Suh Tips Cap To Lions Fans, Says They Were 'Suh-ing' Not Booing

Their loyalty made his departure in 2014 "emotional," Suh said.

Will Burchfield
December 02, 2018 - 6:13 pm

© Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports


Ndamukong Suh made his first tackle of the game on the Lions' fourth play on Sunday, and the boos rained down at Ford Field the moment his name was announced on the loudspeakers. Well, depends who you ask. 

If you ask Suh, they weren't boos at all. 

"I don’t believe it was a boo. That’s my calling of Suh," he said with a smile. "So they gave me a nice calling." 

A topic of conversation throughout the week, Suh's return to Ford Field ended in a 30-16 win for the Rams. Suh finished with six tackles and two penalties, including a roughing the passer call for a late hit on Matthew Stafford, in his first game against his former team since leaving as a free agent after the 2014 season. 

The Rams clinched the NFC West in the process, the first division championship of Suh's nine-year career. 

"It’s great to come back. This is a great city to me and I love every bit of it. I got a warm welcome back. Our goal was to come out here and beat them, be NFC (West) champs and move on to the next opponent," Suh said.

Suh refrained from commenting on the Lions organization this week, suggesting he had some ugly things to say. He stuck to that policy on Sunday. He did, however, tip his hat to the team's fans, whose passion made it hard for him to leave in free agency, he said.

Suh wound up signing a record-setting six-year, $114 million contract with the Dolphins, who cut him this offseason. 

"To all the fans in Detroit, if you back to 2014 I was emotional when I left because you meant so much to me. So I'm going to leave it there," he said. 

While Suh mostly bit his tongue in regard to the Lions this week, he did make headlines by appearing to take a shot at Stafford when he left him unmentioned among the favorite quarterbacks he's played with. Then he took a literal shot at Stafford on Sunday, bowling him over after he had released a pass late in the fourth quarter. 

That earned Suh a personal foul and a lot more boos -- or 'Suh's' -- from the home crowd. 

"Been a long time coming," Suh said of hitting Stafford. "I’ve seen him a ton of times in practice, so I had an opportunity to be on the opposite side of the ball and get after him."

Asked if he and Stafford exchanged words at all, Suh said, "We nodded heads. We have mutual respect for each other. At the end of the day, he’s a competitor, I’m a competitor. I want to win and we got the win."

Suh's other penalty was for a horse collar, and he may have gotten away with poking right tackle Rick Wagner in the eye later in the game. It's unclear if the latter play was intentional. Suh has a history of dirty play, but Stafford, for his part, didn't think his ex-teammate delivered any cheap shots. 

"I really didn't. He plays hard, plays physical," Stafford said. "It's not me to figure out what's legal, what's not." 

Suh's six solo tackles marked a season high. Asked if he had any extra motivation facing the Lions, he simply said, "Jim Washburn, I'll say that." Washburn coached Suh for two seasons in Detroit, and later for two seasons in Miami.

For Suh, Sunday went about as well as he could have imagined. Not only did he have one of his best games of the year, his team clinched a division title against the team that drafted him second overall eight years ago. 

"It’s a great feeling," he said. "It was sweeter we got to win an NFC (West) championship here. Enjoyed my time here and now’s it back to business when we get back to LA."