Don’t call it freelancing.
But defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh makes adjustments on the field based on what he sees from the offense — and his coaches are just fine with it.
Suh, who at times in 2015 frustrated teammates for (in their words) going off script, has been given the freedom to make minor changes before Dolphins defensive snaps under first-year coordinator Matt Burke.
Rookie Charles Harris on Monday gave an example:
“I remember last week in the game, it was like third down and long, and coach [Terrell Williams] had made one call, and then Suh had made another call on the field.”
Harris continued: “I was like 'Wait, T told me we've got to run this', and he was like, 'No, we've got to run this.' After the game, he kind of reiterated, 'You know why I called that call.'”
In the eyes of the Dolphins, this is a good thing. And with any other player, it would be a non-story. Leaders on both sides of the ball are allowed to make small changes based on the information in front of them.
But with Suh, everything (fairly or not) gets magnified.
He had a bumpy first year in Miami, but under Adam Gase, Vance Joseph and now Burke, he’s been — at least to the outside world — a new person.
Suh has been far more engaging with the media, and he goes out of his way to help his younger teammates.
“He always tells me that I need to learn the situation of football,” said Harris, Miami’s first-round draft pick. “That's something I'm looking forward to getting under my belt.”