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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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REX RYAN OR ROB RYAN will NEVER win a Championship anywhere as head coaches.....I have history on my side....they are carbon copies of their Dad, Buddy, they are all excellent Defensive minds. Just not good Head Coaches.

lol yea I might actually use some common sense. Jeff Ireland is doing a great job anyways bill

I've played and continue to play competitive sports...one common denominator to maximizing players potential is through a talented leader.

Ray Lewis made everyone on the Ravens defense play to their potential...and beyond.

Tom Brady does the same with the Pats offense.

Who elevates play on the Fins roster? I see Wake & Odrick being very vocal & giving 110% on every play for the Defense.

Offense....? ? ?

Hartline leaves it on the field, but he's not an Alpha receiver.
Tannehill- I see him jumping around after a TD throw but does he ELEVATE the people around him?

From my perch behind the TV I say no...but I defer to those who have actually been to live games & practices to tell me if Tannehill is the chosen one who will make everyone play to their potential though his actions and personna.

Nooooo Jeff Ireland is NOT doing a good job....where have I said that. You obviously have not read my post on this blog??

bill your worried about championships??? im just trying to see the fins get to the playoffs right now. 2 AFC championship games with sanchez as qb says A LOT.

In case you missed it "# 1"...go back to the bottom of the last page of this blog...

..Mark in Toronto...Wilson is my guy..for sure.

But he isn't that bad. He isn't great, and I'm not saying that we can't do better. I just think that thinking either of the rookies will play better then he is right now is a joke. I'm also saying that Wilson is not the reason the defense is mediocre. Has he given up some plays? Yes. But what nickel corner out there doesn't? He is a middle of the pack nickel corner. I get that..

his shoulder is still hurt.

ever think it's possible coaches are holding jordan back so he develops that hunger, that thirst to play so when he gets out there he wrecks havok as he has been doing? maybe he's studying the game on the side. Shelby and Vernon went thru it and are past it, maybe Jordan needs to get there before he gets in the game

has she-man been fired yet? cause I'll not watch another snap until that occurs

...Mark ...I was also a guy that went into a 3 day fast when we released Lex Hilliard. So what do I know...LOL


Darrly I hate to burst your bubble but the only thing Wilson does good is blitz. He is more a safety than corner. His change of direction sucks. I love his aggressiveness though. But you gotta put your 2nd and 3rd round picks on the field to see what they got. Davis was a ball hawk in preseason and training camp. Also grimes and Patterson are free agents next year.

It's pathetic that there are still people who actually believe in Tannebust. Is it the line's fault that Tannebust is holding the ball too long ? Is it the line's fault that Tannereach throws behind receivers ? Stop making excuses FFS. You sound like Ireland pleading with Ross for his job. Right before he polishes Ross' knob.

Jack, really, these guys care about Derrick Shelby that much??? I find that hard ot believe.

Anyway, regarding the defense, the best defenses, which this one is paid and invested in like, perform period. I could see your argument if we were sitting like 12 or 13 in total defense but we are 21st ... that's god awful no matter what the excuses are ... and for some reason we make a lot more excuses for this well paid, heavily invested in defense than we do for a 2nd year QB for whatever reason...

This defense is supposed to be the unit that holds the offenses hand while it comes along. This was never supposed to be an offense that relieves and bails out the defense. It was meant to be the other way around with all the pressure players it contains but plays a passive style of defense for some reason.

Slam you are obviously a young guy....just the fact that you think GETTING to the AFC championship game is good tells me all I need to know about you. At the start of every season EVERY team has 1 and only 1 goal....that is to WIN the Super Bowl.
Now that you understand that how many Super Bowls have the Ryan family won as head coaches??? Let me help you here.....ZEROOOOOOOOO

shut yo mouf foo

Slam...what I am saying is...you have a sales team of 6...one guy is the new guy...fresh out of school and loaded with potential...but he just doesnt seem to be fully getting it in the meeting room...he's gone out on a few trips and has made a couple nice sales...do you automatically pull another sales guy off the road because of that...and if you do that without a lot of proof in your pudding...do you risk pissing of the rest of your team???
The comparison with Schiano is relative because he ignores what his players want and need...he think he can treat a bunch of grown arse men that make as much if not more than him...like 19 year old kids...
That's not how the NFL works man...also...Jordan getting 30 more snaps a game is not the reason we are on a 4 game losing skid...if you are looking for hard answers on that...see Shermans game plans...


NH, Odrick and Wake elevate this defense to be 21st in the league???

I put him in the field if he has the potential for 30 sales and the guy ahead of him only has the potential for 10.

This makes perfect sense to me. Jordan, the situational player is playing for Croyle, the situational DC, who's on the staff of Philbin, the situational HC, under Ireland, the situational GM. PERFECT FIT!

Billy Boy,

No stupid, not every team has the goal of winning the Super Bowl. The Jaguars would just be happy with 8-8 and a core of decent young players developing. Dolphins fans would have been ecstatic over 10-6 and a playoff win. Getting to the AFC Championship game would make Dolphins fans demand a ticker tape parade.

Go back to the gay bar where you said you wanted to meet me.

Dirty Harry's.

DC excellent situational analysis!!

rex hc
chad penn oc
jim bates dc
no gm, phinz haven't had 1 since beathard

DD, defeinitely not the reason this defense has been abysmal but you drafted Davis and Taylor because this team has the Jimmy Wilsons and Nolan Carrols of teh world on the roster. Now if youa re happy with Wilson being your nickel then you should used those two draft picks elsewhere. They were drafted for a reason to come along and have Taylor be a starter at some point and Davis to be a upper echelon depth corner with a nose for the football.

And you're right, both are probably inferior to Wilson right now but at least Taylor's upside is a lot higher and he's only going to get better by playing and getting beat and learning from them. Corners get beat early that's the lay of the land for young corners.

Phins lose by 20+ on Thursday.

Can't wait.

lol yea bill you need to be realistic in your expectations buddy. At no point in this whole offseason did I think for one second the fins could win the super bowl. That's just asinine. You have to make it to the playoffs and maybe win a division before you can think about super bowl.

Ignore the retarded child in the room people!! (ahemmm Daytona)

ross it gonna be butt ugly and i ain't mean the costumes in the stands but the team wearing the ghey clown outfits on the field

It's not about Shelby versus Jordan...it's about sticking to your word and doing what you say you are going to do...anyone in management knows that as soon as you stop doing that...you will either have a mutiny on your hands or a bunch of unengaged employees...not saying this is THE reason or even close to the reason...im just babbling...but...ablee ablee ablee...that's all folks...

slam @ 2:41, ding, ding, ding, winner!!!

..Slam..I know he is a safety...I saw every game the guy played in college. He couldn't get on the field for Montana as a corner(he started there a freshman, moved to safety..then the trouble..Came back after the legal stuff, and had to move back to safety because he couldn't get on the field as a corner)...This isn't the point.

My point is that Taylor, and Davis would be huge liabilities. They cannot play. They should stay red shirted until they figure it out. If either one was in place of Wilson it would be much worse. The team still believes it has a chance to a successful season. We fans do not...so they are going to replace solid not spectacular with lost and no chance???

Next year..Those guys will have their opportunity, one of them will more then likely take Wilsons spot. For this year, while we still have a heartbeat??? Perhaps when it is officialy a wash I will agree.

I love how Daytona comes in here and starts chirping at people and we all just ignore it and move on to talk to everyone else.

It's like the nerd in school who kept talking just to be noticed and we all said, f*** off loser, nobody likes you...

Hahahaha Slam your got me ROFLMAO.....you can't read!! Nowhere did I ever state the Dolphins were could win a Super Bowl. However you like to skirt the facts....fact....EVERY TEAM....yes even the Jaguars....have the goal of winning the Super Bowl...period!!!

there are goals and realistic goals. If you are a smart person you set goals that you have a chance to attain.

Mark @ 2:47 hit the nail on the head!!!


How do you know davis and taylor would be bigger liabilities? Wilson gives up a lot of completions on 3rd down. Don't knock it till you try it.

Noooo Slam you still got me laughing.....you shoot for the stars and work your arse off to reach your goal. That is the sign of a winner!!

so bill please become the next head coach of the dolphins!! You can do it buddy!!

Do you seriously believe that Shula, Walsh, Lombardi, Knoll, JJ, Belicheat and others go into a season wanting to be 8-8 or to "just make the playoffs"?? Please child as Dion Sanders would say. YOU PLAY THIS GAME TO WIN THE SUPER BOWL....everything else is like kissing your sister!!

slam, that philosophy doesn't always work. Sometimes I tried somethign against my better initial judgement and immediately regretted it .... especially when it pertains to alcohol and that woman at the end of the bar...

Bill are you a slow learner???

No Slam I tried that already when I coached the Giants.....I failed miserably...you know why Slam? Because my goal was to have a winning season...tsk tsk tsk I never got there!!

bill are you really mike Sherman??

..Mark I agree 100 percent with what you are saying @2:43..I am only speaking in the now. Wilson is today the better option. We saw Taylor play v NO..(I know the play that Graham made was sick..Not Taylors fault)..The Raven game where he was forced into action he was lost..We are playing zone on one side and Taylor is running into our own guys..He just ins't ready. If either were, they would be playing.IMO

Vontae Davis and Sean Smith both will be in the pro bowl this season.

Slam are you really Daytona?? You need to grow up. Opinions are like A ssholes we all have them....but yours STINK!! Rex Ryan who had a team that EVERYBODY said should have won a Super Bowl back in 2010....can't even win a AFC Championship game....never mind that he cant even win the division yet you want him a s our next head coach. Thank God you ask "would you like that super sized" everyday instead of making decisions for the Dolphins

Lionel so will Reggie Bush, Carlos Dansby and Marshall!!

Words can't describe how horrible Philbin is as a head coach. He's an emotionless stubborn old man who has no idea how to coach at the highest level. Theres a reason why he's never been a head coach at any level.

Sherman is by far the worst OC in the NFL. I wish PFC ranked coaches cause I gurantee you Philbin and Sherman would be bear the bottom of the list.

Ireland is beyond garbage as a GM. SS, Reggie Bush, Vontae Davis all got better after leaving the Dolphins. You give millions to dreadlock dummies Ellerbe and Wheeler. DansBy and Burnett much better. He needs to go. We need to start over again.

Maybe after the Bengals game the few fans who will show up to the games will bring a "Fire Philbin" sign

what planet are you living on?? THe jets were supposed to win the superbowl? You are delusional man. Get off the alcohol its only 3pm.

..Slam..@ 2:51..I don't know this as fact. I could be 100 percent wrong. I am just offering my opinion. I know that those of you who want to see these guys play are probably asking why not, what is there to lose. I think just by the fact these guys have been inactive more then dressed is telling. I think that if Croyle thought for a second either player would make us better that they would be out there. Fact is Wilson is playing well enough to keep either of those guys from taking his playing time.

When that happens I don't know? Is Croyle making a mistake? IMO no...

Reggie bush anyone!!!!!!!!!!

Darryl I hear ya but they also aren't playing d Jordan and continued to play sorry clabo when they knew he sucked. I just don't trust this coaching staffs evaluation of talent.

Who makes a #3 pick a situational player???? Jordan is best suited as a OLB in a 3-4 yet he's a DE in a 4-3 that's not his position!! Ross she demand that he starts! Ellerbe and Wheeler are sooo bad no wonder why the defense is ranked 21st.

coaches next year?
HC Mike Shula
OC Jay Gruden
DC Rob Ryan
ST Darren Rizzi
QB Chad Pennington
TE Dan Campbell
DL Kacey Rodgers
OL Joe Philbin

Jake long having a great year oh but Brandon Albert oh yea we passed on him

Man we really screwed this whole season up

Slam silly lil boy don't let facts get in the way of a statement. this following is cut and paste form Bodog.

"Other worthy moves are the New York Jets who are now favored to win Super Bowl XLV. Bodog currently has the Jets at 7/1, along with the Baltimore Ravens"

Anyway beside vegas having the Jets favored to win Super Bowl Rex Ryan, your GOD, also told us all he was going to win that Super Bowl and the 2009 Super Bowl....how did that work out??? Slam Im done with you....youre not in my league kid!!

..Slam...@ 3:06...good point!

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