Schwartz: Suh wants to be a great

ByPaul Kuharsky ESPN logo
Thursday, March 12, 2015

Former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz told that he has no doubt that defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will play well in Miami after receiving a record contract from the Miami Dolphins.

"He certainly had the talent and the commitment to back up that contract," Schwartz said of the defensive tackle, who signed a six-year, $114 million contract with the Dolphins to become the top-paid defensive player in NFL history. "I don't think there is a lot of risk for him having a decline in play.

"He's very, very prideful, he's got a lot of long-range goals other than just to get paid in this thing. He wants to be one of the greatest players to ever play. He wants to be a perennial Pro Bowler. He wants to be a Hall of Famer.

"A lot of guys want to get paid for what they've done in the past. I think Ndamukong knows and he relishes getting paid for what he's going to do."

Schwartz coached the Lions from 2009 to 2013. The Lions drafted Suh out of Nebraska second overall in 2010.

Schwartz coordinated Buffalo's defense last season. After Doug Marrone left as head coach and Rex Ryan was hired, Schwartz moved on.

He didn't find a situation he felt great about for 2015, and said he will take the year as halftime in his career while studying the pro and college games. Contracts with Detroit and Buffalo remain advantageous for him.

He's considering moving his family back to Nashville, which he said was his favorite city in his coaching travels. Schwartz spent 10 seasons with the Tennessee Titans, including eight as the team's defensive coordinator (2001 to 2008).

Schwartz also spoke highly of two other players who've been in the news.

He said he was "honored to coach" cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who retired Wednesday.

"Although I wasn't talented enough to be an NFL player, if I had been I hope I would have played like him. And that's the highest compliment I can give anybody," Schwartz said.

He also called safety Da'Norris Searcy, who moved from the Bills to the Titans as a free agent, "very versatile."

"He can play linebacker-type roles in nickel and dime and he's tough enough to do that, he's a good enough tackler to do that," he said. "He also has very good instincts on the back end of the field."

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