The NFL ruled Monday that they would not suspend Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh for his actions on Thanksgiving Day that saw his flailing foot connect with the Houston Texans’ QB Matt Schaub below the belt. The thinking is that Suh’s kick, oddly reminiscent of his stomping of Green Bay Packers Evan Dietrich-Smith last Thanksgiving, was simply incidental and had no malicious intent. Regardless, Schaub is convinced that Suh would have no place on the Texans and the organization and team would never tolerate a player like him.
Schaub was SportsRadio 610 in Houston Monday and was asked whether he would want Suh as a teammate. Schaub replied, “No. You don't want a player like that. The stuff that he stands for and the type of player he is, that's not Houston Texan-worthy." Schaub continued, “That's not what we're about as a football team, as individuals, collectively as a group, we're not that type of person.”
Schaub’s comments have been greeted with mixed reviews. There is the train of through that in a fantasy football type of universe, the Texans’ defense would be that much better if Suh were playing next to DE J.J. Watt. This notion is of course held by few and certainly not by fans of the Texans.
Schaub is spot on. The Texans, particularly their defense, are a group of players that do the right things on and off the field. They don’t get arrested, they don’t drop thousands of dollars at strip clubs, and they don’t receive penalties and fines for malicious and intentional dirty plays on the field. It’s often overlooked, but that sort of continuity and camaraderie can go a long way in winning football games. The game isn’t always about X’s and O’s and the Texans as an organization understand that better than most.
The Texans are a collection of high quality, high character guys, which also happen to pretty athletic and very hard working. Mix that with the X’s and O’s savvy and nobody should be surprised by the team’s 10-1 record.
A player like Suh would disrupt this harmonious atmosphere. He has issues both on and off the field. He has now been unceremoniously voted dirtiest player in the NFL two years in a row by his peers. The old saying is true, you’d rather have that guy on your team than have to play against him, but at what cost? Suh is too much of a distraction and his play doesn’t offset that. Schaub recognizes that and knows his locker room. As one of the leaders of his team, Schaub knows the personalities that mesh in the Texans’ locker room and those that don’t, and has correctly identified Suh as a problem.
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