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Ndamukong Suh ready to be Detroit Lions' leader?

When the Detroit Lions moved on from Kyle Vanden Bosch and Corey Williams this offseason, they did more than cut ties with two veterans in decline. They also removed two vocal defensive leaders from the locker room.

That leadership void needs to be filled, but by who? Lions coach Jim Schwartz says Ndamukong Suhcan be that guy as he enters his fourth NFL season.

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"That's something he's embraced," Schwartz said this week, according to The Detroit News. "He's been working very hard and he's sort have been, I don't want to say waiting for that opportunity, but when he came in as a rookie, he came in to a group that had a lot of veteran players, guys that had a lot of experience in the league and he did a good job learning behind those guys."

It's all good stuff in theory, but is Suh really equipped for a leadership role? Detroit News columnist Chris McCosky isn't convinced Suh can -- or should be asked to -- take on that role.

"I would caution against expecting Suh to be a leader like Vanden Bosch or Williams," McCosky wrote. "I would caution against trying to force Suh into being something he's not. He's not going to be that rah-rah type guy. He's not going to preside over a team meeting. He's not going to be the guy who invites his teammates over to his place for a cookout.

"That stuff is not in his DNA. He is aloof by nature. He has admitted this. He doesn't let a lot of people get close to him. He takes a very individualistic approach to a team game. Any time we ask him a general question about the defense or even about the team, he almost always waves it off saying his only focus is on his own play, his own responsibilities."

Lions teammate Stephen Tulloch hasn't seen any of the leadership embracing that Schwartz has observed.

"No, he's a quiet guy, you know how Suh is," Tulloch said. "But I will say this, he's very dominant. I can't get mad at him. He can be as quiet as he wants. He's probably the most dominant defensive tackle I've ever been around."

Suh is the most well-known player on Detroit's defense. Still, that fame (and sometimes infamy) doesn't mean he should be asked to take on a role that doesn't suit his personality.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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