One of the issues that had plagued the Miami Dolphins defense since signing Ndamukong Suh has been accountability from the star defensive linemen. Suh, who signed a huge contract with the team as a free agent, has played well, but has seemingly lacked the leadership required for a player of his caliber. That at least has the marking of change coming from what he said in OTAs this week.
Suh has yet to advance in the playoffs in his seven years as a pro and that part is weighing on him as he told reporters this week. “I’m certainly sick and tired of making it to the playoffs and not going further.” This statement shows that Suh is interested in winning which has been the rub on him since he came into the league.
That’s not all, what also has been missing has been the level of accountability required from a player that not only has a huge contract, but also plays a position where leadership is necessary. In maybe some of the most important words uttered from Suh since he came to South Florida, he acknowledges that some of the woes especially in the run game falls on his shoulders; “I put a lot of it on myself…I’m supposed to be the anchor, I plan to be the anchor and continue to be that way. So I think it starts with us up front, without question. With the way the defense is set up.”
If Suh is willing to hold himself more accountable, what will that mean for the Dolphins as a whole? One thing it shows that Ndamukong Suh is starting to mature. As a player who has insane athleticism and strength he hasn’t reached his fullest potential. He has been castigated as a “dirty” player, which can at times be a distraction. He has also been considered aloof at least to the media, which really could be meaningless in the locker room, but that perception still has an effect.
When a player at Suh’s caliber is willing to be held accountable, wants to take a leadership role and sees where he had made mistakes in the past, it’s good for the team he’s playing for. We may not be able to quantify the amount of wins a mature, willing to lead Ndamukong Suh will be for the Dolphins as there are too many variables in the NFL to be able to do that. It certainly can’t hurt and will likely help push this team beyond just one round of the playoffs. A goal Suh and the rest of the Dolphins are thirsty for this season.