Ndamukong Suh insisted Sunday that he did not tell his teammates “I run this defense,” and that “only a handful of guys are good enough to play with me right now,” as the NFL Network reported earlier in the day.
“No,” Suh said twice, when asked if he made those remarks, before adding, “Next question.”
What is beyond dispute: Suh did address his fellow players during a team meeting Monday, and his direct, challenging remarks were welcomed by some but disliked by others.
During the meeting, Suh forcefully took ownership of the Dolphins’ defense. Yet Suh and several of his teammates pushed back on the report that he did so in a demeaning way.
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“Not at all accurate,” defensive end Olivier Vernon said. “It’s a team thing, and I ain’t going to discuss it, but that ain’t accurate at all. Everybody on this team could care less what people say outside. Really, I don’t care.”
Suh, in the first year of the richest contract ever granted an NFL defensive player, had a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit Sunday.
Speaking of refuted reports, Quinton Coples did the same Sunday. Earlier in the day, ESPN published a story that claimed Coples was cut by the Jets, in part, because of an incident on the team plane after their loss in Houston last Sunday.
The news item did not make clear what exactly Coples did, just that it was enough to help seal his fate. The Jets cut the former first-round pick the following day, and the Dolphins claimed him off waivers Tuesday.
“I don’t know where that came from,” Coples said. “The only thing was I didn’t fit in the defense, and that’s why the decision was made.”
Coples’ reaction to the report?
“People talk every day,” he said. “It’s what people do. They talk about Jesus. Who am I to say they’re not going to say something about me? It is what it is. I didn’t fit into the defense, that’s why the move was made.”
When the book is written on the failures of the Dolphins’ season, a chapter should be dedicated to the impact of Ja’Wuan James’ toe injury.
It forced the Dolphins to play Jason Fox — who has not been good at all. That trend continued Sunday, when in the span of just a handful of plays, the right tackle was flagged for a false start and then beaten for a sack.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was dropped in the backfield three more times Sunday — he’s been the league’s most-sacked player since 2012 — the last of which resulted in a lost fumble.
THIS AND THAT
▪ The list of Dolphins inactives: James, TE Brandon Williams, LB Chris McCain, TE Jake Stoneburner, WR Matt Hazel, T Ulrick John and LB James-Michael Johnson.
▪ Don’t blame Jarvis Landry for Sunday’s loss; he did it all, including recover an onsides kick late in regulation. Landry played despite missing two days of practice last week with a knee injury. In an attempt to limit his exposure, the Dolphins had Brent Grimes return some punts. Grimes averaged 14.7 yards per return.