By Ashley Dunkak
PHOENIX – When defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh signed with the Miami Dolphins, he surpassed Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt as the most highly paid defensive player in the NFL. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien weighed in Tuesday on how each player impacts a game, and the coach gave his take on whether it surprised him that Suh got a larger deal than Watt, whom most believe is the superior player.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Is Another Relief Payment Coming?
In describing what Suh does and what Watt does, O’Brien noted the two differ significantly.
“Ndamukong Suh is a great player, just a force on the inside of the defensive line,” O’Brien said at the owners meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. “I remember when I was in New England we played them on Thanksgiving and then we played in a preseason game, and it was just – a lot of the focus was on how to block him on the interior of the front. J.J. has a different skill set. He can play on the interior; he can play on the edge.
“J.J. can play tight end, he can play linebacker, he can do a lot of different things within our defense, so it’s just a totally different type of player,” O’Brien continued. “I would never try to compare the two. J.J. … affects the game on every single play. I did a study on all of our team, on every player on our team, and I had 120 plays with J.J. where he either batted a ball, sacked the quarterback, pressured the quarterback, had a [tackle for loss], caused a fumble, recovered a fumble, intercepted a pass.”READ MORE: Fritz Erickson Fired As President At Northern Michigan University
While O’Brien said he would not compare the two players, he said that he thinks Watt is the best defensive player in the league, which necessarily means – at least in O’Brien’s opinion – Watt is more valuable than Suh. Most agree.
Asked whether it surprised him that Suh got a more lucrative deal than Watt – including nearly $10 million more in guaranteed money – O’Brien deferred to the higher-ups in the organization.
“I don’t get into the money,” O’Brien said. “I’m a coach; the money question is more for the GMs and the owners.
“I don’t even know what he got,” O’Brien added. “I promise you, I’m not sure what he got. I know that I tell [team owner] Bob McNair, ‘Whatever we play J.J. Watt, it’s worth every penny.’”MORE NEWS: Michigan Reports 6,080 New COVID-19 Cases, 82 Deaths
Whether the Dolphins will feel the same way about Suh remains to be seen.