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Suh: Dolphins 'destroyed' Panthers in training camp

Offseason downtime in the NFL has a unique way of coloring memories.

For Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, it's a time for optimism and remembering how his team beat up the NFL's eventual No. 1 offense and NFC champion Carolina Panthers way back during joint training camp practices.

"There was a team in the championship (game) that we destroyed in camp," Suh told the Miami Herald. "But it doesn't matter what you do in camp. It matters what you do through 17 weeks during the year."

In actuality, those 17 weeks only get you to the point where games really matter. The Panthers played in those contests. The Dolphins sat at home.

So much for finding meaning in joint practices.

There is meaning, however, in a team improving its talent.

During the 2015 season, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Suh addressed his Dolphins teammates in Week 12 and gave a speech, during which the NFL's highest paid defensive player said, in part, that only a handful of guys in the locker room were good enough to play with him right now.

Now, Suh looks at the roster under new coach Adam Gase and likes what he sees.

"We had a lot of ups and downs," Suh said. "We had a lot of opportunity to learn from those things at the same time. There are some excellent players on this team. We have a ton of talent. We're a super young team. That's what I'm excited about.

"We've got great players. We've got (several) players who participated in the Pro Bowl. That's a great sign. Now, we have to bring it together as a collective unit."

Offseason optimism in South Beach is a yearly ritual. Whether it can last into December depends on that collective talent doing more than winning joint practices in training camp.

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