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Suh trying to shake reputation as latest 'Bad Boy' from Detroit

Defensive end Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit

Defensive end Ndamukong Suh #90 of the Detroit Lions argues with referee Terry McAulay #77 after Suh is ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct in the third quarter against the Green Bay Packers during the Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field. (Nov. 24, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

DETROIT - Ndamukong Suh has established himself as one of the NFL's best defensive tackles during his four seasons with the Lions.

But it's his reputation as one of the league's dirtiest players that has his attention these days.

"People are always going to have their opinion," Suh said Wednesday. "Obviously, you can't necessarily be too worried about it. One of the things you have to do is be consistent to who you are. As long as you do that, hopefully the light will continue to shine in the right way until the end."

Suh told Sirius XM's NFL Radio earlier this month that he wants to change his reputation as a dirty player. Suh reiterated that sentiment Wednesday, saying he doesn't want to let a few plays overshadow his career.

The NFL has fined Suh, 26, eight times in his career, including three times this season -- $100,000 for a low block on Vikings center John Sullivan, $31,500 for leading with the crown of his helmet on a tackle of Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden and $7,875 for making a throat-slashing gesture after a tackle against the Buccaneers.

One infamous incident, however, is most associated with Suh's reputation. During a 2011 Thanksgiving Day game, Suh stomped on Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. The NFL suspended Suh for two games without pay.

"People try to define me as a person after one play and one mistake," Suh said. "Everybody in this world has made a mistake. I'd love to meet the person who has a perfect life and hasn't gotten a parking ticket. Until you meet that person, everyone deserves a second chance and an unfiltered view. One that isn't biased and really shows who that person is.

"Hopefully, people will start to realize the topic is seen in the wrong light."

The NFL's discipline hasn't changed Suh's style of play. Rather, he said it makes him "more aware of what the league is looking for and to not repeat those things."

While Suh's controversial style of play has been labeled dirty, it also can be viewed as aggressive and hard-nosed.

"We're an attack-style defense, so you can't attack being timid," said Lions defensive end Willie Young, who was drafted in 2010, the same year as Suh. "Do we change the way we play because of fines? We can't allow that to happen because once we start playing soft, then we will be known as the worst defense in the league."

Fellow defensive lineman Israel Idonije said: "Suh hasn't cleaned up his game. He plays hard, physical and he plays the game within the rules of the game. At the end of the day, his body of work, his career and being a captain on the team, you don't do those things and aren't put in that position if you're not respected and do the right things."

Suh, who was named to the NFL's All-Pro team last season, has 45 tackles and 51/2 sacks this season. He remains a force and has caused concern for the Giants leading into Sunday's game in Detroit.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who has thrown an NFL-leading 25 interceptions, will line up behind a banged-up and depleted offensive line of mostly backups. The Giants have allowed 37 sacks this season.

As for Suh and the Lions, they remain alive in the playoff hunt. Suh notes that he and the rest of the defensive line haven't been playing to their full disruptive potential, but a game against a team that leads the league in turnovers could be just what the Lions need.

"We have everything to lose," Suh said. "We have two games that we need to go out there and win. If we do that, we'll be at exactly where we want to be."

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