Ndamukong Suh: 'I've had a target on my back since I was a rookie'

Posted May 29, 2013

Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley are looking forward to proving that they are the best defensive tackle tandem in 2013

Ndamukong Suh has had a target on his back ever since he came into the NFL as the No. 2-overall selection with a lot of fanfare.

Heck, the first snap he played in the NFL in the 2010 preseason vs. the Steelers, he was double-teamed.

Ndamukong SuhNdamukong Suh (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

All Nick Fairley did this offseason was center that target a bit when he proclaimed he and Suh were the best defensive tackle tandem in the NFL.

"Of course," Fairley said. "We're going to give guys trouble, man. It's like pick your poison this year with our defensive line. You cannot come in and double-team Ndamukong and you can't come in and double-team me."

For his part, Suh said he was up to proving Fairley right.

"It's a great challenge and it's definitely something that I'm up for," Suh said after an organized team activity practice Wednesday. "It's something that he felt in his heart we can (be) and I'm going to be there to work alongside of him.

"We've in essence put a target on our back and that's fine. I've had a target on my back since I was a rookie, so I'm excited for it."

Suh (8) and Fairley (5.5) combined for the second-most sacks of any defensive tackle tandem in the league last season with 13.5. Only Cincinnati's Geno Atkins and Domata Peko had more (14.5), but Atkins accounted for 12.5 of those.

In the end, it will be up to Fairley to take the next step in his development and make good on his words.

Suh has already been to two Pro Bowls and earned an All Pro nod as a rookie in 2010.

Now entering his third season, Fairley is the one who needs to come into his own and be consistent for 16 games.

"I don't like to make pre-judgment," said Suh when asked if Fairley was right in his prediction. "It remains to be seen. I just like to go out there and play.

"People are going to give me their best and they should expect the best from me."