DAVIE—It’s difficult to imagine someone trying to give Ndamukong Suh orders, but he insists it happens.
According to Suh, it’s not up to him whether he sits out a practice for rest. When Dolphins coach Adam Gase heard that comment this afternoon, he furthered the mystery of whether that’s actually true by smirked a little. Either way, Suh is taking the occasional day off in order to keep him as healthy as possible for game days throughout the season, and he’s starting to come to terms with that.
“When I look at it, I understand why they have me do it, but then I also look at it from the standpoint that I wasn’t wired that way, to take days off,” said Suh, who is in his eighth year. “It’s not something that I’m used to, especially over my career. I think prior to—I want to say last year—I had only missed one practice due to being sick. I had, unfortunately, the flu in 2014.”
He did not practice Thursday, which was the start of Miami’s on-field preparation for the New England game on Monday, but was back in action today.
Gase didn’t offer much clarity on whose call it is—he did say, “Anything we’ve ever asked him to do, anything we feel is in his best interest, he’s never argued with us”—but explained that Suh is a particularly important player to maintain physically because his workload on game day is unique. Not only does he play 84 percent of the snaps, he does so against double- and triple-teams.
“He takes a pounding,” Gase said.
As he approaches his 31st birthday, Suh sees the value in rest days and trusts the staff and his trainer to help preserve his body the best they can.
“I take orders and I’m a good lieutenant or whatever you want to call it,” he said. “I take it in stride. I’m not wired to take days off. I wasn’t built that way mentally or physically, but I do understand the importance of it and just roll with the punches.
“But it’s not like I’m getting the entire day off and I get to be at home. I’ve got plenty of work and things that I can do and study. It gives me an opportunity to learn it from a mental standpoint.”
Suh is fifth on the team with 35 tackles, including 3.5 sacks. He has nine quarterback hits and two forced fumbles as well.
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