Lions’ Suh set to appeal NFL’s US$100,000 fine

AP, ALLEN PARK and BIRMINGHAM, Michigan

Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - Page 19

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh says he is not going to change the way he plays, even after receiving NFL’s biggest monetary fine for on-field conduct.

Suh plans to appeal his US$100,000 for an illegal block on a Minnesota Vikings player in the Detroit Lions’ season-opening win last weekend.

“It’s going through the appeals process,” Suh said on Wednesday.

Suh’s agent, Roosevelt Barnes, said he expects the appeal to be heard later this week, when he hopes to provide another perspective to reduce his client’s fine.

“Everyone is talking about how Ndamukong shouldn’t have blocked the 300-pound [136kg] lineman because there was no way he was going to catch a linebacker,” Barnes said in a telephone interview. “If that’s the case, the lineman should’ve known he wasn’t going to catch the linebacker, but the lineman did attempt to catch the linebacker and Ndamukong attempted to block him, but everyone wants to make Ndamukong out to be a villain.”

Suh vowed that he is not going to change his ways on the field, including when Detroit (1-0) goes on the road to play the Arizona Cardinals (0-1) on Sunday.

“I’m going to continue to play hard, blue-collar football,” he said.

Suh’s reputation for playing with a nasty streak started in 2010, when he had an NFL-high five personal fouls. The next season, he seemed to cement the perception when he stepped on the right arm of Green Bay’s Evan Dietrich-Smith in a nationally televised game on Thanksgiving and ended the season with four personal fouls, tied for sixth in the league.

Since the league suspended Suh for two games — costing him US$165,294 — for the stomp, the frequency in which he is called for major penalties has sharply decreased.

Since Suh returned from the suspension during the 2011 season, he has been called for two personal fouls in a 20-game span, while 42 NFL players have been called for more personal fouls, according to STATS. He was tied for 105th in the league with one personal foul penalty last year, STATS said, and was one of 41 players flagged for a person foul in Week 1 this season.

Detroit drafted Suh second overall in 2010 and signed him to a five-year contract worth as much as US$68 million with US$40 million in guarantees. He has lost some of that money because six fines and a suspension have cost him US$342,794.

In other developments, police in an affluent Detroit suburb have cleared Suh of any charges for waving a pellet gun in front of a cable company worker attempting repairs to a line on the player’s property on Aug. 16.

Birmingham police say the cable worker thought the gun looked like an assault rifle and feared for his safety. They say Suh told them he feared for his family and said he would be even more aggressive protecting them than he is on the football field.