We’ll start with what Sapp had to say about Suh.
Sapp believes that Suh won’t be a complete pass rusher until he adds some more moves to his skill set.
“The thing that affected him was he played such a power game, grabbing people and slinging them out of the way,” Sapp said during Super Bowl media day.”He had rotator cuff surgery. I had one on each shoulder. I kind of know what that’s like. You have to put yourself in a position where there was no offseason, no rehabbing and all the things he needed to do to be able to get that strength back. Now without that power, snatching and slinging people out of the way, he’s never been a hip-flipper or a true pass rusher in a sense.
“He was just overpowering and throwing people out of the way. On this level, everybody is that strong. That’s what you saw, him with his shoulder and people understanding he was just going to go through them. That’s the way he rushes. He goes through you. All I got to do is get myself a nice little base and be ready to go.”
Sapp really believes Suh needs to evaluate himself during the upcoming offseason in order for him to improve.
“You have to self-evaluate in this game,” Sapp said. “That’s the biggest thing I did from my rookie year when I had Sam Wyche and he was running a three-ring circus. I started the first seven games, I’m benched for the next eight, then I play the last one, then he’s gone. The whole coaching staff is gone. Now how do I get better going to the next coaching staff? You got to self-evaluate.
“You got to look at yourself and say where can I get better. I knew I needed to get better at my strength and my conditioning and then my pass rush. I went into the offseason and worked on nothing but my pass rush, speed and run and just go at. You got to grind at the job. This is your profession. There’s nothing else. Subway will work around your schedule, I guarantee you.”
Sapp also took the time to rip into defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham for not playing defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley on the field at the same time.
Sapp was asked about Lions safety Louis Delmas and then totally went off topic by once again talking about Fairley and Suh not playing at the same time.
“He gets hurt. Now when he’s hurt, he’s not there, so now the middle of your defense isn’t solidified,” Sapp said. “And then rotating Suh and Nick Fairley behind each other where now you only have to deal with one at a time. Then at the end of the game when you’re getting the (explicative) beat out of you, you want to put it out there to see what it looks like? Really? You never tried this in practice? Been there all week long and never tried it? It’s not like you’re hitting and banging. You didn’t have no pads on.
“I mean, put them out there. It ain’t like you’re going to wear them out. Give me a break.”
Sapp didn’t think Cunningham did a good job of mixing things up on defense.
“Him (Suh) and (New Orleans Saints guard) Carl Nicks, that was a joke. It was a joke. Are you kidding me?,” Sapp said. “Then they finally moved him on the right side and then he finally gets a sack on (Green Bay guard Evan Deitrich-Smith) in the Green Bay game. I’m like, ‘Hello.’
“You know I know Martin Mayhew and I’m like (acts like he’s sending a text message) ‘Somebody want to put him on the right side a little more?’ Jesus … He’s right there every time. I’m like, ‘Come on Gunther, stop it.’ Then you put Fairley behind him? Oh, so we don’t get to see them side-by-side?
Sapp isn’t too optimistic that the Lions will become a top-ten defense anytime soon.
“Until they solidify the middle, and that’s (Stephen) Tulloch and the safeties, I don’t see it because that’s what they’ve opened up in the NFL,” Sapp said. “There’s an autobahn. They’ve built it from the top of the numbers to the top of the numbers. It’s in the middle of the NFL field. Nobody gets hit and there is no way to impose that will across the middle.
“It’s going to take a combination, but the offense that they (Lions) have, it’s only going to take about three or four stops a game in order to be underneath the points that offense will score. That’s the new NFL now.”