Looking back, no offseason "storyline" involving the Detroit Lions was more ridiculous than Ndamukong Suh's absence from voluntary workouts. Yes, it would have been nice for him to attend them simply so his teammates didn't have to constantly answer questions about his whereabouts. But when it comes to being in shape, we really didn't need to worry about Suh. He may have been off on his own for much of the offseason, but it's not like he was avoiding the gym or anything like that.
When Suh first returned to the Lions for OTAs, he was described by Jim Caldwell as being in "impeccable" shape. A similar description of Suh was recently provided by Mike Barwis, who served as Michigan's director of strength and conditioning when Rich Rodriguez was the head football coach in Ann Arbor. Barwis now operates his own training center in Plymouth Township, and it's the backdrop for American Muscle, a new Discovery Channel show. Suh will be featured on Wednesday's episode, and Barwis came away with an extremely positive impression from working with him. From NFL.com:
"Ndamukong is a stud," said Barwis, the star of Discovery Channel's "American Muscle," which [debuted on July 9]. "... He trains very, very hard. Guys finish up the workouts, and he's the guy in there who stays extra to condition beyond what's demanded of him, and these workouts are pretty hellacious. A guy like that is a pretty unique guy. ... He knows what he has to do to be ready, and I think he's proven that every year he's been ready."
Barwis also called Suh a "physical specimen." That seems like a pretty good way to describe Suh, who is probably one of the most athletic players in the NFL, especially at the defensive tackle position. Guys like him don't come along very often, which is why the Lions want to make sure he stays in Detroit by signing him to a long-term deal. There haven't been any updates on how negotiations on a long-term deal are going, but the hope remains that the Lions will work something out with Suh before training camp begins later this month.