The Dolphins lost to Jacksonville on Sunday, and their much touted defense failed to show up for the second week in a row. Why? Maybe because Ndamukong Suh ignored his defensive coordinator and went rogue.
Only nine teams have allowed more total yards than the Dolphins, and their run defense has been bad: Miami is 27th in rush yards allowed through two weeks. According to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, Suh, who for the second straight week was a non-factor, strayed from Kevin Coyle’s script.
Beasley wrote: “The Miami Herald has learned that Suh freelanced at times Sunday, creating confusion on the defense. By taking matters into his own hands, the Dolphins’ $114m man took a bad situation and made it worse.”
But Miami have rebutted this claims. “There was a report that Ndamukong Suh was freelancing out there on the field,” the Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said on Monday. “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.”
Philbin added that he was confident Suh would begin to justify his salary in the coming week. “I’m sure [positive plays are] going to come. I’m positive of that,” Philbin said. “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.”
Suh said he was at a loss to explain his poor form. “I couldn’t tell you,” Suh said, when asked to explain his uninspired play. “At the end of the day, we have to go back to the drawing board and figure out what we want to run so guys can make plays and go from there.”
In May, the Dolphins made Suh the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history when they signed him to a six-year, $114m contract with $60m guaranteed.
Dolphins vice-president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum said at the time: “A lot of resources are going to Ndamukong. We’re not hiding that. In a cap system players who take up a big part of your cap have to do more than just play well.”
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Monday 21st September 2015 19.49 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010