of 31 passes for 150 yards and one touchdown Monday.
Bears coach Lovie Smith said the team will continue to evaluate the injury, but added he doesn't "think anyone is hurt seriously where they'll miss any time."

"Of course, that's just a normal part of our protocol if a player has an injury; to monitor it, to evaluate it more (Tuesday) to see," Smith said. "I'll say most of our guys will be sore today. But yeah, we'll continue to evaluate him. Hopefully he'll be OK."

Cutler admitted the sack by Suh in the second quarter knocked the wind out of him. With 5:06 remaining in the first half, Suh -- with his right arm and elbow pinned against Cutler's helmet -- slammed the quarterback backward to the ground for an 8-yard sack.

Writhing in pain, Cutler stayed on the field for a few minutes before leaving on his own power with backup Jason Campbell entering in relief. Campbell scrambled for a 5-yard gain on the next play. Then on third down, Cutler came back out on the field, drawing loud applause from the crowd before incomplete to Devin Hester on the play, forcing the Bears to punt.

"He took a tough shot," Earl Bennett said. "He's one of those guys that no matter how beat up he is, he wants to get back in there and help us win the game."

(Read full post)

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler suffered bruised ribs on a vicious sack from Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, but he played through it in the second half of a 13-7 victory on Monday night.

With 5:06 left in the first half, Cutler dropped back to pass with Suh closing fast. As Cutler appeared ready to throw the ball, Suh grabbed a hold of the quarterback and slammed him backward to the ground for an 8-yard sack. Cutler's head bounced off the turf under the weight of Suh, who appeared to have his right arm pinned against the quarterback's helmet as the two crashed to the ground.

Cutler lay on the field for a few minutes before leaving on his own power with Jason Campbell entering the game in relief for one play. Cutler returned after one play to a standing ovation from the Soldier Field crowd.

But Cutler walked to the locker room with 1:22 remaining in the first half to have his ribs checked out by the team's medical staff. He returned to play the second half, but admitted his sore ribs limited his play.

"I'm going to be really sore in the morning," Cutler told ESPN's Lisa Salters.

Cutler completed 16 of 30 passes for 150 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 34 yards but was sacked five times.

Civil tone hovers over contentious rivalry

October, 20, 2012
10/20/12
10:44
PM ET


The on-field incidents belie the weeklong muzzle job performed by the players in the buildup to a showdown on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" between the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions at Soldier Field.

While the teams claimed mutual respect, it's clear they're not fond of one another, a sentiment expected to manifest itself on the field like it has so many other times in recent meetings.

[+] EnlargeJay Cutler
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastNdamukong Suh snapped off Jay Cutler's helmet last November in a game that featured $62,500 in fines.
"Just because games are chippy doesn't mean the teams don't respect each other and don't want the emphasis to be the play on the field," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "There are a lot of great players that are going to play in this game on both sides of the ball, and I think these guys know each other very well. The schemes are well known. We have a good idea what they're going to do. They have a good idea what we're going to do. The more you know somebody, probably the better opportunity there is for guys to push and shove a little bit."

There has been opportunity aplenty in this series for sure.

Detroit defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh snapped off Jay Cutler's helmet during a 37-13 Bears win at Soldier Field in November. That was a game in which six players received fines totaling $62,500, including quarterback Matthew Stafford ($7,500) and cornerback D.J. Moore ($15,000) who were involved in an incident that led to an on-field brawl between the teams. Officials also flagged Lance Briggs for a crushing hit on Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, but the linebacker didn't receive a fine.

During the first meeting between the teams last season -- a 24-13 Lions win at Ford Field on Oct. 10 -- former Bears safety Brandon Meriweather received a $25,000 fine for a vicious hit on receiver Nate Burleson, while cornerback Charles Tillman was docked $7,500 for a horse-collar tackle on Jahvid Best.

Rewind to two years ago, and there's the incident in which Suh shoved Cutler hard in the back during a 24-20 Bears win, drawing a $15,000 fine from the league.


"They're a tough defense, they play hard," Cutler said. "They tackle hard, they rush the passer hard. They do everything full speed, so it's a challenge. With anybody in our division, we're not going to like them and they're not going to like us."

But Bears coach Lovie Smith made it clear that respect is there.

"With today's technology, you don't have to remind guys [about] an awful lot," Smith said. "It's not like I have to bring out the George Halas pep talk to get them ready to play Detroit. We realize what's at stake. We know about the rivalry we have with them, but it's still going to be decided on the football field."

(Read full post)

Louis, Bears not fazed by Lions' D-line

October, 18, 2012
10/18/12
3:08
PM ET
Lions/EaglesEric Hartline/US PresswireNdamukong Suh leads a fierce and deep Lions defensive line into Soldier Field on Monday night.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears interior offensive linemen Lance Louis and Chilo Rachal shrugged off the suggestion the team could be under increased pressure Monday night when it faces a Detroit Lions defensive line that might be one of the league's best.

"They're very good, real good," Rachal said. "(Ndamukong) Suh, (Nick) Fairley, they're tough, they play to the whistle. (Kyle) Vanden Bosch outside, (Cliff) Avril outside, they're good. I wouldn't necessarily call it pressure. We have two really good coaches that prepare us really well. We know we have to execute."

In two games against the Lions in 2011, quarterback Jay Cutler suffered five sacks while throwing for only one touchdown. Detroit's defensive line has also proven adept at stuffing the run, considering that in three of the team's five games, the defense has given up fewer than 80 yards rushing.

(Read full post)

We're Black and Blue All Over:

We've already covered the latest arrest of Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley. So the other story of note that emerged over the extended Memorial Day weekend was a brief dustup over the Chicago Bears' possible motivations for driving a hard bargain with tailback Matt Forte.

As you know, the sides have been haggling for more than a year on the terms of a multi-year extension, and Forte is currently retained by the franchise tag. David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune suggested that wear on Forte's knees has left the Bears unable to "rule out arthritis setting and becoming a chronic problem…."

Haugh notes that Forte has torn the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while playing at Tulane and suffered sprains to both knees during his NFL career. But both Forte and his agent fired back in the ensuing days.

Via Twitter, Forte posted a video of what appeared to be a recent workout with this message: "100Lbs sled up hill i think my knee will be ok."

Agent Adisa Bakari issued this statement to ESPN's Josina Anderson: "Matt Forte is among the most, if not the most, durable, all-purpose running back in the NFL. The 2011 season was the first season of his career that he missed any games. Had the Bears been playoff contenders, he could have returned for the balance of the season. To question his durability at this stage in his career is absurd."

The best way to view this episode is that it was inevitable. Forte has been one of the Bears' top players in recent years and from the outside, there aren't any obvious explanations for why he doesn't have a new deal yet. It's only natural to expect reporters to seek answers, something that routinely happens during the course of a long negotiation. Eventually the truth will come out, if it hasn't already.

Continuing around the NFC North:

SPONSORED HEADLINES