Ndamukong Suh: Detroit Lions-Rams trade ‘interesting;’ coach Dan Campbell ‘a great guy’

Detroit Free Press

Dave Birkett
| Detroit Free Press

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Ndamukong Suh once called Jared Goff “the best QB I’ve ever had,” so it’s only natural the former Detroit Lions star is rooting for his old team’s new quarterback.

Speaking during virtual media availability Monday at Super Bowl LV, Suh called the weekend trade between the Lions and another one of his former teams, the Los Angeles Rams, “interesting” and said he offered to help Goff get settled in Detroit.

The Lions traded longtime quarterback Matthew Stafford to the Rams on Saturday for Goff and three draft picks, a third-rounder this spring and first-rounders in 2022-23.

In shipping Stafford to Rams, Lions show they aren’t copying any blueprint ]

“I think it’s an interesting trade,” Suh said. “Obviously, L.A. gave up a lot of stuff. They’ve been keen to giving up a lot of first-round picks and what not to get what they feel is best for their team. More power to them, and like I said, I mentioned that I spoke to Jared Goff the other day and just wanted to wish him the best and let him know if he needs anything in Detroit, cause it’s a city that I love and I’ve got a lot of quality relationships there, that I’m happy to pass on to him to make sure he’s comfortable and gets a fresh start there.”

Suh played his first five NFL seasons with the Lions, where he was a three-time first-team All-Pro selection and part of the best Lions team of the past 20 years.

He played the 2018 season with the Los Angeles, where he reached the Super Bowl with Goff as his quarterback before losing to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

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Now teammates with Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Suh is back in the Super Bowl for the second time in three seasons.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” Suh said. “I’ve been able to have a great career and excited to be in the situation I’m in right now, still playing at a very high level and really having an opportunity to go win a Super Bowl. I think my ultimate goal is to win a Super Bowl. I’ve been super successful with all individual accolades and stuff like that, but getting this team goal’s going to be the most important piece, to be able to host and lift up that Lombardi Trophy.”

Suh made headlines in 2018, a few months before his first career game against the Lions, when he posted a picture on Instagram of him looking at Goff with the caption, “If only you weren’t my QB,” adding, “Nah can’t do that to the best QB I’ve ever had,” with goat, football and muscled-arm emojis.

Asked Monday about Stafford, his teammate for five seasons, Suh said it was obvious he wanted out of Detroit.

“I think it was mutual from my understanding, outside looking in,” he said. “And I believe he had decision making power to decide where that was going to be, so he chose L.A. That’s really good for him. Hopefully get a chance to play against them next year, wherever I might be, hopefully here in Tampa, and go from there.”

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Suh, who turned 34 in January, said he hopes to return for a 12th NFL season next fall, no matter what happens in Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

His wife is pregnant with twins, and that will factor into his decision, but “I have a desire to continue to play as well and I think she’ll probably leave that up to me.”

“Being able to have the opportunity to win, I’m excited to be able to do that and want to hone into that particular moment and really this week be able to take care of that business,” he said. “Anything thereafter, I feel like I’m playing at a very high level still and still have the want-to to play.”

Suh said he was disappointed that former Lions coach Jim Caldwell did not get a head coaching job during this hiring cycle — Suh played one season for Caldwell in 2014 — and said the Lions got a good coach in Dan Campbell, who he played under for 12 games in 2015, when Campbell was interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

“Dan’s a great guy,” Suh said. “Had an amazing time with him being our interim head coach at the Dolphins. Without question a player’s coach and been able to stay in touch with him when he was at New Orleans, obviously playing them twice these last two years.

“You can see that fire in him, as you saw in his press conference, so I’m excited for Detroit to have a guy like that and I think he’s going to be able to have an opportunity to bring some success and guys just got to hone in and understand what they need to accomplish. He just got a great quarterback in Jared Goff, who I was in the Super Bowl with two years ago. So I’m excited to see what they’re going to be able to do up there in Detroit.”

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Contact Dave Birkett at dbirkett@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.

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