Sapp doesn't think Suh is improving

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
6:00
PM ET
NEWARK, N.J. -- Former Tampa Bay defensive tackle Warren Sapp continued his ongoing criticism of Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, saying he doesn't think Suh wants to improve.

Sapp
Suh
"I don't think the kid wants to learn," Sapp said Tuesday afternoon between Super Bowl Media Day sessions at the Prudential Center. "I haven't seen him go anywhere or develop anything. I saw him early in preseason, he threw out a couple moves but then he went right back to bull-rushing."

This is heavy criticism against Suh, but Sapp has said before -- and reiterated again Tuesday -- that he believes Suh is just a bull-rusher. He wouldn't consider him the top defensive tackle in the league, instead going with Gerald McCoy.

In three questions about Suh, he said bull-rusher or bull-rushing five times.

Not everyone agrees with that assessment of the cornerstone of the Detroit defense. Suh's former teammate, Cliff Avril, defended Suh and said he definitely saw Suh want to make improvements in his game.

"Why wouldn't he," Avril said. "Suh genuinely wants to be one of the best that ever played the game. So I definitely know he wants to get better and he's trying to get better."

Suh has said in the past that his rookie year, he was making plays more off of instinct than anything else, but that he has learned more technique and become more versatile during his four seasons in the league.

And in that time, he has consistently seen double teams from opposing offensive lines as they have concern he could change the game if left alone.

That improvement is something Avril saw from Suh when he played with him from 2010 to 2012.

"I thought his rookie year, he was playing off raw athleticism," Avril said. "I could tell mentally how he was breaking down film, how he was doing different things and getting better.

"I think he was getting better."

Suh had 49 tackles in 2013 -- the most since he had 66 in his rookie season. He had 5.5 sacks, down from a season ago, when he had eight.

Michael Rothstein | email

ESPN Detroit Lions reporter

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