The Miami Dolphins’ Ndamukong Suh turned 30 late last season, and like most people facing a milestone age, he’s looking back on his life — or at least his career — and he doesn’t like all of what he sees.
“I’m definitely sick and tired of making it to the playoffs and not going further,” Suh said on Tuesday to Miami media. “I think everybody feels that way.”
Suh has three career playoff starts, two with Detroit and one with Miami, and has amassed a total of 3.5 sacks and seven tackles. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have exactly two playoff appearances in the last 15 seasons, both first-round wild-card losses. (Can’t imagine what may have happened in the AFC East over that period to clamp down on the Dolphins’ playoff ambitions.)
Still, Suh is a legitimate superstar who makes superstar coin, and that means excuses don’t really fly. So he’s hoping to channel frustration, his own and others’, into a more viable playoff run. “It feels like guys weren’t satisfied with where we were at,” he said. “It’s exciting, from my vantage point, to see hunger still. That was not OK the way we finished, especially the last two games of our season.”
The Dolphins put together a 9-2 run to close out the year, but finished the regular season taking a monstrous L at the hands of the Patriots, then bowed out of the playoffs in a hurry thanks to the Steelers. All told, the Dolphins surrendered 65 points on 763 yards in just those two games. The run defense was particularly hideous, giving up 4.7 yards a carry, and much of that blame has to fall on the guy playing nose tackle.
“I put a lot of it on myself,” Suh said. “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 [the defensive line], without question. With the way the defense is set up.”
It’s way too early to start any kind of realistic prediction about the Dolphins’ chances. The team’s had a year to adjust to new head coach Adam Gase, which should help. Of course, the team’s also playing in the same division as New England, which won’t. Regardless, Suh seems to get that his time isn’t infinite, and that he’s running out of chances to make the kind of positive impact he’d like.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.