DAVIE — Former Dolphins star Ndamukong Suh has a reputation for being surly and aloof, but multiple Miami players have said that wasn’t their experience with him.
Defensive tackle Vincent Taylor, who spent his rookie year in Suh’s corner of the locker room, called him an ideal mentor and an excellent teammate.
“I was learning from him,” Taylor said this week. “Last year I played some snaps when he came out, so this year hopefully I can bring those numbers up… Replacing him will be hard.
“It was good coming in my first year to be able to learn from a guy like Ndamukong Suh. What more could you ask for? People always ask me how was Suh in the locker room. Suh was a great teammate, a great guy. I think he’s like a big kid. He likes to joke. Suh is a great guy.”
Suh was with the Dolphins for three seasons before they released him in March to get out of a scheduled $26.1 million salary cap hit for this year.
The move was part of a philosophical overhaul of the defensive line. The Dolphins have now allocated the bulk of their money in defensive ends and will proceed with much cheaper defensive tackles in Davon Godchaux, Jordan Phillips, Akeem Spence and Taylor.
Taylor and Godchaux came in as late-round draft picks a year ago and quickly found Suh to be a willing teacher. Godchaux described him as a “great mentor” who spent lots of time working with him after practices, and Taylor echoed that.
“It’s hard losing a guy like Suh just knowing what he’s capable of doing, but at the end of the day, it’s a business decision,” he said. “All of the things when I was coming in, what he taught me — I learned some of the things that he taught me. Like I said, it’s hard losing a guy like him.”
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