For the second time in less than a year, Ndamukong Suh has been accused of insubordinate behavior at the Detroit Lions’ practice facility.
Former NFL fullback Heath Evans, citing three unnamed Lions players, told 105.1 FM in Detroit that Suh would directly challenge former coach Jim Schwartz’s authority as recently as last season.
Evans says Suh was deliberately “uncontrollable” in his power struggle with Schwartz.
“The consistent message that came out of there is that Suh was uncontrollable and that he would constantly do things to show his power over Jim Schwartz, whether it was showing up to team meetings late over whatever it may be,” Evans said from the Super Bowl’s radio row in New York.
“Three different people (told me) all the same story, about antics Suh would do just to show his dominance over a head coach.”
Suh has a track record for questionable and sometimes dirty play on the football field. The NFL levied three fines totaling $139,375 for on-field antics last year. That includes a record $100,000 fine for a Week 1 hit against Minnesota.
But the stories of his off-field insubordination are more concerning for Detroit.
“The bottom line is he would just do things, whether it was show up late for meetings or different antics to kind of let the team know — the team would just sit back and be like — it was more or less Suh just trying to show his dominance, his power,” Evans said.
“That he was basically untouchable and he could basically do what he wanted to do”.
Evans played for four teams in his 10-year NFL career before retiring after the 2010 season. He was teammates with current Lions players Joique Bell and Reggie Bush during that final year in New Orleans.
Evans’ comments follow a Fox Sports report last season that accused Suh of slamming and stomping teammates in practices.
“Even in practice, Ndamukong gives guys the business,” Jay Glazer said on air in September. “He’ll slam a guy’s head against the ground. He’ll stomp on a guy. He’ll take little shots at guys. And guys are concerned, ‘If he can’t control himself even in practice with us, how can he control himself against someone else’s jersey?’”
Suh and Schwartz strongly denied that report.
Evans said new Lions Jim Caldwell will need to have the “demeanor and intestinal fortitude to stand up to” antics such as Suh’s to be successful in Detroit.