One of the drills for my high school football team was called “The Pit”. Off to the side of the practice field there was literally a big hole in the ground. The coach called the name of 2 players who immediately jumped in. The goal was to grind your teammate into the dirt. In this hitting drill you battled your opponent non-stop from whistle blow to whistle blow. That’s the same kind of raw matchup I see coming this Sunday between Rams center Scott Wells and Lions DT Ndamukong Suh.
Wells was acquired by the Rams for this very purpose; to shut down evil defensive tackles. Wells was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2004. He first started at center for GB in 2006 and remained there until traded to the Rams this year. During that time Wells missed 1 game (eye injury). In 2011 he was selected to the Pro Bowl and in 2012 we are happy to have him. ProFootballWeekly.com had this to say about Wells:
“Wells is a rock-solid, extremely durable grinder who is like another offensive coach on the field. An excellent pass blocker, he is a master technician who goes all out all the time and seldom gets beaten. He makes excellent snap adjustments and is almost always in good position…”
Ndamukong Suh was a decorated college athlete (first-team All-Big 12 honors, Big-12 Defensive Player of the Year, [nationally] Defensive Lineman of the Year, Associated Press National Player of the Year, and a unanimous first-team All-American. He was also a Heisman Trophy finalist.*). Suh was the top draft pick for the Detroit Lions in 2010 and as a rookie led the team with sacks. He was selected to the Pro Bowl that same year and in 2011 as an alternate. Coming into the NFL Draft, this is what columnist Darren Schilling (Beacher Report) had to say about him:
“Suh dominated opponents this season and throughout his great career at Nebraska. Suh is a disruptive force in the middle equally effective as a run stuffer and a pass rusher.”
(Suh went from 10 sacks in 2010 to 4 sacks in 2011. Only time will tell if his performance is on a downward decline.)
So, “In the Pit” we have a proven offensive veteran versus a young and highly talented defender. Wells should have some help (Dahls), but as the battle between Wells and Suh goes; so goes the game. Go Rams!!!