Nick Fairley said this offseason that himself and teammate Ndamukong Suh made up the NFL’s best defensive tackle duo. Detriot Lions middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch’s words about the pair, via his coach, seem to lend some truth to that and validate his claim.
“The other day, Tully came off the field frustrated, I mean really frustrated,” defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham told the Detroit News. “We had a run-play-action drill, I said ‘Tully what’s wrong.’ He said, ‘I can’t get my reads, Nick and Suh are screwing up every play that they run. I couldn’t get any reads; they’re knocking the crap out of everybody.’ I was laughing because I saw it from the sideline. Going back to Suh and Nick playing together, everybody in the league is saying the same thing – look out.”
Cunningham’s scheme requires him to react to the way guards and centers block the duo. Suh and Fairley dominating offensive lineman right of the snap makes it harder for Tulloch to decipher the offenses intentions.
The biggest improvement has to be on Fairley’s side.
“Nick’s had a really good beginning to camp,” Schwartz said on Saturday. “He made an outstanding play today, a great chase play. He’s been available for practice each day. He’s been rushing well. He’s been playing the run well. We’re really looking forward to what he can do in there this year. We still have a long way to go, but it’s been very encouraging to see what he can do.
“We always knew what he could do, but there’s just going to have to be a consistent time on the field. That’s been the thing in the past.”
“Everybody’s goal is to dominate and be at the top of their position,” Fairley said. “We come out every day working hard as a group, and me and (Suh), we’re working on our craft together.”