Ndamukong Suh’s hit on Jake Delhomme was fairly brutal. The Suh hit on Delhomme showed how intense the Lions’ top draft pick will be, yet the hit shows how carried away he can get. Although the Lions and Browns merely played a preseason game, the rookie defensive tackle went after Delhomme as if it was a playoff game. Such intensity is why the Lions expect great things from the Heisman finalist in the first place. However, the Suh hit on Delhomme could delay the start of his career, or get him into some financial trouble.
In the second quarter of Sunday’s game, the No. 2 overall pick charged at the Browns’ newest quarterback. Suh grabbed onto Delhomme’s facemask after he released the ball, and then threw him down on the turf when he was already halfway down. The combination of fouls made the Suh hit on Delhomme particularly notable.
As such, the NFL is looking into the incident, and reviewing whether it warrants disciplinary action. Backup Browns quarterback Seneca Wallace suggested that Suh should be suspended, although a fine might be likely either way.
Although the Suh hit on Delhomme was unquestionably late, the defensive tackle contended that he didn’t know the ball was released. Even if that is true, it may not explain why he grabbed Delhomme by the head, and slammed him down the way he did. If he thought he still had the ball, he could have brought him down another way.
Face masks and personal fouls are common in the heat of the moment, as are overzealous tackles. But the Suh hit on Delhomme has more of a spotlight, since the second overall pick in the draft did it, and since he went that far in the preseason.
Lions’ fans are expecting Suh to improve the team’s defense, while last year’s No. 1 pick, Matthew Stafford, settles in as offensive leader. His defensive dominance and intensity nearly made Suh a Heisman winner, and nearly brought on BCS chaos in the Big 12 title game. But if that intensity gets him in trouble before his career technically starts, it may be an early sign of concern.
The Lions are used to having high-draft picks tank, or at least have them unable to break their futility. The Suh hit on Delhomme doesn’t signal that he will break that streak or extend it, although they need all the positive signs they can get.
Having him get suspended for the Sept. 12 opener in Chicago wouldn’t be a positive sign. However, that possibility is still premature, as the NFL is still in the reviewing process.
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