Written by Matthew Cannata at 8:00 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh is one of the most feared defensive players in the league and also one of the most ruthless and disruptive athletes on the field. That’s why on Sunday, the Miami Dolphins offensive line will have their hands full when trying to contain him on his side of the football.
“You look at the defense as a whole, you know they’re a good defense. Obviously, it starts with their front guys,” Tannehill said. “They are good and have been good. Suh, like you said, is obviously a great player. He creates a lot of havoc in the middle, whether it’s pass rushing or shutting blocks in the run game. Our guys inside are going to have to do a good job of controlling him. Linebackers are fast, they play physical and their backside of the secondary plays well as well. They are making plays on the ball when it’s in the air. I think you saw the New Orleans game, (with the) game on the line, they were able to get an interception there at the end. So you look at the defense as a whole, it’s probably the best one we’ve faced so far.”
Samson Satele, who has squared off against Suh in the past, said that the Lions do a lot of things with just their seven guys up front and don’t necessarily bring a lot of blitzing. He said it will be up to him and the rest of the offensive line to step up and stop Suh and the rest of the line from pressuring Tannehill.
“He [Suh] plays the game the way a D-Tackle (defensive tackle) should play. It’s a great challenge for anybody who is blocking him. It’s never easy for an O-Lineman (offensive lineman) to go against any D-Lineman in this league. It’s a challenge that we’re willing to take this week.”
Mike Pouncey will be going up against him for the first time in his career and he’s looking forward to the challenge of trying to contain him as best as possible.
“He’s a really good football player. He plays really hard. He’s a Pro Bowl football player. We have to go out and play our best against him. He’s going to be the best defender we play against all year. We are going to go out, play hard. We’re not worried about him playing dirty. We worry about him playing as hard as he can. We have to go out there and match his intensity. We want to go out and play well against this team. If you look at across the board statistic wise, they are the top of the NFL in everything on defense. This will be a big challenge for our offense. We have to go out and play very well. We have to play our best game of the year and it all is going to start this week in preparation and practice. Suh is a great football player and I’m a big fan of his. I just can’t wait to go out there and play against him for the first time.”
Kevin Coyle said that they will have a plan to neutralize Suh and the interior play of the line will play a big factor in the success of Tannehill and the rest of the offense.
“I think at times. If there is a dominant player inside that can disrupt the run game but more importantly a guy that can cause problems in the protection. I think at times, not always, but at times you can neutralize an inside player in the run game, whether it be by running away from him, double-teaming him, a number of different things you can try to do. Yet in the pass game there are going to be times you have to win one-on-one, especially with those inside people. That will be a heck of a matchup. I know Mike (Pouncey) is excited about it.”
This will be one of the more interesting match-ups to watch and if the Dolphins are able to contain Suh and keep him at bay, it will make Tannehill’s day much easier and will go a long way towards keeping him clean and upright.