There are two units on the Miami Dolphins team that the organization put a lot of effort into this past offseason: the wide receiver corps and the defensive line. The biggest move for the Dolphins, and possibly the whole NFL, was signing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and making him the highest-paid defensive player in the league.
Now, the team has brought in his former Lions teammate C.J. Mosley to deepen the line further, and ensure that the line doesn't wear down near the end of the season like it did last year.
Suh, Mosley, and current Rams defensive tackle Nick Fairley combined to create the NFL's highest-ranked defense against the run last season, and according to reports, Suh was a big factor in Mosley coming to Miami and attempting to recreate the success the Lions had.
"It was pretty decent, I'd say that," Mosley said. "First of all, I know what type of guy he is. I know what type of player he is. To have the opportunity to play along [next to Suh] is going to be good."
At this point in time, Mosley isn't exactly sure what his role will be with the Dolphins, but he's sure to get his share of snaps when spelling starting defensive tackle Earl Mitchell. When that happens, Suh and Mosley will be able to hark back to their days in Detroit.
“He’s somebody I’m familiar with,” Suh said of Mosley. “It’s somebody who knows how I rush. I know how he rushes. I think me and C.J. honestly just had a brotherhood. We understood how each other played. At the same time we always had very similar goals. We always want to impose our will. I like the way plays and we have the same type of mentality - going out there each and every day, even if you’re tired and you don’t want to do something - going out there and focusing. He pushes me and I push him. We create competitions and that’s the type of people I want to be around.”
Former Dolphin and current Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Randy Starks was considered to fit the same description that Suh gave when Starks was in Miami: a rough, competitive guy who was willing to do whatever it took to prove himself to everyone around him. Starks was considered the "mean and nasty" defensive tackle, and now Mosley wants to take that role and spread it to the whole line.
“As a D-lineman - defensive players, really - you’ve got to be mean,” Mosley said. “You’ve got to be nasty. You’ve got to be tough. You’ve got to be physical. You’ve got to be all that.”
Mosley, who will turn 32 in August, grew up as a Miami Dolphins fan despite being born in Kentucky and going to high school and college in Missouri. Now he'll have his chance to play for the team he grew up with and bring his experience during his successful stints in Detroit and New York with him, and hopefully bring a sense of pride to the Dolphins D-line.
“As a defensive line you’ve got to have pride in stopping the run,” Mosley said. “You don’t want the offense to be able to think it just can just do anything with you. The run game is the first thing you have to stop. You have to have the offensive playing on their heels.”
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater