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Jordan a situational player making most of situation

Among the greatest points of interest on the Dolphins this season has been watching the use (and by that I mean the relatively little use) of defensive end Dion Jordan.

Jordan, the Dolphins first-round selection and the draft's No. 3 overall pick, is a part-time player. He has participated in only 28.3 percent of the Dolphins defensive snaps this year. And that would be more than acceptable to the fan base if Jordan was a third-rounder instead of the third player picked. It would be acceptable if he didn't show so much promise. It would be fine if he didn't make plays.

But the fact is when Jordan has gotten his chances, he's shown up.

That was him hitting Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco's arm to cause the ball to fly harmlessly like a punt and be intercepted by Reshad Jones, who returned it for a touchdown.

That was Jordan running stride for stride with New England tight end Rob Gronkowski down the left sideline Sunday and picking up a pass defensed -- an eye popping example of the defensive end's speed and athleticism.

"I watched film on the guy and I understood that (Tom) Brady was going to try to get the ball to him," Jordan said of that match with Gronk. "That's not my first time playing in coverage. I understood what I had to do. I felt like I was going to be able to run with him. That wasn't a problem at all. I just had to brush up on the little things. It's been a minute since I covered a guy that far down the field so I was up for the challenge."


Yet Jordan, for all his ability, is a situational player so far his rookie year. He has 145 total snaps. Derrick Shelby, by comparison, has 262 snaps so far this year. Olivier Vernon leads all Miami defensive ends with 415 snaps. Even Cameron Wake, who missed multiple games with a knee injury and has been limited in his snaps the past two games, has 196 snaps.

So the question that lingers is if the Dolphins have this resource of talent on their roster, why don't they use him more? 

Well, the Dolphins coaching staff doesn't think Jordan has earned more.

"I think I’ve said before, players earn playing time based on their performance and what they do in the building, in the weight room, in the training room, on the practice field, on the game field so beyond that everybody has to earn their playing time on the field," coach Joe Philbin said.

Indeed, Jordan said he's gotten the message from coaches that if he wants to play more, he has to show better in practice.

"Yeah, and I recognize that," he said. "You just have to prove to your coach that you're able to play in certain situations. I just have to be more progressive every day, I have to find a way to make myself that much better as far as fitting into a role on the defense and understanding our opponents week to week.

"That's my goal every time I take the field, no matter what it is. To get better and compete. I understand those are the things that make the great players great. I'm trying to find a way to challenge myself. That's what I've been doing, trying to progress and do the little things right."

The perception to this point has been that the Dolphins have limited Jordan's role to manage his health. He had shoulder surgery early in the year and missed much of training camp after re-injuring the shoulder in a preseason game.

So there's an idea that coaches simply don't want to get Jordan hurt.

Not accurate.

"Not really," Jordan said. "Pretty much it's me just having to prove to my coaches what the deal is in practice. Philbin and my position coach and the guys in the training room understand I'm getting much better as far as my shoulder but at the same time, you know, you have to prove on the field you are able to go out there and do the job. I just have to progress and get better every day.

"I'm good with the shoulder. I just have to get over the (practice) hump. That's all it is. I missed a lot coming into the season and so I just have to find a way to progress. We're about halfway through this thing and I feel like I'm getting more comfortable as I take the field and the more snaps that I get."

That's obviously the way the Dolphins coaching staff is approaching this and it is not wrong. But there is the alternate idea that because Jordan has shown promise in limited game day snaps, maybe he'd make more plays with more game day snaps.

Is that wrong?

"No, not at all," Jordan said. "With me as the more comfortable I get, the more snaps I take, that's the way it is. Me personally, I feel like I have to maximize the opportunities that I get. That's the deal."

There is also a perception publicly and even in the Dolphins building that Jordan is a liability against the run so he must be limited to pass plays. That's the reason 95 of his 145 snaps have been pass-rush snaps. And it is fair to note, Jordan is not a finished product. He is learning to protect the edge of the defense. He has to learn to be a technically better run defender. He could probably use a bit more strength, too. 

But according to ProFootballFocus.com, Jordan isn't nearly as bad against the run as people might think. Yes, he has a minus-1.0 run defense grade so far this season. But guess what? Derrick Shelby has a minus-1.6 run defense grade. So Jordan has been better against the run than the Dolphins' designated run-stopping defensive end.

And while Jordan's pass rush grade is a gaudy 3.1 (second behind only Wake's 4.8) he simply makes more of an impact per snaps in the pass rush than either Shelby or Vernon.

Understand that Jordan has 10 quarterback hurries and three quarterback hits so far. Vernon has 16 quarterback hurries and two quarterback hits -- but also has 2 1/2 times more pass rush snaps than Jordan. 

Regardless of the metrics, however, don't expect the Dolphins coaching staff to be moved. They trust their eyes. They're going to manage Jordan until he pops in practice first. Until then he'll be a situational player.


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I will not Bash Tanne this blog post...


Tanne just needs better everything....and then everything will be fine...


on to the subject @ hand...

Jordan isn't used properly. BLAME SHERMAN! lol

After all...

Every othe team in the NFL is SET @ every position in the NFL


Its just the FINS who have problems....every other team is perfect...probowl @ every postion NO INJURIES....its only the FINS that have those problems....

no Florida.....Jordan isnt used properly.....BLAME THE COACHING STAFF (Philbin, ultimately)

stop being so conceited kris, seriously. and no I'm not Dashi but I'm glad my mockery of all of you dumba.sses shows as you are now just mocking yourselves

Posted by: Kris | October 30, 2013 at 12:26 PM

MY POINT EXACTLY! Thank you! Please see two blog posts back for evidence that I preached the exact same logic you preached in this post. We have some sanity at last!

Some players do better in games than in practice.

Hopefully, the coaches know what they are doing. Hopefully.

Having said that, and to continue with a thought that Mark mentioned in the last post, the defense is not doing well in actual games. Should not how players play in the games be important as well? If Jordon can improve the defense significantly, then perhaps the emphasis on practice needs to be reconsidered.

The defense should be top five. Instead, it's about 20th. Seems like some of the starters should start worrying about losing their jobs.

Florida....ok, so Sherman has come under fire (rightfully so) for plenty of questionable play calls--Jordan appears to be under-used, so that likely goes to Coyle---Thigpen continues to field kickoffs in his endzone and then run them out completely across the field, and barely got back to the 10-15 yard line 2 or 3 times last week alone (including the opening kickoff....GREAT way to start the game)--all coaching issues/decisions.....ALL Philbin's responsibility, ultimately

another pathetic example of how the philbin regime all think they are smarter than everyone else. cue the iverson "PRACTICE??" rant.......

Mando, Vernon is on track for double digit sacks so he's fine getting a lot of sacks. he's also a strong and fiery player - he's earned it. But Shelby??? Shelby???? Who the F*** is Derrick Shelby??? And what is this staff's allergic reaction to playing Jordan at OLB??? Yeah that was him covering an elite tight end - something we haven't seen ANYONE do in this team in what feels like forever.

By the way, a couple of other impact plays you missed was him getting the hurry that forced Matt Ryan to get picked at the end of that game and beating Joe Thomas one on one in the opener.

Guy is a massive impact talent but no, this Charlie brown insists that he needs to eat his wheaties, say his prayers and spend more time in the weight room? Here's and idea, send your fukkin marshmellow man OT from Stanford there once in a fukkin blue moon so he doesn't get launched into the qb...

I could understand if this team has a bunch of players making impact plays but the fact is it doesn't. This team needs to make more turnover causing plays to be any kind of factor this year and Jordan is one of the few that shows he can ...

Kris, one question, if you were a Redskin fan, would you bench RG3 right now?

I like Jordan...and he has been around the ball...what more can you ask of him....

The coaches may be brining him along slowly....I don't love it...but I really can't argue against it...even tho I personally would lkie to see more of him....

Armando...as far as the grades against the run...just like you factor in that Jordan has one better with less oppertunities to disruput the passing game...I think you also must note that he has had far less chances against the run...and thus his -1.0 could befar worse...if giving 2.5 times more runs @ him....

So I can't condem the coaching staff for that...I do want to see him here and making plays v. run and pass for years to come....

Kris and Mark (By the way good post at 12:07) and here is what I see regarding the 4 game skid.

I happen to agree regarding the talent on this team! For the 1st time in quite a few Seasons the Dolphins have the talent in place to compete. The Steelers in 08 and 2010 went to the S.B. with one of the worst (if not the worst OL) TO EVER PLAY IN ONE ! And they managed to win with their QB running for his life! They're D wasn't better in terms of superior talent either they were just better Coached. Before anybody says it I'm not comparing QB's but I do expect Tannehill to have better pocket awareness and make quicker reads while being able to audible into more than 3 or 4 plays at this stage of his career!

We started 3-0 but since teams have picked up on our tendencies both Offensively and on D. If your an opposing CB play the WR's inside shoulder and jam when he makes his move inside (NO WORRIES) because your Coach will drop a LB there (shallow zone) cutting off the inside slant. You started to see it Vs. the Falcons and we don't adjust. We beat Atl. late by going double T.E. which only helps Tannehill by backing the LB's off those short zones but we haven't seen it again???Why??? On D if you see the Dolphins move a Safety up it's cause were BLITZING, I can't recall a BLITZ this Yr. without over-loading one side of the line with Jones up around the line Ect.... There being out-Coached because teams have seen the tape!

i want Jordan to force them to play him. i hope he finally explodes thursday night with 3 sacks.

what happened to the "playmaking/impact plays/forcing turnovers" we were supposed to see from the Ellerbe and Wheeler? Grimes and Patterson have held up their end of the deal, but what about our LBs, from that angle?

holy lord Jesus. is sarcasm that hard to detect? obviously sherman isn't to blame for Jordan it's coyle or philbin's fault....I'm mocking all the schmucks who are currently whipping Sherman for everything that's wrong with the offense


YES....I woudn't even have allowed him to start the season....

Mark...after that hit he took that injured him last year...he woudn't have played another down that season...and he may not be in the shape he is in now...I posted as much last year....

Shannahan had already won like 5 6 straight games....and had proven that system works...if they missed the playoff with RG3 on the bench....I don't think they would have been fired...the system works...when the kid is healthy....now he may never be again....

they gave up 3 1st rd picks for that dude....you have to protect that....now everybody looks bad...including RG3...

Mike played this about about as badly as one possibly could...

Ridiculous. You don't draft someone 3rd overall and relegate them to part time status. That just says that you made a mistake. He makes plays when he is in there, which is something this Defense needs. Just absurd and has me leaning more and more to the thinking that Joe Philbin is more of a joke than a coach.

f4l, yeah obviously something is amiss here, especially on defense. I'm one of the few who actually think the offense has come a lot closer to holding up their end of the bargain more than the defense.

From the first game, from almost the first series we've been forced to be a pass first offense which as we can see by what's happening in Washington is not a good recipe msot fo the time with a young qb. Heck even Indy is limiting the number of drop backs Luck has.

Agreed on last year however I think the way they handled him from day one was a great disservice to the player and the fan base and the ownership and management (considering the investment).

But this eyar, he says he's healthy, dr says he can play, what can you do.

But I'm not talking start of the season, I'm saying NOW...

What would you do?

Florida....easy with the drama....yes, obviously I could see you were being sarcastic, with the caps/excl point, etc--my next 2 posts to you werent attacking, just conversational/confirming issues with the coaching staff....as in "at this point, there are legitimate questions about all of the coaches"....including Rizzi, w/ Thigpen--and ultimately this all falls on Philbin....thats all--clearly didnt make my point very well

Great posts today guys, but alas I have to go make the bill money. Wish I could stay and put in my two cents. Great post Mando and I do agree. The kid is good and needs more playing time to get better. We should see more of him tomorrow night if the coaching staff deems it prudent.

Well I'm off, see you guys tonight. :P

3rd pick in the draft he better play more. Coaches are very stubborn, to a fault unfortunately. Jordan has shown he can play when it is game time, that alone should give him more snaps. There is more to this. Whether they say it or not, they are probably worried about the shoulder and will not make him an impact player until later in the year or next year. Remember folks at the expense of a team, there is politics involved in all teams and all sports, even at the expense of the team. Coaches stick with players who they like, but do not excel, and vice versa.

"But according to ProFootballFocus.com, Jordan isn't nearly as bad against the run as people might think. Yes, he has a minus-1.0 run defense grade so far this season. But guess what? Derrick Shelby has a minus-1.6 run defense grade. So Jordan has been better against the run than the Dolphins' designated run-stopping defensive end."

Armando is getting sucked into the world of numbers. Everything isn't about numbers and stats, get rid of PFF!

Yeah , Shelby has a worse grade because he's playing 90% of the run plays as opposed to 10% from Jordan. If Vernon is in for 28 run plays and Jordan is in for 3 or 4 it's going to be a lot easier for Jordan to grade out higher. Now take into account that when Vernon is in it's at a time when the defense is guessing run or pass. Jordan is in for mostly passing plays but gets the benefit of taking on a runner who is in a shotgun set next to the qb with no blockers beside the o-line.

COME ON MAN! lol variables,,,,,f$#@ing variables.

Mark in Toronto | October 30, 2013 at 12:36 PM

How many times since the draft have we had this convo?? This team is STILL best built for the 3/4 with Wake at WOLB and DJ at SOLB (Coverage LB'er) with Ellerbee and Wheeler/Misi inside. Solia is a prototypical 3/4 NT and Starks/Odrick are great 3/4 DE's. Again call me CRAZY but I'll bet my bottom DOLLAR that this will happen eventually when we switch Coordinators. I believe Coyle is the bigger fool than Sherman both pigheaded to NO END!

I'm just glad we have more facts that point to Jordan likely being a good to very good player....after plenty of folks here and in general were beating the kid/pick up after the draft....and in camp when he was injured--give him some time but the kid is gonna be good.

..From the last blog..I apologize. I said Seattle had the worst line in the league..and they still may if you factor in run blocking. As far as pass pro they no longer hold the crown..

Here it is..

pass attempts 298- sacks 25 -hits 22 -hurries 48 pressures 95 overall rating 74.0

Seattle attempts 269 sacks 20 hits 12-hurries 59
pressures 91 overall rating 72.8

Indy attempts 263-sacks 8 hits 24-hurries 63-
pressures 95 overall rating 72.1

I would bench him....

and my reason is due to his health....eff the doctor...medically they may say he is right....but mentally...3 is a shell of himself....

guy was completing close to 70 % of his passes last year....now he is high 50's....that hurts....his mechanics are terrible...and he rarely follows thru with his passes....he is NOT the same player that came into the league last year...

So YES...I would bench him....as a coach...I have to understand what a player is capable of...and what he is actually doing....what 3 is doing....is NOT what he is capable of....not even close....

Shut him down....Derrick Rose him...let him come back HEALTHY and confident....

sorry Benz, you're right you don't deserve my criticism as you've made valid points and I agree completely that each coach except DL is on hotsest.


Let me repeat this. What NH said this morning when I had to go to work is true. That first half vs NE was about the best half we have played all Season. But if ever you're to play a first half like that, please, please, finish the Game in = fashion. Please?

At least he plays a little. He could have been a much bigger bust.

Daryl D...

Just went back and checked the last blog....

It was still a good post...and helps bring a bit of persepctive to the #s that we seem to get wrapped around....

Shut him down....Derrick Rose him...let him come back HEALTHY and confident....

Seen him in a few games now and he won't step into the throws and may NEVER fully (mentally) recover. There's another QB whose knee injury ruined him mentally and that was Carson Palmer whose injury and infection that followed had Dr.'s talking amputation from the knee down. It was sad when they threw him back on the field never the same player and he was on his way in 05 before that cheap hit by Keemo Von Offelman but with RG111 (or 1.0) it was all on Shannahan letting him go on the field instead of shelving him for this Season.

if the dolphins had a clue they would obviously field this lineup:

nb-will davis/jamar taylor

This reminds me of another player that played for us then went to the Pats and now Denver.

Mark my words we'll let another one go.

Thursday vs.cinci.Mr.joe philbin and his group of coaches will find a way to blow another home game.What a disaster this regr essing coaching staff is.Mr. Ross cant seem to find an answer to our coaching woes just as wayne H.couls not We have much better talent than we have in the past. Our coaching staff seems like they are looking for ways to let the other team win.HOW PATHETIC THIS IS . GO DOLPHINS

i agree with slam

Philbin is too stubborn to change his antiquated ways and shake things up. EVEN WHEN ITS OBVIOUS TO EVERYBODY THAT "HIS" WAY HASNT SHOWN MUCH SUCCESS!!!! I like Philbin, I really do, but if this season continues down this same futile path of the past month it might be an early exit for Philbin. Armando said it best in earlier blogs, "regression" this team has regressed from week 3 on. Nothing is improving on this team and that my friends is coaching. I believe that, with the exception of offensive line, this team has a lot of talent on it. 1 or 2 moves or progression from a young guy on the offensive line away from being set with talent. I question the coaching staffs ability to utilize said talent. How are we getting the ball to guys like Thigpen in space? How are we creating mismatches by moving Wallace around into the slot? Why does Thomas sometimes start at rb, like the buffalo game, when it's clear Miller is a better game breaking back? Why do we abandon the run against the 31st ranked defense on the road with a 17-3 lead?!?!?!? Why is out 3rd overall pick a situational guy when there were tackles to be had that justified moving up to #3 in the first place?!?!???? These are just some of the many questions that after games like the last 3 make me wanna jump off a building!!!!! Tomorrow the season is on the line folks, it will be trick or treat for Dolphins fans everywhere. Will the early 3-0 start be proven to be a "trick" to making us all think this team and coaching staff was ready to take a step forward and close the gap on teams like New England or will it provide the "treat" of a victory at home and move us to 4-4 with 3 very winnable contests following tomorrow?

I hate people posting these PFF grades. It seems we hop on these metrics more then anyone else. yea jordan has had some shine when hes out there but hes also coming in fresh most of the time. these other like vernon are going at it every down. so its not like if he has this production now its an automatic triple if hes full time. i like jordan, but he only played 50% snaps in college too. there is something wrong, whether it be injury or runn liability or something else, we know this is not new.

thanks slam, so the only change is Jordan or the rookies at nickel? doesn't that show that we have our defense set and all of our current starters are good enough to be starters and half are even pro-bowl caliber? (Jones, Grimes, Patterson, Soliai, Odrick, Wake, Starks)

..Phins 78..Great point.. You can use PFF as a measuring stick. It doesn't always tell the whole truth. I like it and trust it. Just me. Nobody has to agree that PFF is the holy grail. I think that because teams, and multiple media outlets trust their grading systems..That I will as well. The Offensive line stats I gave are from PFF..

And you can give the same argument for the line rankings..You can see that we have passed it more. And the argument can be made 2 ways...Would those other teams be worse if they had equal attempts? Both Indy and Seattle had worse grades, less attempts. Imagine how bad these 2 lines would be if they had equal attemts? Or you could argue that Miami has played 1 less game, and will surely add 30 more attempts to their already inflated number, and by then our line, just by sure tries will prove to be more pourous.

I think there should be a qualifier for snaps..These stats are just really proving a pattern. For players like Jordan, there may not be enough snaps to qualify, maybe there is? But for these line grades..You can see an easy pattern..All 3 lines suck at pass protection. This much is clear..

not to mention where does wake fit into your defensive plans?

Phinphish, nice post

its about getting your best talent on the field and putting them into position to succeed. That's what makes good managers/bosses good managers/bosses. They can spot your strengths and weaknesses and know how to put you in situations where you maximize your strengths and limit your weaknesses. Good coaches should also be able to spot another teams weaknesses and exploit them. Honestly, dolphins coaches suck at both.


Alot of what's going on in Seattle is the loss of Russell Okung to injury (for my money best LT today) I saw Pat McQuistan out there replacing him.

Exactly Fin4life...and great example with the Palmer reference...I had forgot about that....that was a dirty hit....and Palmer has never been the same...

and before Daytona post it 100 times...


Now maybe we can save some blog space...

sorry guys forgot to put wake at olb too. He just has been kinda invisible with the knee injury this year.

Frankly, let Reshad Jones freeroam. That's where our secondary blows. We put him in coverage instead of letting him do his thing

exactly..thats why I put him at fs. Why would you change the guys role when he was balling last year?

also they don't blitz him enough. Usually when he blitzs he makes an impact on the play.

Now maybe we can save some blog space...


Oh yes Daunte Culpepper round 2. You also wanted Kyle Orton and Ryan Mallet to come here. 0/4 isn't a bad ratio now is it

I want Wanny back!

..If you hate the PFF stats..They have qualifiers. For instance you can analyze players that have played 25 percent of snaps, 50 percent, 75 percent, etc...So they show all the players and grade them..You know that Jordan is a part time player. They can only give him a grade for the plays he is out there for. If you want a clearer picture. All you have to do is go to the right of the page, and hit the qualifiers...Then you can get an idea of guys that are playing certain snaps...A more fair breakdown.

Again PFF should be used as a tool to objectively anaylize different areas of the game that were never offered to the public. You can take it for what is worth. They are just stats that are different from the normal box score stats we are used too.

Kris, well your answer explains to me why you would bench Tannehill. You obviously believe in playing for today. In the NFL, most coaches re: young qbs beleive in the QB evolving and only evolving if you let them play out the kinks and deficiencies in their game. RG3 is obviously physically healthy enough to play. his accuracy has probably gone down more to do with the number fo times he's forced to drop back compared to last year. He's being forced to be more of a pocket qb which I beleive will benefit him more down the line. After two ACLS he can't get killed again. he is having an even more mirror season to Tannehill than Wilson is. RG3 is probably having the most comparable season actually. Both are producing but both play for flawed teams. Both are inexperienced and have to shoulder more than they should.

I think both will be fine in time with RG3 probably being the more prolific of the two.

OK Mark....

you must be out to lunch....

i'm got to run as well....i'll check in later...

Its been fun...

"# 1".....no hard feelings I hope...

Reshad jones = ballhawk. Where the ball is he is. Make it so he gets to the ball! Agreed slam, no need to change what he did last year where he balled harder than nearly every safety not named Eric Berry or Deshon Goldson

..@ 1:11 There are qualifier stats..Sorry, I'm not sure what I was thinking.

right when I extend the OLIVE BRANCH....lol....

doesn't matter...

at least I know my stuff is getting read....right "# 1"!!!!!!!

I think the PFF numbers show some good insight. The argument that some players play more so that skews the numbers is not valid. These numbers are basically like batting average in baseball. Hits per at bat, not cumulative numbers.

We basically have a couple .270 hitters out there, while the utility guy is coming off the bench hitting over .300 and stealing bases.

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