ALLEN PARK – Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndmaukong Suh’s stats waned during the 2011 season, but his impact remained the same, according to general manager Martin Mayhew.
Suh finished with 36 tackles, four sacks and a pass defense this season. As a rookie in 2010, Suh had 66 tackles and a team record of 10.0 sacks, three pass defenses, one interception, one fumble recovered (returned for a 17-yard touchdown) and a forced fumble.
Despite the statistical drop, Mayhew is happy with Suh’s performance in 2011.
“We have this great staff reunion at the end of the season and we had it at the end of last season,” said Mayhew. “I was walking down the hall and Kris (Kocurek) was walking with me, our defensive line coach, and I said I’m sorry for you because if he doesn’t get 10 sacks next year, everything the world is going to say he can’t play. That’s how the league is. “
It’s hard to argue that Suh’s presence didn’t help his teammates.
Suh was double-teamed on most games, which saw defensive end Cliff Avril register 11 sacks and six forced fumbles this season, while defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch had eight sacks and four fumbles. strengths.
Meanwhile, no other first-round defensive tackle in the 2010 NFL Draft has eclipsed Suh this season.
Jacksonville Jaguars’ Tyson Alualu had 40 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 16 starts; Arizona’s Dan Williams had 20 tackles and no sacks before breaking his arm midway through the season, while Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy made 11 tackles before a bicep injury hit him. placed in the casualty reserve for a second consecutive year.
“If you look at last year and look at every game and the way he played, then look at this year and every game and the way he played, it’s really not that different,” Mayhews said. “He didn’t have those impact plays. He didn’t have the interception, knocked the ball up in the air, he bounced back to him and he had an interception. He didn’t recover. fumble and sent him back for a touchdown.
“He hasn’t had some of those shining plays he had last year, but he’s played pretty solid and very consistently throughout the season. I was happy with him. I didn’t. would trade for no one else. “