Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is having a really great preseason, and maybe a really bad preseason at the same time.
It seems like opposing guards and centers serve only to make him angry before he gets to the quarterback. Once there, he inflicts punishment that, with increasing regularity, gets him in trouble. A couple of weeks ago, he was fined for spiking Andy Dalton to the turf.
Then on Saturday, after shoving Tom Brady to the ground, he ended up throwing a punch at Patriots guard Logan Mankins, too. Here that is.
Of all the things he's done that have gotten him fined, it's maybe the least violent, but also the least understandable. The hits against Jake Delhomme, Jay Cutler and Dalton that have gotten him fined, you could at least make an argument that they fell under the umbrella of "aggressive play."
They happened during game situations, maybe they were just a little late, maybe he just got carried away, or maybe he intentionally crossed a line to send a message. A part of football. An illegal part, maybe a dirty part, and a part that got him fined, but that stuff happens.
But a punch, post-play, at a guy who's wearing a helmet? It's hard to defend that. What sense does it even make? It's after a play, it serves no purpose in helping to win a football game, and it's not going to hurt or intimidate anyone. Again: The man is wearing a helmet. The only thing that punch accomplishes is to demonstrate that you're angry and irrational enough to swing anyway, despite the fact that hand will always lose a battle against facemask.
It's important to note that no penalty was called against Suh here. I don't know if officials missed the punch, or ruled that it wasn't a punch. A flagrant punch, whether it lands or not, is supposed to result in a 15-yard penalty and an automatic ejection. Neither happened here.
It's hard to see how they could've ruled that that wasn't a punch. The official pulled Suh aside and talked to him, but as of yet, Mankins has been the only one penalized for the play.
We're probably going to hear more about this.
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