Dolphins’ Suh calls play ‘poor’ in season opener

Steven Wine
Associated Press

Davie, Fla. — Ndamukong Suh anticipated the question and tackled it with a one-word answer.

How did the former Lions defensive tackle grade his performance in the season opener?

“Poor,” he said Wednesday.

Ryan Tannehill also deemed his 2015 debut unsatisfactory.

“I wasn’t happy with how I played,” Tannehill said.

It’s amazing the Miami Dolphins won last week at Washington, given the initial return on a $210 million offseason investment in their two biggest stars. The coaching staff agreed Suh and Tannehill can play better, and everyone expects progress Sunday at Jacksonville.

“You’re always looking for improvement,” Tannehill said. “Especially early in the season, I think you see the most marked improvement.”

Coach Joe Philbin applauded Tannehill and Suh for being hard on themselves.

“I love it, love it, absolutely love it,” Philbin said. “I want to do a better job coaching, too. What’s that old saying? — ‘Dissatisfaction is the basis of raw progress.’”

While Tannehill was up and down in the 17-10 victory over Washington, Suh was hardly a factor at all. He made only one solo tackle, and it was tarnished by an encounter after the whistle with running back Alfred Morris that had pundits abuzz about Suh’s reputation for dirty play.

“They can do whatever they want,” Suh said. “I don’t care.”

An NFL review exonerated Suh, but the rest of his day was more difficult to excuse, especially given his new $114 million, six-year contract.

With the Dolphins’ newcomer at the heart of the defense, they gave up 161 yards rushing and allowed Washington to keep possession for 38 minutes. Washington’s zone scheme and cut blocking often kept Suh far from the ball.

Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle tried to explain Suh’s no-show by saying he was too amped up.

“I don’t know what he meant by that,” Suh responded, “but I wouldn’t say so. … I didn’t do exactly I wanted to do, but it’s over with. We’re looking forward to Jacksonville.”