By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
As Saturday night's beatdown in Detroit dragged on for the Patriots, my Twitter timeline filled with vitriol for one player: Ndamukong Suh.
Not only was he leading the Lions invasion of the Patriots' backfield, the brilliant second-year player fired a punch at Logan Mankins during a second-quarter dustup.
On Monday, Suh defended himself for throwing the shot at Mankins who, it should be mentioned, was hauling Suh's teammate Lawrence Jackson around by the facemask. "Do I regret it? No," Suh said Monday. "But the funny thing about the whole situation is, I wasn't the one who got the 15-yard penalty for grabbing a face mask (Mankins was penalized). And the other funny piece about it is, I didn't know you can't help protect one of your teammates. "I had a great conversation with the ref who saw everything and he said, 'Next time make sure you let me handle it. But I understand what you were doing, helping your teammate out and removing him from the situation.' " Also on Monday, Suh tweeted out how much he enjoyed beating up on the "Brady bunch" Saturday night. Last season, Suh was in the middle of another scrum after a Patriots PAT with, no surprise, Mankins. Suh is en route to becoming an NFL megastar. Not only is he the most talented player at his position, he's smart, candid and plays with violence. He's been violent enough to be fined three times for quarterback hits.It's in vogue to say Suh is a dirty player. But -- as a commenter on Pro Football Talk mentioned -- the same people who whine about the wussification of the NFL are probably the same ones complaining that Suh is dirty. When you consider the New England Patriots described as dirty over the past seven seasons -- Vince Wilfork, Rodney Harrison and Mankins -- you see a common thread. If you play extremely hard and are also extremely good, you will wind up at the edge of acceptability and some will say you go over it. Suh fits that mold. Patriots fans can hate all they want but Ndamukong Suh is exactly what the NFL needs. Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran