Dolphins’ Ndamukong Suh practices in tennis shoes
By Brian Miller
Lost among the conversation of Miami Dolphins Joe Philbin, is a nugget of Ndamukong Suh wearing tennis shoes to a full padded practice. Is this a message of discontent towards defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle?
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Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported the incident in his post-game article after Sunday’s loss.
"And so when Ndamukong Suh, the team’s highest-paid player, wore sneakers to a full-padded practice during the week, other players noticed. They took it as a sign Suh was making a statement of dissatisfaction over the defensive coaching. – Salguero"
Salguero points out that other players took note of the choice in footwear. On Saturday it was reported that many of the Dolphins defenders are fed up with Kevin Coyle who looks to be close to losing his job. One unnamed player told a media member that players were ready to throw in the towel if the team lost on Sunday. They did.
Wearing tennis shoes to a full pad practice may not seem like a lot but the reality is that it sends a strong message that a player doesn’t really care about what’s going on. On Sunday it appeared that the defense began to play far better late but by then it was too late and when the offense failed to get the team back into the game, the defense faded quickly.
Suh refused to answer questions after the game and about his choice in shoe wear when Salguero asked him about it. His answers to every question was a simple, “next question”. He left the podium not saying much.
The Dolphins paid a hefty price for Suh this off-season and his frustrations are beginning to show publicly. On the field he is being ridiculed by the media and many are calling him a bust despite the fact that he is taking on two and sometimes three blockers at a time. Suh is not a sack machine and his job on the line is typically one that allows others to step in and make plays. Thus far, no one is stepping up and no one is making plays.
Lack of tackling has hurt the Dolphins defense this year and they rank last in the NFL in rushing defense. A point of emphasis this past off-season. What happens next is up to Stephen Ross and the coaching staff but it’s likely that everything will be wiped clean at seasons end.