Now that Geno Smith will miss up to 10 weeks recovering from a broken jaw, the Miami Dolphins could emerge as the team to dance with the New England Patriots in the AFC East.
Is that feasible?
“It’s absolutely feasible,” AP writer Tim Reynolds said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “My first thought – and I wish I had tweeted it – my first thought was, ‘Oh, Rex is getting this guy.’ That was honestly my first thought. And then right away you realize, no matter what happens with Brady – if he misses no games, if he misses two, if he misses four – the Dolphins feel like they’re built to compete with the Patriots even if Brady is there for all 16. I don’t think anybody was really buying on the Jets to begin with. I think there’s too much new going on in Buffalo right now. So it was shaping up kind of as a Miami/Patriots division anyway.
“I just think that the way the Dolphins have reacted to seeing what Ndamukong Suh can do for this team – he has been the lightning rod and breath of fresh air they have needed down here for a long time,” Reynolds continued. “Forever it’s been about quarterback, quarterback, quarterback. Watching this guy blow up their O-Line every day, the Dolphins really feel like they can compete. And with the turmoil going on everywhere else in the AFC, the Dolphins are the calm in the eye of the storm right now – and I think they’re embracing that.”
Keep in mind that the Dolphins, who went 8-8 last year, weren’t all that bad defensively without Suh. They still had Jelani Jenkins, they still had Olivier Vernon and they still had Cameron Wake. Adding Suh means they’re only going to get better.
“No, they’re going to be a lot better,” Reynolds said. “They’re going to be a lot better on that side of the ball, and the confidence is going to carry over to the offensive side. The thing that’s fascinating about Suh, we all know he’s a creature on the field. Everyone knows he goes over the line sometimes, too, and the temper gets whatever. I think that’s just nature of the game. There’s no justifying a couple of those things, but a lot of it is nature of the game. This guy is a supremely intelligent guy. It’s fun talking to him. Here’s a guy who, a month before camp I’m flipping around one morning and I see him hanging out with Warren Buffet on CNBC. I mean, he’s an incredibly well-rounded guy. He gives the right answers. He’s a worker. He’s set for life now. Look, the $114 million – NFL contracts aren’t really real anyway except all the guarantees. Everyone knows that. This guy is set for life financially through this Dolphins deal, through this stuff he got from the Lions. Yet he’s working as hard as anybody.”
Suh worked out with rookie defensive tackle Jordan Phillips this offseason, and Phillips was asked how much Suh could lift. Phillips’ response? “I have no idea. It’s not human what he does.”
“(Suh) is a guy who’s at the top of his game,” Reynolds said. “He’s the hardest worker in the room, period. He’s a leader already without making one play for the Dolphins.”