Will heat force Dolphins to budget snap count for Ndamukong Suh
find n savekudzuauto tradervalpakpalm beach daily newsideabar digital servicesThe question, however, is how much is too much? Because of the intense heat, especially in early season home games, the Dolphins rotate defensive linemen to keep them fresh. Less than a week into training camp, the Dolphins still are gauging how much Suh will have in the tank come fall Sundays.
Allen EyestoneMiami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (93) at Dolphins training camp in Davie,Cheap Jerseys free shipping Florida on July 30, 2015. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Suh, a tackle, played 926 snaps last season, which was 81.6 percent of the defensive snaps for the Detroit Lions. Compare that to end Cameron Wake, also a Pro Bowl defensive lineman, who played only 71.7 percent of Miami’s defensive snaps last season.
Will Suh be under snap count restrictions like the other Dolphins linemen?
“We’ll see,” coach Joe Philbin said Tuesday. “His play time has been very, very high for a defensive lineman. I think it’s been above 80 (percent) most of his entire career. We haven’t really gotten to that stage, that far. But certainly he’s shown the ability to be durable and play a lot of snaps in a game.”
Miami Dolphins cornerback Bobby McCain (28) attempts to slow down Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi (33) during NFL training camp, Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015 at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. (Al Diaz/The Miami Herald via AP)
Given Suh’s All Pro status and $114 million contract, it wouldn’t be surprising if the rules for him are different. Playing indoors in Detroit, Suh averaged 57.2 snaps per game over the past five years. Wake, who believes rushing the passer is among the most physically demanding challenges in football, averaged 53.5.
Suh’s presence is one reason the Dolphins’ defensive line has appeared ahead of the offensive line.
“We always want to impose our will on the offensive line and create havoc, make it tough for them,” Suh said.
Looking out for Tannehill: While widely assumed that Jay Ajayi, the Dolphins’ fifth round pick this spring out of Boise State, would become Miller’s top backup, executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum told WQAM 560AM that Ajayi needs to improve in pass protection to be active on game days. Philbin said LaMichael James (5 9, 200), who is considerably smaller than Ajayi (6 0, 221), has impressed him in that regard, noting James’ performance in a pass rush drill against linebackers Sunday.
“I like the way he’s stepping up,” Philbin said. “We all know he’s not the biggest guy, but I like his aggressiveness in pass protection. Everybody can see the space ability and the quick feet and the elusiveness.”
Philbin added another point about James, which applies to all backs: “If he’s going to play for us, he’s got to be able to sit in there and protect on occasion.”
Ajayi: “That’s a big part of our job and I know it’s something I need to continue to work on.”
Practice highlights: Receiver Gerell Robinson used all of his 6 foot 4 frame to make a touchdown catch. Two hits that drew oohs were Reshad Jones on Jarvis Landry and Will Davis on Matt Hazel. Jones deflected a Tannehill to Jordan Cameron pass in the end zone, allowing Koa Misi to intercept. Defensive end Terrence Fede lost his helmet but still sacked Matt Moore. Ryan Tannehill threaded a bullet down to James for a TD. Suh sacked Tannehill. Free agent Andrew Franks went five for seven with a long field goal of 52 yards.
Bouncing back quickly: Receiver Rishard Matthews dropped a pass from Tannehill and was popped by safety Walt Aikens. But he also made some nice catches. Cornerback Sammy Seamster was beaten by Michael Preston on a 15 yard TD pass from Moore but intercepted on the next play.
Franks hits from 52: He missed from 42 and 46 yards.
Noteworthy: Safety Louis Delmas practiced after sitting out Sunday to rest his surgically repaired right knee. Receiver Kenny Stills (calf) did rehab work and didn’t practice. Receiver LaRon Byrd received medical attention for what appeared to be a hip injury.