First it was the fear that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh might rip off a helmet. Then it was “the handshake” between 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Lions coach Jim Schwartz. Now recent chatter in NFL locker rooms has been that Suh and other members of the vaunted Lions defense are trash talking on the field.
A deeper look inside Lions practice reveals a culture shift occurring in Detroit. Now, Schwartz can be found dressed in a black “Cobra Kai” Gi leading karate drills during warm-ups. The team barks in unison as Schwartz — referred to as “Sensei” — gives instruction.
The investigation started when Falcons wide receiver Roddy White complained that Suh and others from the Lions defense were taunting quarterback Matt Ryan after he appeared to hurt his ankle in last week’s NFL contest.
“I heard them say, ‘Call the stretcher’, and ‘Get him a body bag!’ Nick Fairley even used that cackly little voice, like Johnny’s pal in ‘The Karate Kid’,” said White.
The league has reviewed sideline audio and confirmed that Schwartz is asking his stars to play dirty. Prior to Sunday’s incident, Schwartz was overheard while wiping Suh’s bloody nose.
“Sweep the leg,” Swartz said coldly.
When Suh questioned the demand, Schwartz replied, “Do you have a problem with that, Mr. Lawrence?” Suh then retorted, “Coach, my last name’s Suh.” Confused and shaking his head, Suh took to the field.
White and other Falcons refused to stand up for themselves on the field—instead griping to the media. However, it was confirmed that Falcons head coach Mike Smith is hiring a Pat Morita lookalike to instruct the team. Punter Matt Bosher is also rumored to be learning the “crane technique.”