Leland Stein III

Posts Tagged ‘ndamukong suh’

Back home, Jones impresses

In sports column on August 23, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Detroiter anchors Lion’s defense in win over Patriots

By Leland Stein III

The Detroit Lions’ defense was a question mark as the team began its preparations for the 2013 campaign. However, following its second preseason victory, a surprising 40-9 thumping of the lordly New England Patriots at Ford Field, hope again runs eternal for all the Lions faithful.

Detroit's Jason Jones at Lions press conference. – Dan Graschuck photo

Detroit’s Jason Jones at Lions press conference. – Dan Graschuck photo

With the Lions’ offense still sputtering, the defense took center stage against the Patriots, creating four crucial turnovers. Surprisingly, but happily, the linchpin of that effort was Detroiter Jason Jones.

Departed from the Lions defensive line were both starting defensive ends from the 2012 squad – Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril. So, the concern about what would happen there was all too real.

Jones, a Southfield-Lathrup High and Eastern Michigan University alum, has stepped into the void and produced. Signed as a free agent, the 6-foot-5, 275 pounder, could become the pass rusher the Lions so desperately need.

After a stellar career at EMU, Jones was drafted in the second round (54th overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. Injuries kept him from being the best he could be, and, eventually he left the Titans and signed a one-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks for the 2012 season.

At Jones’ Lions signing press conference, he told reporters that lining up next to Pro-Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh should make both of them better.

Leland Stein

The Southfield product, now a six-year veteran said he was delighted to be back home playing in from of friends and family, with a chance to help make the Lions a competitive NFL entity.

“It’s going to benefit me a lot,” Jones said, about playing next to Suh. “All eyes are going to be on him with what he’s done and his track record in the league. It’s just my job to make some plays and play off him.”

Concurred Lions coach Jim Schwartz: “Jones has got great length, he weighs over 280 pounds, which is a big difference from a lot of defensive ends that we’ve had here. However, he’s not sacrificing speed or agility because of it. There is speed and agility that you have to have to be a defensive end and he has that.

“He also gives us a frame with super long arms. He should be able to help us in the pass rush game and should affect throws even if he doesn’t win in pass rush because of his length and be able to knock passes down.”

Everything Schwartz said manifested itself in the New England game. Jones was a beast, playing the position like a Pro-Bowler.

Jones led the way in the Lions impressive four-turnover outing against a potential Super Bowl team like the Patriots. After the game he noted: “That’s what we know we can do. We try to get the ball out in practice every day. Coming into this game we knew we had a pretty good challenge ahead of us. New England has a pretty good offense and they use a lot of things out there. We wanted to come out, set the tone and play aggressive out there, especially playing at home. We always want to be aggressive and we got four turnovers which is great for our defense.”

Yeah it was great to see the Lions beat New England, but the preseason really means nothing in the race to the NFL Playoffs. Still, any coach or fan or player will tell you they want to see their team win every time they line up.

On the momentum from the win carrying over, Jones said: “We don’t want to look back to two years ago and we don’t want to look too far in the future but two years ago we played here and had a very similar outcome and we went to the playoffs. Every year we put on pads we think we know mentally and physically that we are able to get to the playoffs but it’s about going out there and doing it. I definitely think this year with the chemistry of the team we will be able to go out there and perform.”

With a three-year contract in hand, Jones said he wants to be more than a football player and do all that he can to uplift the Detroit area. He has a good track record while in Tennessee, being a big part of the Coaches Association of the Brotherhood (C.A.O.T.B.) organization.

He noted that the group’s purpose was through charitable and educational events, they could help address the youth by mentoring, instructional and sports programs, while working with the juvenile detention systems as well.

Jones is a much need asset to the Lions and the Detroit Metro area, too.

Leland Stein can be reached at lelstein3@aol.com or Twitter @LelandSteinIII

In sports column on February 25, 2012 at 1:42 am
Selling hate – on the back of African-Americans athletes
By Leland Stein III

I think life is passing me by, but on second thought maybe that is okay.
In this reality TV era the lines of civility, right and wrong and self-expression are getting too blurred for me to follow.
Blasting through the media airwaves (radio, TV and print) recently was a poll courtesy of a survey from Nielsen and E-Market Poll Research and their research gave us the 10 most disliked athletes of 2011. Almost every media outlet talked about the poll and scorned the at
hletes on it. Unfortunately nine out of the ten were African-American males.
Starting at the top was Michael Vick, then Tiger Woods, Plaxico Burress, Ndamukong Suh, Kris Humphries, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Terrell Owens, Alex Rodriguez and Kurt Busch.
Wow, what a surprise!
How come I never get invited or asked to participate in any of those so-called polls? Just asking.
On this recent hate poll, who the heck did they poll?
 The sample size has to have been miniscule and segregated, because the internationally known Harris Interactive Poll gave another view. In its Top Ten are first, Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Albert Pujols, Hines Ward, Derrick Rose and finally, Aaron Rodgers.
So how can America’s most respected poll differ from this self-serving poll that gave sports pundits all over the country a vehicle to lambast and attack too many African-American athletes.
Funny how the reality generation embraces Labels and tags minorities throughout American history have been fighting to get away from. Too many like to categorize others to make themselves feel better.
For the most part all those callers and bloggers that took this poll opportunity to condemn those athletes, who just so happen to be black, should all look deep into the mirror…now there is another list. Can’t say that the condemners would like what they see, so they go making up or latching on to these hate lists…it makes them feel better.
Who did the hate poll, poll? Well, a couple of athletes on that list are pretty telling about who voted. Those who hate Humphries would rather watch the Style Network than basketball. Those who hate Suh would rather watch flag football or tiddlywinks.
What did Humphries do? His 72-day marriage to the reality TV star, Kim Kardashian, caused people to hate him? What is going on here? A slightly talented women, who gets famous for a sex video, but the brother is the hated one.
And Suh, well this is football. A sport where too many of its former players have brain damage. A sport where giant men collide, try to take each other’s heads off or knock each other’s lights out.
In the heat of the moment Suh did not help his cause when he stomped on Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith arm on Thanksgiving Day. He earned a two-game suspension as a result.
Yeah, that was not sportsmanlike, but in the real world of violent football, that was nothing.
In regards to Vick, he did some vile mess with the dog fighting ring. I have to qualify that I have owned house dogs all my life and have one now that is sitting right next to my feet and I write this narrative.
But, somehow the Tea Party and the religious right do not live up to one of its main tenants – the spirit of forgiveness. Doesn’t Vick deserve a second cha
nce, just like all of us? By all accounts he has changed his life and is in real depth trying to find redemption.
Now Bryant and Woods have never hurt anyone in their lives. Sure both fall short of the glory and have made serious mistakes in their marriages. I surely understand how others could judge men that get caught cheating on their wives.
But, put them in the most hated zone? Come on man! America leads the world in divorces. In fact, a presidential candidate, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, has been married three times, but won the Republican South Carolina Primary. Confusing isn’t it.
From the poll it appears Woods cheating on a white woman is not forgivable. Bryant’s liaison with a white woman was put in the courts as a rape, but the Colorado court system threw the case out, because it had no merit. Yet, many of our brethren I noticed on talk radio and on blogs ignored the facts of the case and say Bryant was a rapist.
What it all relays to me is that people tolerate the fact that in the big two sports – football and basketball – there is a predominance of Black athletes, and, most people just deal with them if it helps their sport or their team, but when given a change to hate, the massesmove like salmon going up-stream in a collective discourse quickly turn on them.
Yeah, all on this list have made mistakes, but they are descent humans and have never beaten up any old ladies, grabbed a purse, killed anyone, or beat their wives. They all, even James, who made a personal choice he legally earned, represent American and its short comings.
Stop the hating!!!
Leland Stein can be reached at lelstein3@aol.com or Twitter @LelandSteinIII