Former NFL fullback Heath Evans, who is now an analyst for NFL Network and an announcer for FOX, generated headlines on Friday by making some strong claims about Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. During an interview with Detroit Sports 105.1, Evans alleged that Suh was "uncontrollable," showed up late to meetings and "constantly" did things to "show his power over Jim Schwartz." According to Evans, this was based on what he was told by three different people.
Suh has become an easy target for reports like this because of his actions in the past. Despite the fact that he has altered the way he plays and has become much more of a leader in the locker room in recent years, his overall reputation still allows people like Evans to grab attention by spreading BS. And yes, that's all Evans was doing. On Saturday, numerous reports came out in defense of Suh, and it's clear that Evans' claims aren't even remotely accurate. Case in point:
Reggie Bush said he never knew of Ndamukong Suh show up late for meetings. Never knew of him showing up Schwartz.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) February 1, 2014
Reggie Bush said Suh called a leadership meeting early in season and was a great teammate.— Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) February 1, 2014
One thing on the Suh story from yesterday, someone in the organization told me he doesn't remember Suh ever being late for a meeting last yr— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) February 1, 2014
According to one #Lions coach who was with Suh all his first four years in the NFL, Suh was never late for a meeting once.— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) February 1, 2014
Need more proof that Evans is full of it? Here you go!
Andre Fluellen (via the Free Press):
"We all hold each other accountable, so he wasn’t late or anything. Nobody was late that I can really remember. I don’t really know what (Evans) said, I can just tell you that he was as good a teammate as you can really ask for."
C.J. Mosley (via MLive):
"Suh wasn't late to one meeting, or have any outbursts, or showed any dominance over the head coach. From what I've seen, they had a very good relationship. Not one argument, blowup, or even an incident where he disrespected the head coach."
Rob Sims (via the Detroit News):
"The guy was the leader of our leadership meetings. He was getting guys together, guys like myself and Stephen Tulloch and organizing our meetings. So to say he wasn’t with us and wasn’t being a captain, that’s ridiculous."
I'd tell Heath Evans to stick to his day job instead of trying to be a reporter, but it's not like his skills as an announcer and a commentator are much better. Perhaps next time he should just keep his mouth shut instead of making completely false accusations.
UPDATE: And Jim Schwartz has now denied Evans' allegations as well.
Jim Schwartz weighs in on Suh/Evans debate: "Ndamukong Suh was not late for any team meeting, practice or team travel in any of our (cont)— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) February 2, 2014
"four years together with the Lions. Anyone who reports otherwise is either being untruthful or has been mislead."— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) February 2, 2014