The Suh-McCoy Connection

Posted Sep 7, 2011

When defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy were working through the draft process in early 2010, the names were synonymous with one another.

Both wanted the title of first-overall selection in that year's draft. Ultimately, St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford went first, followed by Suh to Detroit and then McCoy to the Bucs.

"I'm sure both of us (wanted that spot)," said Suh. "(But) I felt like I fell into a great situation and am definitely happy and I'm sure he's happy with his (situation)."

Suh may have found his perfect fit, as a matter of fact.

A hard-working, tough-as-nails player wove himself right in to the blue-collar city of Detroit.

"Ever since I got here, this city has embraced me," said Suh. "I've been able to meet a lot of influential people in the city and it's something that I've enjoyed."

Detroit and Tampa Bay met last season in a game that was memorable for Lions fans.

The Lions came away with a 23-20 overtime victory to make the first road win for the franchise since 2007.

"It was a stepping stone for this organization and our team being able to get a win on the road," said Suh. "I think we're over and done with that (now)."

McCoy, whose team finished with 10 wins in 2010, feels the same way about his club.

"Last year was last year," he said. "We got 10 wins last year and that's all well and good, but we have a different goal in mind this year and it's to win our division. Our first goal is to beat the Detroit Lions."

Suh and McCoy had a casual relationship as they went through the draft process.

They hadn't met prior to Nebraska and Oklahoma playing one another during the 2009 season and haven't spoken much since the draft concluded.

"We just started pursuing our own careers," said McCoy. "We just went our separate ways."

Suh went on to have an explosive rookie season in which he finished with 10.0 sacks, earning a multitude of awards including AP Defensive Rookie of the Year.

"He deserved it," said McCoy of Suh's awards. "He played well. It's not easy to get double-digit sacks, regardless of what position you're in, and he did it from the inside."

Whether the comparison of the two players will die down as their careers progress remains to be seen.

Suh and McCoy - while they respect one another - certainly don't feel they are in direct competition ... though their teams will be this Sunday in Tampa.

Suh is looking to make it two in a row.

"We feel that we can go into any place and come out with a win," he said.

McCoy feels just as convicted.

"We're looking toward the future and the things we've got to get done this year," he said. "Our first task is we beat the Detroit Lions."