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Monday, October 24, 2011
Lions fire back at Falcons

By Pat Yasinskas

It’s time for another round of “Falcons said, Lions said’’.

In the first round, we told you how Atlanta receiver Roddy White and center Todd McClure expressed disgust at what they said were the actions of Detroit defensive linemen Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril when quarterback Matt Ryan was down with an ankle injury.

Ndamukong Suh
Detroit's Ndamukong Suh refutes accusations by Falcons players that a Lions player was kicking Atlanta QB Matt Ryan while Ryan was on the turf injured Sunday.
Now, it’s time for Round II.

This is where Suh and Avril come back and deny they did what McClure and White said they did.

"Basically, my whole thing is, with all the statements, they're going to say what they want to say -- he said, she said,’’ Suh said. “I know, for the fact of the matter, Cliff, or anybody for that matter, would have kicked their quarterback, I'm sure there would have been a riot -- there would've been a fight broken out real quick. Because I guarantee you if that would've happened to Matt Stafford, and he was on the ground and somebody kicked him, I guarantee you all hell would've broken loose.

"I just got done watching film, got done watching that play. If you see it, me and Cliff are standing next to each other because there's a back -- there are three people on the two of us. So, with that, (the accusations are) null and void; that kills it right there. So there's no point in even -- these accusations, all these different things -- it means nothing to me.’’

Avril had a similar response.

"It isn't in anybody’s character in our D-line room, honestly and truthfully, to go out and try and end guys’ careers," said Avril. "Nobody in our D-line …that’s not football to us. We play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, I believe, which is to get after the quarterback and hit the quarterback and stop the run. That’s what it is.’’

Of course, there now is room for a few more rounds in this one because Suh and Avril pointed some fingers at various targets, starting with Atlanta’s offensive line.

"Nobody’s out there trying to tear ACLs, nobody’s out there trying to do all the season-ending injuries,’’ Avril said. “But then you have O-linemen that are taught that and they get away with it and all of a sudden we get the stigma of the name of being 'a dirty group' which is mind-boggling, honestly."

Suh also had some words about Atlanta’s offensive line.

"There are many, many, many plays that I could go back to that I watch on film all week that their offensive line has done, and that they've been coached to do, as far as I know,’’ Suh said. “It's not anything that's not been said; it's not anything that's new. Those are thing that they're taught to do, and I can go back -- there's like a 13-, 15-play reel that we have that shows everything they've done. That's not even counting our game -- there are many plays that I can go back to in that particular game and say, “What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to just let that happen? Or what?” But nothing's done about it.

And, of course, the media outlets that initially reported the claims by McClure and White are drawing fire from the Lions.

"For me, it really sits unsettling that there's media outlets, there's reporters that really don't do their homework, and it's kind of unsettling because that's your job,’’ Suh said. “Ultimately, if you go back and watch the film and look at things, come to me and point it out where I've made mistakes and where I've cut somebody, late-hit somebody in the back, or anything like that. Let me know. I want to see it. I want somebody to come out and point it to me and let me know where I did it and how I did, and if I was wrong, we can address it then and there.’’

I’ve got news for Suh. It was White and McClure who made the allegations, not the media.