Al 'Bubba' Baker saw nothing wrong with Ndamukong Suh
As long as we’re going to tackle the topic of Ndamukong Suh’s stomping last Thanksgiving, we might as well look at the play from another angle. One not often explored.
The Detroit Lions have not had many pass rushers as fearsome as Al “Bubba” Baker, a key member of the team’s “Silver Rush” front four from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The Lions credit Baker with having 23 sacks in 1978 – before it became an official statistic. The club credited him with 16 in 1979 making Baker another great pass rusher who probably has never received his due because the sack wasn’t introduced until 1982.
Baker says he supports Suh and likes the way he handled himself during his second season when he was more of a marked man. When it comes to stomping on Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith, Baker says take another look.
“Go back, look at the film, did he really stomp the guy? Honestly? No, he didn't,” Baker told the Detroit Free Press. “In the day that was common. You chop my legs, you're down on the ground, I'm going to kick you 'cause you're trying to ruin my career.
“There's two different kinds of NFL -- the NFL that they're marketing and they want babies to wear Detroit Lions nighties and booties and all that, and then there's actually on the field. On the field you have to take care of yourself.”
Baker predicts big things for Suh as he enters his third season. The Lions certainly need to play better around him and that means Nick Fairley, the club’s first-round pick in 2011, will have to step forward.
“Watch this year, 'cause now he's going to have a combination of nobody knowing who he is and everybody knowing who he is,” Baker said. “You'll see a different guy 'cause he's not going to come out feeling all that pressure and have the sophomore jinx and that self-imposed pressure, 'I've got to do this, I've got to do that.’”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune