Joe Greene is one of the most respected defensive tackles to play the game in the last 50 years and when Mean Joe Greene speaks, well, it’s worth listening.

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press caught up with him as he was in town for a Gridiron Greats event and asked him about polarizing Lions tackle Ndamukong Suh.

He is a powerful man,” Greene told Birkett. “Unfortunately for him is that he’s letting some of this notoriety and publicity get in his head a little bit. By that I mean it changes the way he approaches the game, cause if he changes that he’s not Ndamukong anymore. And you need an edge to play in the pit. Anybody that talks about what you shouldn’t do hasn’t been in there.
 

“I think you have to play the game the way he does, but not go over the edge. A couple times he went over the edge, and he shouldn’t be afraid of that.”
 

A breakout rookie season in 2010 for Suh was followed by a disappointing campaign in 2011. But Suh was better this past season. He had eight sacks and was more of a factor vs. the run. Greene says it’s important for outside influences not to get to Suh.
 

“I know that when the public gets involved and the talking heads get involved and they talk about something they don’t have any idea about — it’s nice and air conditioned where they’re sitting,” Greene said. “So he can’t let other voices dictate how he plays.”

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune