In addition, Ndamukong Suh and Kenny Stills have received some praise from NFL.com for their roles on their respective sides of the ball. In a recent article by NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks, Ndamukong Suh received Brooks’ praise as the top run stuffer in the league. Suh beat out Marcell Dareus, Aaron Donald, Damon Harrison and Brandon Williams for the top spot. Interesting to see that three members of the AFC East made the list.
Was Brooks right to give Suh the top spot? Everyone knows that Suh can get to the quarterback, evident in his 8.5 sacks last season from an interior position on the defensive line. That is definitely impressive.
But Suh can also stop the run extremely well. He was the integral part of a Detroit Lions defense last season that ranked first in the NFL in stopping the run, holding opposing offenses to a staggering 3.2 yards per run and just 69.3 yards a game. The Dolphins were in the bottom half of the league, coming in at 24th overall and surrendering 4.3 yards per rush and 121.1 rushing yards a game. Suh’s massive size and brute strength make him the best overall defensive tackle in the league, and he should absolutely help the Dolphins lower their average yards per carry on defense next season. He was quoted after the first Dolphins mandatory minicamp saying, “It’s very disrespectful for a team to ever run the ball very heavily on you.” That’s right. Suh doesn’t say it is “bad” or “embarrassing.” But he calls it disrespectful.
That is exactly the kind of attitude and mantra the Dolphins need on their defense in 2015.
Brooks also released an article ranking his top 5 deep threats in the NFL on offense. Much to my surprise, Brooks had new Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills on the list, coming in at number five. In just his second year last season with the New Orleans Saints, Stills brought in 63 balls for 931 yards and three touchdowns. No, these numbers don’t jump off the page. But, he did have a long of 69 yards against the Steelers last season, completely torching their secondary.
The numbers that really stick out to me? Stills posted a reception over 20 yards in eight games last season. In five of those eight games he had a reception over 40 yards. Those definitely have something to do with his 40 time, clocking in at a blazing 4.38 seconds.
Stills should absolutely help Ryan Tannehill get past his deep ball slump (yes I think he can throw the deep ball). Still was the best deep ball threat statistically last season, and will try for every ball unlike Mike Wallace. He will be complimented by a variety of different receivers with different skills such as Greg Jennings (fantastic route runner), Jordan Cameron (athletic big man that can lineup anywhere) and Jarvis Landry (dangerous in the slot). This should only make Stills that much better, and throw in the fact that Tannehill now has a year of Bill Lazor’s system under his belt, and Stills may quickly climb Brooks’ list.
If he does, the Dolphins may finally get over their playoff drought.