Ndamukong Suh will play nose tackle in Rams’ base defense

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Ndamukong Suh has never played the nose in a 3-4 defense, but Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips expects Suh to adapt just fine.

“Last year when I came in, they said, ‘Gosh, you’re going to play a 3-4 and Aaron Donald, he’s not going to be able to play in a 3-4,’” Phillips said, via Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register. “So . . . it’s all about matchups.”

Suh questioned Phillips on his visit, asking how the Rams intended to use him. They watched film together, so Suh “could see how they see me fitting in.”

Suh, 31, joins Donald and Michael Brockers on the defensive line. He and Donald will spend the next five months figuring each other out.

First and foremost, it’s going to start in OTAs and practices — understanding how [Donald] likes to rush, how I like to rush, how we play the run together,” Suh said, via Myles Simmons of the team website. “And that’s when it’ll all unfold from there, to see how we’ll mesh together. And I think it’ll be an exciting time and process to get through that.”

21 responses to “Ndamukong Suh will play nose tackle in Rams’ base defense

  1. To me, at this point in Suh’s career, playing a 2-gap system is probably a good thing.

  2. I would compare Suh to Haynesworth about the switch from the 4-3 to 3-4, but given Suh’s 1-year-deal, and Haynesworth being the biggest waste of talent ever… well, you know.

  3. I’ve always thought of 3-4 linemen as block eaters; guys who do the thankless work so the linebackers could have all the fun. Then J.J. Watt came along. And those are three incredible down linemen. That defense has the potential to be incredible next year.

  4. Nose Tackle in the 3/4 defense is the most pivotal position of the front 7. It requires somebody selfless and not stat driven because the NT has to constantly take on double teams from the center and gaurds so the LB’s can run free and make plays without being blocked.

    Suh has all the physical talent to play the position but does he have the team first mentality it requires. For instance not high impact stats game to game, not getting credit on a play, not getting jealous of Donald if he’s receiving a lot of praise or not making stupid personal fouls and throwing cheap shots that hurt the defense and extends the opponent drives

  5. It’s not a true 0 tech nose tackle associated with a 3-4 defense. Wade Phillips defense is 1 gap defense and actually a 40 under with a different name, and the nose tackle is a 1 tech exactly like you’d find in a regular 4-3 defense, so he’ll really experience nothing different than what he has in any 4-3 defense he’s played in previously.

  6. Wow… and Brockers is no slouch either.

    With Wade Phillips at the controls? With how they have revamped the
    secondary, if they add a LB or two and this unit will be scary good.

  7. On a one year deal, there’s no way he just eats blocks all season without complaining. He needs stats so he can get paid.

  8. He’s not going to want to eat blocks on every play. He’ll freelance to try to make plays and end up out of position. Sometimes he’ll make spectacular plays and sometimes there’ll be a huge hole to run through. Lots of mercenaries on this defense with big egos. If Wade can’t get them to buy in and play selflessly, it could be a disaster.

  9. Although it’s classified as the nose tackle position, Suh would not have the same responsibilities as a true nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. In Wade Phillips defense although it’s dressed up as a 3-4 defense it is really a 4-3 under or a 5-2 as the defensive line has 1 gap responsibility unlike having to defend 2 gaps in a original 3-4.

  10. They also need to generate a consistent pass rush on QBs. Each of them are obviously very strong & will blow up some O lines just with strength or technique. Getting pressure quickly on the QB whether it’s from the interior of the D line or other spots still needs to happen with both of them on the field.

  11. Sorry he doesn’t have temperament to play nose. This guy is going to get bored getting chipped and doubled real quick while Donald wreaks havoc. I don’t think he makes it the entire season, nose is a dirty work/selfless position and he just isn’t that guy. Wade maybe getting a little ahead of himself here. This will not end well.

  12. It will be fun to watch Suh jump offsides while he is literally over the football. He was the leading D linemen in that fun fact category last years with 5. How hard is it to follow the ball and not the barking count? I think we teach that on Day One when you are 8 years old.

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