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Sportress of Blogitude

Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell defends Ndamukong Suh

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Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell defended the struggling Ndamukong Suh and suggested the best is possibly yet to come from the high-priced defensive lineman.

“What I saw is a player who improved over four games,” Campbell said Wednesday, via the Miami Herald. “I’ve seen a guy who goes out, he gets here early, he does his own thing, as far as doing a workout and working hard. He does stuff with the team, then he comes out here and practices. The guy gives 110 percent.”

While that may be the case, Suh’s stats are shockingly abysmal. Through four games, he has only four tackles. And no sacks.

Regarding Suh’s lack of productivity, Campbell suggested analyzing a player’s performance solely through statistics will never tell the entire story.

“You talk about misleading,” he said. “That’s one of the first things you look at. OK, you sign a guy like him, you’re looking for three or four sacks and four or five [tackles for loss], and all of those things. Ultimately you can have a very productive day without having those type of stats.”

Suh’s Dolphins career couldn’t have gotten off to a more inauspicious start. Along with the typical controversies along the way that have typified Suh’s NFL career — such as the allegations he was “freelancing” on plays (an accusation he never really addressed) —  his productivity obviously isn’t what is expected from a player who just signed a six-year, $114 million contract. It’s easy to ignore the distractions Suh can bring to a team when he’s producing. But he’s not.

With a new (interim) head coach and defensive coordinator, the 1-3 Dolphins clearly are in flux and in a period of transition. Suh becoming the Suh of old certainly would help ease things along.

While it makes sense that Campbell went to bat for Suh, unless the once-dominant defensive lineman starts putting up numbers representative of his contract — and pedigree — he may go down as one of the biggest free agent busts in NFL history.