Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh went to four Pro Bowls with Detroit, but hasn’t played at that level since signing his six-year $114 million mega-contract with the Dolphins in 2015.
Also, back in 2011, when he was with the Lions, then Falcons Todd McClure and Roddy White accused Suh and Cliff Avril of taunting Matt Ryan after a play.
“I had respect for Suh before the game,” McClure said. “But when Matt was on the ground, the things he was saying and the trash he was talking was definitely uncalled for. There are certain things you don’t do. (He said), ‘Get the cart’ and several other things that I can’t repeat.”
White said, “I lost a whole lot of respect for 90 (Suh) today, and also 92 (Cliff Avril), the (bleep) they were doing when Matt got hurt. That was unacceptable. … Like 92 was kicking (Ryan’s) feet, saying, ‘Get him off the field.’ We don’t do stuff like that. We don’t rally over guys when they get hurt. It was just inappropriate behavior. I mean, ‘Get the cart’? Are you serious? Come on. When you compete, you never want to see a guy get hurt.”
Well, a more mature Suh spoke to the Miami media Wednesday.
Here’s what he had to say about the Falcons:
(Give me your assessment of the Falcons offense and the challenge for this week.) – “They are a team that likes to get sideline to sideline, obviously. A ton of stretching – stretch plays. A little bit of belly, just trying to mix it up for you. (They have) two great elite running backs obviously in (Devonta) Freeman, recently with his new contract. (They have a) great elite quarterback, obviously took them to the Super Bowl. We’ve got our hands full. Last but not least, they have number 11 (Julio Jones) out there out wide. He’s obviously catching a ton of balls and being successful there.”
(Is there any curiosity factor in checking out the new stadium of theirs?) – “Curiosity? Obviously I’ll look at it before the game, but I’m sure it’s as nice as all of the other stadiums. Probably not better than ours; but it will be nice with it being covered.”
(Some offenses that you play, it’s just hard to get to the quarterback if they get rid of the ball really fast. The Falcons, I guess sometime hold it a little bit longer and allow the plays to develop. Does that mean that the defensive line will have more of an opportunity to get there this week?) – “Yes, I think we’ll have an opportunity. I also think Matt Ryan and their offensive coordinator (Steve Sarkisian) aren’t stupid and (they) don’t want their quarterback to get hit. So they may speed it up, they may not. They may stick to their same exact game plan. One thing I do know is that them coming off the bye week, they’re going to have an excellent plan, and understand that they’ve had extra time to game plan for us. We’ll look at and see what they do. They have things that we know where they want to pass the ball and how they want to max up and do certain things and do misdirection, running certain plays so they can drop back and throw deep balls. We’ll just have to wait and see. I’m sure they’ll have something in their sleeve for us that we haven’t seen before.”
Here’s what Suh had to say bout the 2-2 Dolphins:
(You’ve obviously played with some good linebackers in Detroit and then here; but with this group you have now, could this be the best set – if you include LB Rey Maualuga in that group and obviously with LB Kiko Alonso and LB Lawrence Timmons – that you’ve played with and how much of a difference did they make Sunday and how will they make moving forward?) – “I think those guys played very hard, obviously understanding what they need to get done in regards to our linebacking corps. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of experience back there, obviously starting with Timmons. Rey has been in the league I think going on his ninth year. Kiko I think is on his (fifth) or something like that. The guys have a lot of experience. They are playing fast. They’ve seen pretty much everything an offense can throw at us. “
(Did you ever think, how could the series of off-field things that have happened to us keep happening this year? Obviously with Chris Foerster this week, with the hurricane, with LB Lawrence Timmons missing the first game. Has that come into your mind at all in recent days?) – “No, not really. Honestly, keep throwing it at us. We’re really embracing it, understanding that’s really been our motto. Just roll with the punches and understand that our biggest focus is figuring out how to win the next game, especially if we do what we did this last week and take care of business, and move on to the next one and find a way to win.”
(How would you say that your game has evolved since you first entered the NFL and also since you first joined the Dolphins?) – “I think my game has evolved from really just being singularly focused on what I needed to do as a player. I think coming into the league as a rookie, it’s all about proving myself and understanding that I can play at this level and I deserve to be a starter. Obviously it has evolved after I’ve gotten here of being one of the vocal points, or one of the main points of the defense, and having to be respected and people have to game plan me. At the same time, find out ways to help other guys around me get better. This is the ultimate team game and defensively I need every single guy, not just along on my line, but everybody behind me as well.”
(What have you felt have been some of the big differences in the rush defense really stepping up this year?) – “I think we understood what we needed to get done each and every single week, and that really goes into executing. People understanding where they need to be, how to play and then obviously executing is the biggest thing. Setting the tone, I think last week was a great way of coming out and understanding, letting them know that they are not going to be able to run the ball; and if they do try, it’s going to be very physical and very tough for them to get much yardage, if any at all.”
(To have fifth- and sixth-round rookies in DT Davon Godchaux and DT Vincent Taylor come in and become helpful players right away on a run defense that has been awfully good, has that exceeded your expectations?) – “No. I think those guys understood what they needed to do when they came in and what was expected of them. They went to big-time programs, especially Godchaux at LSU. Oklahoma State isn’t a small program by any means for Vincent, so those guys played in big games and understand what they needed to do and understood their roles. Really, in my opinion, what they are doing, they are on track to being where they need to be. (They) can obviously do more, as everybody else on this defense can continue to do more.”
(What’s the skill that stands out to you with DT Davon Godchaux first?) – “I’d say Davon – I’d say for both of them really – they soak up the knowledge that’s given to them and at the same time, they’re very eager to learn and find new ways to get better. It’s being able to retain that information that was given to them previously, to then come in and just really add on, rather than kind of … Most younger guys are going to take one thing and forget about the other piece, and really forget about their technique as we get into game planning. Really for them, they’ve found a way to retain that information but also get better at the same time.”