|Detroit's Ndamukong Suh says he's going to try and move past criticism of his play. (US Presswire)|
When it comes to proving that he's moved on from the mistakes of his past,
And after he was accused of dirty play over what turned out to be an innocuous situation for the second game in a row Sunday against the Colts, Suh says he's given up worrying about what people other than his own teammates think about the way approaches games.
“[Criticism] is what it is,” he said. “I've been the easy target of negative things [throughout my career], and I understand that. I'm going to move past it.”
Suh's latest appearance in the headlines came after he executed a clean block on Colts OL Winston Justice with 6:40 remaining in the fourth quarter of Detroit's 35-33 Week 13 loss to Indianapolis. His pressure helped force an interception that Lions players thought had helped seal the win, and Suh and his teammates celebrated. The problem was that they did so in the vicinity of Justice, who suffered a concussion on the play.
Suh's celebrations angered Colts' RG Mike McGlynn, who told the Indianapolis Star he considered Suh's celebration to be inappropriate.
"[Celebrating was] totally ignorant on [Detroit's] part," McGlynn said. "Just childish stuff … I don't know if the hit was legal or not, but clearly he was hurt, and they're out there dancing and pointing at him and laughing. Just blatant disrespect. They're good players but there's no room for that. It's disgusting, really.
"If that had happened to one of their players, we'd never do something like that. But that's what makes this even sweeter. That's why they lose. I hope they never win another game."
McGlynn's comments are understandable given his teammate's injury, but video replays of the incident disprove his claims that the Lions deliberately taunted Justice on the ground. Suh, whose reputation made him a focal point for rebuke over the incident, says he had no idea Justice was injured on the play until after he finished celebrating the interception.
“I'm facing the total opposite way. I don't even know what's going on [at the time with Justice],” he said.” One thing I would like to say is that if he did receive a concussion, I hope he heals up really fast and is back on the football field.
“I'm the type of player that would never celebrate anyone being hurt. I'm celebrating about my team playing well.”
The NFL declared Suh's hit on the play to be legal, and Suh said he did not receive a fine of any kind on Tuesday. That didn't stop his detractors from adding McGlynn's accusations of classless behavior to the laundry list of other incidents that have earned Suh a national reputation as a dirty player.
That's what pushed Suh to finally cry uncle on his quest to convince the court of public opinion that he's no longer guilty of the selfish plays that dominated his 2011 season.
Suh's new attitude toward his critics represents a significant change in the way he is choosing to respond to people who can't seem to let bygones be bygones. When he was accused of taunting an injured Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan during Week 7 of the 2011 season, he responded to the accusations by calling Ryan's injury karma for the Falcons' dirty play.
When faced with similar accusations a year later, Suh wisely chose to take the high road in what was clearly a no-win situation.
“I can't worry about [criticism] he said. “ If I worried about it, I'd honestly be sick … I have more important things in my life. I have great teammates, and I'm in a great situation … If something comes up, I'll handle it and move on.”
Hopefully, Suh's critics can finally do the same.
Follow Lions reporter John Kreger on Twitter at @CBSLions and @JohnKreger.