Former NFL defensive tackle and current NFL Network analyst Warren Sapp has been critical of Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh over the past couple of years.
After another NFL season, Sapp still isn’t impressed with Suh.
“Players today, when somebody don’t agree with how they play or with what they’re doing, it’s hate and it has to be personal,” said Sapp, a former all-pro defensive tackle now an analyst for NFL Network, on Tuesday. “The last time I checked, I played the three-technique defensive tackle position pretty well. And now I’m an analyst.
“I don’t think I ever said anything about his (auto) accident. I didn’t say anything about him stepping on a man two Thanksgivings in a row. I am just looking at his technique and seeing the same things. Until he evolves, I’m going to keep saying the same things.”
In the past Suh challenged Sapp to stop being a fan and actually help him.
“He called me a fan, I didn’t read that as he was reaching out,” Sapp said. “He said teach me something, don’t criticize me. The last time I checked, I am an analyst and he’s playing my position. I might know something about that and I was analyzing it. But he either wants to be your friend or your enemy. I don’t care. It’s fine with me either way.”
Sapp doesn’t have a problem with helping other players.
Sapp has counseled and mentored several defensive linemen, including Gerald McCoy, J.J. Watt and Aldon Smith. He taught his five-step move to former Giants pass rusher Dave Tollefson, who p[assed it on to Justin Tuck, who used it to fluster Tom Brady in the Super Bowl last season.
“I never had anything I wouldn’t share,” Sapp said. “But you got to ask for it.”
Sapp doesn’t see all the hype that follows Suh.
“I never saw this dominant player that you guys are selling,” Sapp said. “I still want to see the game he took over. I can pull out my San Francisco game from Aug. 31, 1997, and you look at that and say, ‘You can’t block him.’
“I haven’t seen that game from him. He makes one or two plays in a game and one happens to be a sack, then he gets beat a bunch of times and everybody just talks about that sack.”
Sapp says Suh is horrible against the run.
“Every defensive coordinator that plays against Alex Smith, the plan is to dump the game on Alex,” Sapp said. “Then he comes to the line rolling his arms and they run a wham play right at (Suh). Are you kidding me? On the first play of the game? I am dumbfounded. You lead that defense and they are running the ball right at you?
“I want to see that game where they ran at Mean Joe Greene, where they ran at me or at any hog on that front line. You run away from us.”
So why have teams run at Suh?
“They run at him because he’s a blind dog in a meat house,” Sapp said.
Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham challenged Sapp to watch tape of Suh’s games with him.
“I wanted to go so bad, but nobody would give me a ticket to go,” Sapp said. “I don’t know what (Suh) has been taught. I don’t know what they teach. If I did then maybe it would be easier. But when a man is in a two-technique and he don’t see a wham coming for three years — come on. He’s a bull rusher. He doesn’t have any moves.”
I have to agree with Sapp because it certainly seems like Suh has become less dominant as his career has gone on.