We see it every year. A team lands a highly praised free agent and gives him a boatload of money only to part ways with him several years later because of that player not living up to their expectations. We have seen it in Miami and we have seen it in every other NFL city. We will continue to see it in the future. Therefore, it’s not crazy for people to think that Ndamukong Suh will be as dominant with the Miami Dolphins as he was with the Detroit Lions. However, Suh is ready to put all that talk to rest and has full confidence in himself that he will be just as good, if not better, in Miami.
“I think football at the end of the day is like riding a bike (laughing). If it wasn’t, you would want to make it to where it was that. At the end of the day, you want to grow within this scheme and understand where I need to be in all places. New terminology so that’s always a challenge, but I am picking up pretty quickly. There are only a couple of ways you can play the three technique and shade. It’s all about camaraderie and understanding who you are playing next to each other. Getting use to Earl (Mitchell), getting use to Cam (Wake) and everyone else.”
Suh said he has been in constant communication with the defensive line coaches and the rest of the coaching staff. For him, that is the key to attaining both short and long-term success in Miami.
“Football is football, but there are different tasks, different wants, and different needs. Our defensive line coach, coach (Terrell) Williams has been there every single step of the way and I have talked to him non-stop. Like you said, there are only so many ways that you can play the three technique and one technique and two wide, but there’s different asks and needs in different situations.”
One battle that every player has to face when going to a new team is the terminology that is used. For Suh, that’s no different and although he admitted he still has to learn it all, he knows he is on the right track to getting the system down pat so he can play at full speed.
“Terminology is always different. No matter where you at. I have gone through…I have been in the league five years and I have probably gone through three or four different sets of terminology even with the same defensive coordinator. Last year, obviously, we had the new defensive coordinator in Detroit, but at the end of the day, it is something that you can pair it up with something else that you have seen in the past. Things that I remember back in the day with a three man front they called in spinner. Back there in Detroit we called it something different. Here we are going to call it something different. At the end of the day, you are going to have to find similarities to understand where you need to fit in.”
That’s important because if a player is thinking about what to do and what their assignment is, they aren’t going to rely on their instincts as much. Instead, they’ll be overthinking during the play and won’t be able to play as fast as he can. However, Suh said that it is a goal of his to be reacting off his instincts when the season opens in September.
“I am going out and playing as fast as I can. If I am going to make mistakes, I want to do it full speed, especially being in the backfield. That’s what I was brought here for. That’s the way I know how to play and that’s the way I have been playing for the past five years. I am happy to be in a position to build off of the success that I have already had and try and get better each and every day. I am a guy that is always going to react and play off instincts. I think the best football players do that. For me #1l, I study the terminology in the classroom and when I am at home and then obviously when I get on the football field…if I hear something, that is what I go with. If I double check, that’s it. Once I put my hand in the ground, it’s over.”
Suh certainly sounds like a guy who will not let himself fail and based on all the reports thus far in this early part of the offseason, he is coming along just fine.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs