Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz had plenty to say during his regular appearance Tuesday on Detroit's 97.1-FM radio. You can read news stories from the CBS Detroit site or from Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, but we'll focus on what is apparently the Lions' official position on Ndamukong Suh's kick to the groin of Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.
Schwartz said he believes the kick was "inadvertent" and agreed with the NFL's decision not to suspend Suh for it. (The league is still considering a fine.) He said Suh has cameras on him on "every single play" because of his profile, resulting in "all kinds of things that people can interpret any way they want."
Schwartz added: "I didn’t see it during the game, but I saw it afterwards, and he was sort of getting taken down, his head was looking in another direction. There's a lot of inadvertent stuff that happens in the course of a game. But I think Ndamukong has done a good job putting penalties behind him, and there's really no reason for anybody to believe it was anything other than just what happens during the course of the game. There's all kinds of stuff that happens inadvertently, and that's exactly what I think it was."
It's clear that Schaub and other members of the Texans were suspicious of Suh's intent, and frankly, I don't think the NFL would still be considering a fine if it felt as strongly as Schwartz does. For what it's worth, my take has been that there seems too much gray area to draw a strong conclusion from either perspective.
On the one hand, it would be awfully difficult for a player to direct a precise kick while he is falling on his side and looking away, as Suh was. But when you watch the replay, there is also a second extension of Suh's leg that doesn't look like a random flail. A reasonable person could also ask what chance a randomly flailing leg would have of hitting an opponent in the groin. Combine that with the fact Suh kicked another player last season, and you can understand why people are questioning his intent this time around.
Suh hasn't commented, other than to issue a pair of tweets Tuesday morning that read: "IF YOU HAVE A LIFE YOU DON'T HAVE TIME TO HATE!!! -MS" and " TIME TO PREPARE FOR ANOTHER DOMINATING PERFORMANCE!"
Regardless, if there were any doubt, we now know how the Lions' organization views it and soon it will be time to move on.