Barry Jackson

Suh explains life as an introvert; Tannenbaum addresses issues

Defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh (93) speaks to the media after Miami Dolphins football practice on Wed., Sept. 20, 2017.
Defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh (93) speaks to the media after Miami Dolphins football practice on Wed., Sept. 20, 2017. adiaz@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Dolphins notes on Friday:

• Ndamukong Suh has been a lot more open and engaging with the media in recent weeks, and this week he explained the challenges of being a self-admitted introvert who’s an NFL star and expected to provide leadership to teammates.

“I’m definitely not an easy person to get to know, nor do I necessarily allow people to get to know me like that, just because I’m a natural introvert,” he said. “But I understand the light that I am in, that’s shined on me, and I need to be open, especially when it comes to my teammates.

“I think they understand that and I think they’ve been open to how they receive me and, for me, how to receive them as well. So at the end of the day, it’s about getting to know each other. I think any person, as you walk down the street, or how ever you may meet somebody, you’re just not going to spill your entire life to them day one. It’s going to evolve over time.”

• Besides his own greatness, I asked Suh to name specific reasons why the run defense is better.

“I would say, without question, William Hayes was a big factor of our run defense,” Suh said. “I think he implemented that very early on, really in OTAs and especially in camp when we got the pads on. The coaches were giving us great looks throughout the week and I think we understood everything from A to Z, what (the Chargers) wanted to do, and they understood that they were going to struggle with (the run game) if they stayed with it.”

• Alterraun Verner, who didn’t play a snap last Sunday, said Dolphins coaches told him before that game that there were scenarios in which he would split snaps with another cornerback and some in which he wouldn’t play.

Asked about not playing at all, Verner said: “I wouldn’t say I was surprised. I have no complaints. It ain’t got me down. I’ve been through it all.”

He said coaches haven’t told him where he stands, but that he doesn’t need to be told. “I understand being a pro,” he said.

• Byron Maxwell said he always takes his game to another level when he’s challenged for playing time, as was the case when he beat out Verner for the starting job last Sunday.

​Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (93) speaks about Lawrence Timmons, being selected as team captain and the upcoming Jets game. Suh addressed the media after Miami Dolphins football practice on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.

But Maxwell struggled in the game against crossing patterns.

“We have to be more physical and put hands on wide receivers,” he said. “That’s my strength.”

• Third-round pick Cordrea Tankersley, on being inactive for the opener: “I wouldn’t say I was disappointed. It’s about being patient, waiting your turn.”

He said coaches “didn’t tell me anything” about why he didn’t play but that “special teams is something I can improve on.”

But his special teams seem OK; Darren Rizzi said one of the factors that appealed to the Dolphins was the fact he played a lot of special teams at Clemson.

• Dolphins executive Mike Tannenbaum, on his weekly radio segment on ESPN West Palm, said of Stephone Anthony: “He’s someone we had looked at for a while, and talked to the Saints, on and off. He’s someone that was very productive his rookie year, has some position flexibility, really good prototypical size, can run. It’s just an opportunity to improve our positional depth.”

(Anthony said the Dolphins had him playing every linebacker spot this week and he’s comfortable at all three of them.)

Tannenbaum, on Jay Ajayi’s emergence into a three-down back: “We always felt like he had really good ability. To his credit, he worked on becoming a 3-down back in the offseason. You could see that. His pass protection has improved, his hands have improved. He has great contact balance, meaning after he gets hit, he does a great job for someone his size, to be able to stay on his feet, so there’s a lot of things to be encouraged about his game. He’s worked very hard to get to where he is.”

Tannenbaum did not dispute the Richard Sherman/Jarvis Landry trade rumors. (We wrote last week that Miami and Seattle discussed those players during the offseason.)

“I know there are a lot of rumors out there,” Tannenbaum said. “We’re happy with our roster right now. With that said, if there’s opportunities that present themselves, we’ll always evaluate them. But we’re comfortable with where we are right now.”

• CBS is sending Dolphins-Jets to 13 percent of the country: all of Florida except Jacksonville and Tallahassee; New York City; upstate New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.

CBS assigned its No. 7 team to the game: Philadelphia Phillies TV announcer Tom McCarthy, Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein.

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