Ndamukong Suh recalls his first "full" Pro Bowl experience

Posted Jan 29, 2013

Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh took full advantage of his second Pro Bowl, getting to know fellow-NFL players and coaches and giving back to the community

Ndamukong Suh

The first time defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was voted to the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2010 he made the trip to Hawaii, but he was more of a spectator because of postseason shoulder surgery.

This year, Suh wanted to make sure he took it all in and told that he felt a great sense of pride representing the City of Detroit and the Detroit Lions organization in Hawaii last week.

"To wear that helmet out there and wear the jersey with the Lions on it ... it’s fun to be a part of that," he said. "It was just an honor not only to make the Pro Bowl but to represent the city and the team out there."

Getting to know his fellow players on a more personal level was rewarding, according to Suh, and so too was some of the experiences away from the football field.

"I really like the military and how things work and how they go about doing things so being able to go to Pearl Harbor for the first time and really dive into that and take a really good tour was really exciting," he said.

"I definitely enjoyed that and got to see some interesting things. I took some great pictures of the oil still coming out of the USS Arizona. It was a really great time.

"The most fulfilling thing was being able to hang out with the kids on the military base and do some Play 60 stuff. We went to a church and built planters pots for fruits and vegetables that they’re going to obviously turn around and use on their base.

"There were a lot of things we got to do as players."

The NFC squad won the game, 62-35, and Suh recorded two tackles. The week leading up to the game allowed him to get to know some of his NFC North rival players and coaches a little better, too.

"For me it was an ultimate experience being able to hang out with the guys, meet them, and see all the different personalities from what you see from the guys on the football field," Suh said.

"Everybody is just out there having fun and getting know each other and I had a lot of fun with it."

That includes getting to know Mike McCarthy and the Green Bay Packers' coaching staff - who coached the NFC team - a little better.

"I had a great conversation with their defensive coordinator (Dom Capers) on a bus ride," Suh said.

"He and (Detroit Lions defensive coordinator) Gunther (Cunningham) coached together, I think it was at the University of Cal; it was good to hear some stories about Gun. It’s always funny to hear other people talk about him and his character and how he’s such a great guy.

"It was definitely a treat to meet the Green Bay coaches. They all had good stories, especially the equipment staff on (Detroit Lions equipment manager) Tim O’Neill, who used to work in Green Bay."

Suh said he is hoping to make the all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii an annual thing.

"I definitely look forward to having an opportunity to go back there again and experience it again," he said.

"I got to see some guys retire like Jeff Saturday, him going against Peyton Manning for the first time. It’s fun things like that that make the experience unique."

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