Seahawks’ Person of Interest: Dolphins DT Ndamukong Suh
• Position: Defensive brontosaurus and serial foot-stomper
• Height: 6-4
• Weight: 305 (Maybe. Back when he was 12)
• Age: 29
• Experience: Seventh season
The size of Suh’s contract and the tendency for his opponents’ appendages to find their way beneath his feet has overshadowed the fact that he just might be the strongest defensive player in the NFL.
And not only is he an anchor in run defense, but he is able to pressure the quarterback, too. He has 42 sacks in six NFL seasons, which may not sound like much until you consider that he’s an interior lineman and you compare it to other defensive tackles around the league. Brandon Mebane was a cornerstone in Seattle for nearly a decade. He totaled 15.5 sacks in his nine seasons as a Seahawk.
Quite simply, Suh is the kind of defensive lineman who can ruin an opposing offense’s entire day. Even an opposing offense with an experienced line, and Seattle has an offensive line that is anything but experienced heading into this game. That makes this matchup the main one to watch, and that was before Seahawks rookie Germain Ifedi left Wednesday’s practice with an ankle injury that could sideline him on Sunday.
Seahawks center Justin Britt will be starting at his third position in three seasons with the Seahawks. Mark Glowinski is at left guard and he has all of one career start while Ifedi is a rookie at right guard whose status for Sunday’s game has been cast into doubt by his ankle injury.
The interior trio of Seattle’s line was the biggest surprise of the preseason, but Suh is a step up to heavyweight.
“He’s an incredible player,” Seahawks coach Carroll said of Suh, “and we have to make sure that schematically we’re right in that we’re focused properly and study him well, and know him well.”
That did not include a study in Suh’s tendency to step on opponents, whether it was stomping onto the arm of Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith or stepping backward onto the leg of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. That’s not to mention the time in 2012 when his foot hit then-Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in his bathing-suit area or when he kicked off the helmet of Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick last season.
Combine that with the tendency of Seattle’s offensive line to get engaged in scraps and there’s the potential for some feistiness on the field on Sunday. And if that’s the case, expect Suh to very literally be a person of interest.