While Suh could probably get his way by using sheer force, the former Nebraska star is now looking to get his way by setting an example in the locker room. Yes, even Suh, who has had "character" questions, is tired of the Lions' off-field circus.
It was all but over, though, entering this weekend. It had been weeks since a player was arrested or had any sort of notable off-field incidents. But wait, Aaron Berry, who was recently arrested for suspicion of DUI, wasn't done acting irresponsibly. Again in his hometown of Harrisburg, Penn., Berry was this time cited for brandishing a firearm.
That's not a good look for a team that has had seemingly endless negative publicity, stemming back to Suh's arm-stomping, head-bashing tirade against Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith. Even Cliff Avril was looked at as a bad guy; his league-leading eight personal fouls suggested he was a bit rough.
But those incidents don't compare to the epidemic that is the Lions' ill behavior off the field. Fans are tired of it, and Suh, who was interviewed about being a leader prior to Berry's second off-season arrest of 2012, is tired of it, too.
"Everybody has to be accountable for themselves, and obviously we as teammates need to hold each other to a higher standard," Suh said. "And that's being addressed, and some of our teammates will have to deal with repercussions from the league, and I think they'll handle that the right way and move forward and not let it truly affect us during the season."
Will players listen to Suh? Avril is a player that could carry a little influence in the locker room. Any takers, Lions?
Nick Fairley is working to clean up his act after a marijuana-related arrest and DUI nightmare. Mikel Leshoure, as far as we know, has left the pot alone and focused on becoming the great football player he's capable of being. We haven't heard anything about Johnny Culbreath -- who? -- either.
But Berry, oh Berry -- he just had to stoke the flame, didn't he?
If Suh is serious about leading the Lions, he'll need to take charge immediately. The string of seven arrests in seven months is embarrassing enough for a franchise on the rise. Now, one that franchise's most-recognizable players and intimidating forces has to lay down the law -- even if he hasn't been a model citizen himself.
"Things, I believe, always happen for a reason," Suh said. "At that particular moment, you're not gonna know what those reasons are. You look back and reflect on those [experiences] and take the positives and learn from the negatives and make the most of them.
"That's what I've done. All that's fortunately in the past. And there's a lot of bright future ahead for myself and my teammates."
It's great that Suh admitted his faults. It's great that he wants to take accountability for his actions. Maybe he had to stumble in order to pick up others. Now, the real trick will be getting others to follow suit. If anyone can influence the younger players, it's surely a boy named Suh.
Adam Biggers has followed the National Football League for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Lions. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.
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