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Neal Ready to 'Bring It' With Poyer

Special teams ace Siran Neal is looking forward to helping his new team remove his old team from the top spot in the AFC East

The Miami Dolphins have picked up two players formerly with the Buffalo Bills early in free agency in their quest to dethrone the four-time AFC East champions, and Siran Neal is intent on bringing some of the lessons he learned in Buffalo.

Put simply, it's about the fight and never backing down.

Neal was a special teams standout for the Bills over the past six seasons and he'll be reunited in Miami with longtime starting safety Jordan Poyer, and they hope their fight level will become contagious with their new team.

"One thing about me and ‘Po,’ — and I’m not even going to make this about me, I’m going to say this about ‘Po,' — man, he’s really competitive," Neal said. "He’s competitive as hell. He’s just like me. He hates to lose. I hate to lose. We work for everything we got. Nothing comes easy. Staying in Buffalo, you have to have really tough skin. People hated to play in Buffalo. We loved to play in Buffalo. It was cold, and that was one thing we endured. Every time we stepped on that field, we stepped out there to win. That’s one thing that we’re going to bring to South Beach.

"Every time we step on that field, no matter the conditions – I’m pretty sure the conditions are going to be pretty good, nice weather – we’re going to step out there to win. We’re going to be out there together throughout this whole process, from OTAs to the time we kick off, we’re going to be behind each other and hopefully we get the guys behind us to keep this ball going. They have a great program down there. And adding me and Poyer is going to make it pretty good, pretty interesting.”

It's not just about being competitive, though.

It's about being physical and never backing down and always getting back up if you get knocked down.

While having talent certainly helps, Neal said that toughness played a big role in the Bills win every AFC East title since 2020.

“I would say the physicality went a long way," he said. "It was all about punching somebody in the mouth before they punch us in the mouth. And if they did punch us in the mouth first, it was about how we got up and attacked it. That’s one thing that me and Poyer instilled into ourselves. No matter the situation, it’s going to be a long game. From the beginning to the end, you have to continue to attack it. Being physical is one thing that I bring to the game. I don’t mind the physicality.

"Sometimes when people get hit in the mouth, they don’t know how to get up. They get confused. But one thing about us up in Buffalo is there was no confusion. It was OK, cool, you want to fight? We’re going to give you a fight. From finish to the end, that’s one thing that we put upon people. We’re going to see how you act when we punch you in your mouth. Once we did that, a lot of guys and a lot of teams backed off after a while. That’s one thing that South Florida has now with me and Poyer. We’re really physical. When the time comes, we’re really going to show it. We’re excited just to be here.”


Neal said a big factor in his decision to sign with the Dolphins after he was part, along with Poyer, of a cap purge by the Bills was reuniting with special teams coordinator Danny Crossman.

When Neal began his career with the Bills as a rookie fifth-round pick in 2018, Crossman was in the last of his six seasons as Buffalo's special teams coach before he joined the Dolphins.

“Danny is my boy," Neal said. "I had Danny my rookie year when I came in with Buffalo. Danny is really a passionate coach too as well. He really loves the game. He really loves being that coach and really loves his players. That’s one thing that me and Danny over the years, we kept in contact and kept a close relationship through this whole process. Every time we played him, like I told him yesterday, I always wanted to make him smile and see what he’s going to say at the end of the game. That’s one thing that I took under my sleeve. I knew every time I played him, he was going to give me his best and I was going to give him my best.

“The decision to sign with the Dolphins – basically with the NFL, it can be a little tricky. It’s all built off relationships. Coming from Buffalo, I love Buffalo, shoutout to Buffalo for everything they gave me throughout the past six years. It furthered our relationship. Just getting the opportunity to come down and talk to Danny (Crossman) about everything, he was more excited to have me than I’ve ever seen before. When I came through the door, his face lit up. That’s one thing he did as soon as I walked into the door. I just knew he saw me that he was happy to see me. He did everything in his will power to have me. That’s one thing I loved about it. Once I saw that, I knew if he would go to war for me, when it’s time for the kickoff or it is time for the season to start or even during OTAs when we have to report back, I’m going to do whatever I have to do to fight for him.”


Neal, who says he's very passionate about special teams, figures to become a core player for the Dolphins in that aspect of the game.

Justin Bethel led the team in special teams snaps in 2023, but he's an unrestricted free agent and might not be back and Cameron Goode, who was third, has a long road back from a torn patellar tendon sustained in the Week 18 game the Bills.

If the Dolphins are to accomplish their goal in 2024 of knocking off the Bills and winning their first AFC East title since 2008, they'll need better production from the special teams, and Neal is fully intent on doing his part.

"The time is now," he said. "It starts now. It starts in the offseason. It starts when the team gets back in OTAs. It starts with the competitive nature throughout the OTAs. It starts where the team’s bonding. It starts there. It starts right there. I feel like with me and ‘Po’ joining the crowd, they already had a really good team. You got Tyreek Hill, you got (Jaylen) Waddle, you got Tua (Tagovailoa). You got Jalen Ramsey. You got a lot of guys down there that are going to help win. Just adding me and ‘Po,’ adding me on the special teams side and adding ‘Po’ on the defensive side is really going to bring a tremendous spark to the team.

"One thing that me and ‘Po’ know how to do is we know how to bring it to somebody. One thing about us is we’re going to do it early. We’re going to do it really early. We’re not going to wait until the preseason. We’re not going to wait until the season kicks off. The time is now and the time is to go in with the team and get close with the team, team bond, get the guys on the same page. It’s definitely a team process throughout this whole thing to get this thing started. Now being in South Florida, we have the team to do that."