The Dolphins made Ndamukong Suh the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player in 2015, but that didn’t make him happy to be in Miami.
Suh, who is now heading into his third season with the Buccaneers, admitted in a Twitter thread that he caused problems with the Dolphins because of his bad attitude, and said he has learned to be a better teammate since.
“If you’ve watched me play, you know I can be a lot of in your face,” Suh wrote. “I’m a very direct person by nature. My job is entirely about imposing my will on others. So that bleeds into other aspects of my business. For a long time in my career, I was always just saying what I wanted to say. Never thinking about how I delivered the message. Everything changed when I got to Miami. I was in a strong, influential position. So I was just making my opinion known, regardless of how it impacted others. 2 years in, I realized this attitude was: Creating divisions on the team Pushing people away Putting me in a negative headspace.”
Suh said things were even worse when Adam Gase was hired as head coach in Suh’s second year. But eventually, Suh learned to improve the way he communicates.
“Then along came our new coach. I disagreed with everything he wanted to do. But…nothing I said was being heard. I couldn’t get the support I wanted. I realized it was because I had 0 tact. If you’re not careful about how you do things, you end up being the bad guy,” Suh wrote. “So what did I start doing that I still do today? 1. I listened way more than I talked 2. I paid attention to HOW I interacted with people 3. I observed others reactions and adjusted as needed 4. I chose my words carefully to be more empathetic. It was a total 180. There was less arguing & more agreements. I turned my influence on the team into impact. But most importantly, I felt better about myself and my mood improved.”
From all indications, Suh has fit in well with the Buccaneers, who keep bringing him back and have signed him to one-year contracts in three straight years.