Rumors are already flying that there is tension brewing between the Miami Dolphins and Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Word has it that he “freelanced” during yesterday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which resulted in a 23-20 loss to the Dolphins. Some say it isn’t true, but there is word that Suh ignored the play calls of the Dolphins defensive coordinator and went out on his own.
According to the Miami Herald, Suh has been disregarding the play calls of defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle. With that, he has also reportedly been going out on his own and freelancing what he does on the field.
It was believed that Suh was going to add the missing piece to a rejuvenated Dolphins’ defense, but things aren’t going as planned. Only nine teams have allowed more total yards than the Dolphins in the first two weeks of the season.
Making matters worse, the Dolphins run defense is ranked 27th in the NFL. Miami allowed 123 yards on the ground to the Jaguars and failed to sack quarterback Blake Bortles even one time.
Still, that doesn’t necessarily prove that Ndamukong Suh went rogue and went out on his own for defensive play calls. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said that the game tapes prove the rumors are wrong, according to ESPN.
“There was a report that Ndamukong Suh was freelancing out there on the field. I just watched the entire tape with the entire defensive staff. I didn’t see anything of the sort. So I’m not sure where that came from.”
Suh signed a huge deal with the Dolphins for $114 million in the offseason, and the team was expecting immediate production from the player. Unfortunately, they aren’t seeing that in him and now the coaching staff is taking severe amounts of criticism for the team’s play in the first two games.
Philbin still has faith in Ndamukong Suh and says that it’s far too early to criticize a player of his talent who is in a brand new system. He believes that Suh will have plenty of big impact plays this season for the Dolphins.
“I’m sure they’re going to come; I’m positive of that. There will be more plays to be made. I think you have to take into account, when you watch the film, you have to look at what’s happening in the bigger picture of things. Defense is not about one player. It’s about 11 players.”
Yes, it’s always about all 11 players that are on the field at a time, but sometimes, there is that one that stands out. Currently for the Miami Dolphins, Ndamukong Suh is standing out, but not in a good way. If he’s truly ignoring defensive play calls, this could be one very long season.
[Image via Getty Images – Mike Ehrmann]