MIKE O'HARA

Ndamukong Suh comes in at No. 40 in the NFL's top 100 players of 2013

Posted Jun 6, 2013

Although Suh has been involved in controversy at times for his rough style of play, recognition from his peers should validate comments made by him and Steelers Hall of Fame defensive tackle Joe Greene about continuing his style of play

Ndamukong Suh continues to get recognition as a dominating force in the middle of the Lions' defensive line.
Ndamukong SuhDT Ndamukong Suh

Suh was voted No. 40 in the NFL Network's list of the top 100 players for 2013. Voting is done by current players, and the network revealed players 31-40 Thursday night.

Suh has made the top 100 in all three seasons as a Lion. He was No. 38 last year, coming off what he considered a down 2011 season, and No. 51 after his rookie year in 2010.

Two other Lions have made the top 100. Quarterback Matthew Stafford was No. 76, and middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch was No. 63.

Wide receiver Calvin Johnson is certain to be the fourth Lion in the top 100. He set the NFL's single-season record for receiving yards last season with 1,964.

Although Suh has been involved in controversy at times for his rough style of play, recognition from his peers should validate comments made by him and Steelers Hall of Fame defensive tackle Joe Greene about continuing his style of play.

While in town last month to attend the Gridiron Greats Hall of Fame dinner, Greene told a reporter that Suh should not to be affected by comments about the way he plays.

"He's a powerful man," Greene was quoted as saying. "Unfortunately for him is that he's letting some of this notoriety and publicity get in his head a little bit.

"By that I mean it changes the way he approaches the game, because if he changes that, he's not Ndamukong Suh anymore.

"And you need an edge to play in the pit. Anybody who talks about what you shouldn't do hasn't been in there. I think you have to play the game the way he does, but not go over the edge.

"A couple times he went over the edge, and he shouldn't be afraid of that."

Suh expressed his appreciation for Greene's comments and vowed to play as hard as ever when he spoke with reporters after a recent OTA workout.

"I did see those comments, and they are definitely appreciated, coming from a legend of his caliber and somebody I looked up to growing up in this game," Suh said.

"He definitely has my word that I'm not changing my game. Obviously, I have to be smart, but I'm not changing my game."

Suh defined his game in a way that hardcore Lions fans can appreciate.

"Blue collar football, the way I got myself into the league, playing hard is really want got me to be successful," Suh said.

"That's what I mean about not changing my way of playing. In essence playing hard, going hard every single play, not being tentative and not being hesitant within plays and when you're out there playing on the field between the white lines."

Two other highly regarded interior defensive linemen were ranked behind Suh in the top 100.

Haloti Ngata of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens was No. 42. Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Bucs was No. 92.

Ironically, Suh dropped two spots from last year, despite having a better season in 2012 than he did in 2011. Stranger than that was that he was No. 51 in 2011, based on his performance as a rookie in 2010 when he exploded on the NFL a one-man wrecking crew.

He had 10 sacks and was voted first-team All-Pro and a starter on the NFC Pro Bowl team.

In 2011, he slipped to four sacks and failed to make the Pro Bowl. Suh categorized his performance as "indifferent."

He rebounded last season to record eight sacks, second-most in the league for a defensive tackle, and made the Pro Bowl as an alternate.