The Eagles brought in veteran DT Ndamukong Suh just days after signing another veteran DT, Linval Joseph. Suh talked to reporters on Friday from his new locker, and explained the many reasons that drew him to Philadelphia, and also talked about how he’ll fit into the defensive scheme, and how he stays in shape.
Here’s what the Eagles new defender had to say:
On signing with Philly
Suh credited good communication and his relationships, like with Ted Rath. He noted that he’s been with Rath in Detroit, Miami, and Los Angeles.
“I’ve always wanted to play for a great city like Philly.”
The DT acknowledged that whether he would come back and play at all in 2022 was always something that was up in the air. He and his wife and family decided to take things day-by-day. Suh said he had the opportunity to spend a lot of extra time with his kids, but when the opportunity came up to play for the Eagles, he took it.
“I think it came down to, truthfully, relationships. I spoke to some other teams throughout the weeks, but again, Ted [Rath], Howie [Roseman], ownership, just in general, I felt really comfortable with this opportunity here.”
He also talked about former, and now current, teammate Darius Slay and how the cornerback tried to get Suh to Philly last year. Suh said that he and Slay have stayed in touch after their time together in Detroit.
Suh pointed to Championships and being able to compete for one as what keeps him going after all these years in the NFL.
“This team has done an amazing job thus far, and I feel like I can come and help, but first I gotta get acclimated and then go from there.”
He later said that the Eagles playoff potential was “without question” part of the reason he chose to sign with the team.
Suh explained that there’s a lot of excitement around the team being 8-1 and he’s just going to work to get acclimated so he can add value. Adding value is something he’s prided himself on throughout his career, and being a team-first guy.
“It’s a special place, I’ll say that, and like I said, I enjoy this town. I have family friends that have coached for the 76ers, and been in and around this city. It’s an ultimate sports town and I’m happy to be here and be able to be a part of that.”
On his role among the DL
Suh said that it would be up to the coaches whether he’ll play on Sunday against the Colts, having just got to town Thursday night. He plans to study his hardest to be ready.
Suh mentioned that Fletcher Cox reached out after he signed, as well, and the two have had a mutual respect for each other throughout their careers.
“Obviously I’m not here to take anybody’s position. I’m here to support and be a supporting cast member from all levels.”
He was asked if he’s played in a scheme like the Eagles defense deploys, and Suh quipped that he’s played in every scheme out there. It isn’t going to be the technical things he’ll need to work on, as much as learning the terminology.
Suh admitted that he isn’t quite sure where he fits into the defense just yet, he’s still trying to figure out where the coaches want him, but he’s ready with open arms for whatever they want.
“I don’t have a problem by any means playing a role.”
He went on to say that he’s always played a role in his career, whether that was being “star” or being a leader, or even being the guy to help develop younger players. Suh said that playing along the defensive line is all about being a collective group playing at an elite level.
On staying in shape
Suh credits his team at NIKE and physical therapists for staying in shape, something he says is really important to him. He acknowledged that there’s a difference between being in shape — which he is — and being in football shape, explaining that there’s only one to get in football shape, and that’s to play football.
“You can prepare yourself and be ready to get into football shape versus having to go through multiple levels of getting ready to play.”
It was later pointed out that there are only three guys left from the 2010 draft class, Suh, Linval Joseph, and Brandon Graham, who are now all on the same team. He didn’t think it was strange, maybe a bit more good luck, noting that guys that are built just a little bit differently, know how to manage themselves and take care of their bodies, and be prepared every year.
With a big smile, Suh talked about how he’s never missed a game in his career, and emphasized that it’s something he takes a lot of pride in. He trains very hard and has a great team that helps him put plans in place to keep him healthy.