Rex Ryan compares Ndamukong Suh to Warren Sapp

Ndamukong Suh, the Lions’ feared defensive tackle, already has the respect of his peers.

And, now, Rex Ryan.

On Wednesday, days before he welcomes him to MetLife Stadium, the Jets coach heaped praise onto Suh, comparing him to Hall of Famer Warren Sapp.

“Suh is probably the version now of Warren Sapp,” Ryan said, via ESPN.com. “He’s probably as close to Warren Sapp as I’ve seen.”

Suh, widely regarded as the best DT in the NFL, is off to a slow start in 2014, registering just eight tackles and sack through the season’s first three games.

But that’s not stopping Ryan from gushing.

“(Sapp’s) a Hall of Famer. Again, it doesn’t get much higher than that,” Ryan said. “This kid (Suh) is fun to watch. He’s got an excellent motor and he’s got skills. He has unusual balance. He’s not off his feet, he’s able to play with power, he’s able to play with finesse and it’s just a rare combination.

“He’s a guy that’s obviously a difference maker.”

Though his stats don’t show it — yet — Suh is the anchor of a dominant defense, which ranks first in yards allowed and second against the run. If the Lions’ front seven is a freight train, Suh is the conductor.

Except in the eyes of Sapp himself.

“I don’t think the kid wants to learn,” Sapp said in January. “I haven’t seen him go anywhere or develop anything. I saw him early in preseason, he threw out a couple moves but then he went right back to bull-rushing.”

Everyone has an opinion, and Sapp is entitled to his. But Ryan, whose offense is predicated on its rushing attack, knows his team is in for a Suh-per challenge Sunday.

(Photo credit: AP/Rick Osentoski)

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Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).