DAVIE, Fla. (AP) - While many of the Miami Dolphins were going 11-on-11 during minicamp Tuesday, Ndamukong Suh spent plenty of time watching from the sideline with Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon.
Frankly, they didn’t need to be out there. The Dolphins have a good idea what to expect from that trio.
And Suh looked right at home as well. The new centerpiece of the Dolphins’ defense - such is the title one gets when they sign a $114 million contract for the next six years - kept a keen eye on the proceedings, enjoying what will probably be one of his few light-work days on the sunbaked practice fields at the team facility.
For him, the real work starts next month in training camp. For now, he’s getting ready.
“You’re not going to be able to play football for the rest of your life,” Suh said. “You enjoy it when you can.”
He was enjoying Tuesday, and thinks he’ll be enjoying things even more when the season starts for real. He, Wake and Vernon could help be part of a front that the Dolphins expect to be formidable. Suh sees why.
“I think we look great on paper,” Suh said.
Looking great on the field is a different challenge, of course, and the Dolphins’ defense didn’t get that done last season. So they lured Suh out of Detroit, where he led one of the NFL’s top run defenses. And Suh has already made Miami better - since he helped them get fellow defensive lineman C.J. Mosley, who lined up alongside him in Detroit the last two years.
Mosley said he’ll need some time getting used to the heat. The heat index - what the air feels like when combining temperature and humidity - reached 98 during practice Tuesday, and it’s not even summer yet.
But the chance to play with Suh is worth it, Mosley said.
“Suh doesn’t have to sell anything,” Mosley said. “I know what kind of guy he is. I know what kind of player he is.”
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said what stands out about Suh and Mosley is that they both bring a serious attitude to the field, which he likes.
“They both seem like football guys,” Philbin said. “I just met C.J. obviously on his visit, spent a little time at the end of last week, spent some time with him today, just the two of us, together a little bit. Getting to know him quickly. So far I like what I see.”
Suh likes what he sees as well, on and off the field.
He’s spending some free time these days learning about his new surroundings, outside of the locker room. He’s been driving around Fort Lauderdale, learning where to go on Las Olas - a popular stretch of shopping and dining - and getting used to the nearby communities.
He’s also very at ease right now. Come time for camp, and on game days during the season, that will obviously change. But for now, when he’s hanging out with Vernon and Wake during workouts and watching play, he says it’s more “boys talk” than anything else.
“I think we’re just joking around a lot,” Suh said. “It’s just free time talking about whatever. And obviously me and OV and Cam talk about pass rush stuff and different things like that.”
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