Moving past the 'Dirty Suh' narrative

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
6:15
PM ET
Here's what we don't know and probably will never find out about Tuesday's meeting between Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell:

Was the league trying to rein in a highly marketable player before he careens out of mainstream popularity? Or was this an aggrieved player seeking relief from what he considered inappropriate application of rules and the orchestration of an unfair national perception?

Suh was joined by Lions coach Jim Schwartz and team president Tom Lewand. According to a statement from Goodell, the group "reviewed video showing that Ndamukong has clearly made the adjustments to play consistently within the rules so that he can continue to help the team." I doubt the NFL produced a video to show Suh that he is in fact playing within the rules. If you make that assumption, it stands to reason the Lions brought video evidence with them.

The reality is Suh has been called for four penalties this season, according to ESPN's penalty database. So I'm guessing that Tuesday's conversation wasn't as much about avoiding penalties as it was finding a way to veer from the much-discussed question of whether he is a dirty player. (Our answer last week: No.)

How can that happen? I would imagine the Lions voiced the same concerns Tuesday as Schwartz did last week when the league's website billed Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos as "Good vs. Evil." And Goodell would have been in his right to suggest Suh tone down some of his rhetoric about hunting quarterbacks.

Suh is smart, well-spoken and the face of a historic franchise. It's in the mutual best interest of him and the NFL to move past this conversation once and for all. Hopefully Tuesday's meeting put everyone on that path.

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