Leave it to colorful Bears tight end Martellus Bennett to provide his own unique perspective on whether Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh occasionally bends the rules.
Asked Thursday if he thinks Suh is a dirty player, Bennett said: “No, hopefully he takes baths.”
The Bears may have a chance to check whether Suh washes behind his ears during Sunday’s NFC North showdown in Detroit. But while the 6-4, 307-pounder is known mostly for his questionable hits on opponents, the Bears are more concerned about Suh’s ability to disrupt their offense.
“He’s explosive,” Bennett said. “I think he’s one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL. He’s just somebody you have to deal with the whole game. He plays hard and you have to respect a player that plays like he does every single play.”
In a Sporting News poll of NFL players in 2011, Suh was voted the dirtiest player in the league. He has been suspended two games for stomping on Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith, fined $30,000 for kicking Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin and fined $100,000 for diving at the knee of Vikings center John Sullivan during an interception return in this year’s season opener.
Suh is also a dominant player who has been voted to two Pro Bowls in three NFL seasons and teams with third-year pro Nick Fairly to give the Lions one of the league’s top tackle tandems.
“They’re strong explosive guys,” said center Roberto Garza. “They’re big guys who get up the field. We have our work cut out for us. We have to get ready for a tough challenge.”
Suh figures to be blocked at times by Garza as well as guards Kyle Long and Matt Slauson.
“It’s not easy for one man to block him,” said coach Marc Trestman. “Sometimes we can slide the line that way. Sometimes we can do it with the back. Sometimes the guards are going to have to handle him by themselves. It’s just a combination of things.
“When you go into a game, you say to yourself: ‘Where’s No. 90, and are we stopping him on this play? Do we have a chance to stop him?’ And when you can neutralize difference makers—and he’s one of them on their team—you’re going to put yourself in a better position to have success.”
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