New Bucs defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will arrive in Tampa Bay soon, but his reputation as a dirty player proceeds him.
Not that Bucs coach Bruce Arians cares (see below).
Here’s a look at the 10 dirtiest plays of Suh’s nine-year NFL career:
10. Suh pulls Marion Barber’s hair
In his rookie season, Suh was incorrectly penalized for a horse-collar tackle on Cowboys running back Marion Barber. As you can see from the video, he clearly brought Barber down by pulling his dreadlocks.
""I went up to him to apologize because I’m not a dirty player," Suh told the Detroit News after the game. “He said, ‘No worries. It’s the name of the game.’”
9. Suh chokes Ryan Mallett
This 2017 incident in Baltimore was reminiscent of Darth Vader’s what-have-you-done-with-those-plans choke in Star Wars: Episode IV.
8. Suh punch-tackles Patrick Mahomes
In Suh’s defense, this play in the 2018 regular-season game of the year didn’t even draw a flag.
7. Suh kicks Ryan Fitzpatrick in the head. Yes, that Ryan Fitzpatrick.
This one makes the list not so much for the offense but for the offended. Easy on Fitz-Magic this year (Aug. 16, Tampa), big guy.
6. Suh steps on Aaron Rodgers’ ankle
This 2014 stunt earned Suh a one-game suspension, which he unsuccessfully appealed by suggesting the extreme cold in Green Bay caused him to lose feeling in his foot and mistake Rodgers’ ankle for the Lambeau Field turf.
5. Suh kicks Matt Schaub below the belt
Happy Thanksgiving, 2012. Suh had a logical explanation for his kick to Schaub’s nether regions: “I was being dragged to the ground, and my foot inadvertently hit the man,” Suh told reporters, according to WXYT-FM in Detroit.
Schaub wasn’t buying it, but the coach of the Lions’ next opponent didn’t see a problem.
""I don’t think he’s a dirty player. I’d love to have him on my team. I like the way he plays. He plays aggressive, hard and fast and physical. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. That’s kind of why they call it football.”
The coach? Then-Indianapolis Colts interim head coach and current Bucs head coach Bruce Arians.
4. Suh forearms the back of Jay Cutler’s head
It’s awfully hard to engender sympathy for Jay Cutler, but Suh certainly did his part. (Stay tuned).
3. Suh sweeps the leg on Jay Cutler
“I don’t like any quarterbacks,” Suh once told the Chicago-Sun Times, “but (Cutler) was one guy definitely I had respect for because he took hits and never cried, never complained.” Another Suh-on-Cutler hit (”Suh rips Jay Cutler’s helmet off”) didn’t make the list because it was starting to get redundant.
2. Suh’s aggravated face-masking on Jake Delhomme
Suh’s career got off to a dirty and expensive start when this cheap shot in his third preseason game cost him $7,500.
1. Suh holds Evan Smith’s head to the ground, and stomps on his arm
He went by the name Evan Dietrich-Smith on Thanksgiving 2011 — what is it about Turkey Day that prompts such hostility? — but starting Tuesday Suh can just call him teammate. Here’s Eduardo A. Encina with the story of Suh’s most infamous stomp/hit/penalty/cheapshot.
Contact Mike Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @mikesherman.