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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 bet this guy could turn things around for us and get Tannehill to reach his potential....

Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers

Quite possibly the most innovative offensive coordinator in the game right now, despite the smash-mouth appearance of his offense. Very original with his run block concepts, consistently manages to fool opposing defenses and turned Alex Smith into a functional NFL quarterback while grooming Colin Kaepernick. Does a very good job of creating open receivers and easy throws for his quarterbacks.

Was Stanford's offensive coordinator before coming to the NFL, where he coached Andrew Luck in his first two seasons in college. Spent the early part of his career with the Carolina Panthers, working on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. Joined the Texans in 2002 and became their tight ends coach and later quarterbacks coach, before spending two years with the Ravens as an offensive line coach.

Sam's right! Someone should step in and speak to the HC. I know this goes against all logic and the rules of the game but it seems that he's going to be given just enough rope to hang himself. And in my mind the rope is getting a bit tight.

Additionally, I wagered that the 'Phins would have at least 8 wins to push and 9 wins to win. This will be a remarkable turnaround if we see it! I've pretty much written off the bet.

Can't seem to put myself into Philbin's position and understand just what he's thinking, if at all!!

How about Lovie Smith?
Maybe give Holmgren GM/HC duties?
Bill Cowher wants the same GM/HC

I bleed aqua, orange, and sunshine like any other dolfan. Just sick and tired of losing, being irrelevant, and mock drafting end of Oct early Dec.

Aren't you guys? If not, when will you be?

it's so easy to write these wishful thinking articles half way in. a game plan is only a game plan if you can stick to it and not have knee jerk reactions to ever decision you ever made when ever you hit a bump in the road.

Progolf, Thursday night's game scares me to no ends. It's Tannehill. I'm so afraid once again he'll become Tanne-turnover. If not, great, that's exactly what I want to see.

If he is Tanne-turnover, then exclusive proof, the kid has regressed beyond return. Beit shellshock from so many sacks and qb hit, or mishandled by the coaching staff. If he's Tanne-turnover Thursday night, that will be, I think 4-5 gms in a row he has regressed to this.

That's enough evidence to suggest full-blown bust. Then by season's end someone needs to be fired for this.

Sam....fired they should be, if I were calling the shots. But, for good reason, I'm not!

My take is that Tannehill is regressing due to the coaches lack of understanding of just what T-hill is. Granted he has no feel in the pocket for the rushers but this can be learned. But you must have a teacher that understands the problem. If the coaches don't feel that's a problem then, obviously, teaching is out of the question. Or if our coaches can't teach this then T-hill is scr***d!

With Clabo back at right tackle for tomorrow's game and a 2nd game starter on the left, the pocket is going to look a little like the last few laps of the Daytona 500. Several crashes and burns!!! And perhaps somebody getting hurt. After all, even in a crash the drivers are more protected then our QB.

Barry Jackson has yet another excellent post up regarding the unfulfilled promises made by the Dolphins. It's devastating (but presented fairly and professionally) on the many ways the Dolphins are falling so short of expectations.

One of the most disappointing areas is that the run defense is so dreadful - especially in the fourth quarter.

Even accounting for the injuries to Wake and Soliari, the defense is awful.

Sign....pardon my ignorance but where would I find Barry Jackson's article?

Well, this is another indictment of coaching specifically Joe Philbin and to a lesser degree, Coyle.
Don't think I hold Coyle blameless, just lesser so in this case.

The sooner these incompetent coaches are gone, the better.

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

LOL...Shouldn't Jordan be out there trying to HURT people instead of getting hurt?

LOL too bad he's coming back from an injury himself jajajajajaja!

If we had had the second pick in the draft, Jeff Ireland would have had a chance to find a starter.

I think this is a domino effect. Drafting Ginn started a domino effect that is stilling falling for this once great and historic team.

LOL too bad he's coming back from an injury himself jajajajajaja!

Posted by: Florida #1 Education | October 30, 2013 at 05:33 PM

LOL..even worse. We moved up to draft a gimp?

HAHAHAHA it's called drafting for the future. When he turns out better than 99% of the 1st round picks I want you to look back at this post and have an appifany with your vast football knowledge. not to mention he was a steal, but keep hating cause I LLLOOOOVVVEEEE it

The dominoes falling remind of the movie V. When the fellow wearing the 'Guy Fawkes' mask starts all the dominoes falling. One remained upright (Philbin, Ireland take your pick) when he removed it the final dominoes fell.

but because he's not a pro bowler now he's a bust and a waste HAHAHAHA get off on my comments right now like I know you are GET OFF ON THE ATTENTION IM GIVIG YOU, YOU LOVE IT! Hehehehehehehe

Talk about a contradiction in terms using Florida and education in the same sentence!

I think that its funny (not really) that Tannehill can jump right into a starting role while Matt Moore (who earned that spot) sits the bench.What happened to slowly developing the rookie QB? T-hill gets the opportunity to screw up royally but Jordan who is kicking butt has to progress slowly and get limited snaps.....what? Doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If he was nursing an injury, ok I understand but he says he's good now and he's been playing great...let him play.

Check out Barry Jackson's sports buzz for a sobering analysis of the failure of Ireland's offseason moves. The numbers back up the criticism. But don't bother Philbin or Sherman with facts. They will just arrogantly brush them off. They aren't good enough to pull the Belichik routine in a press conference.

Talk about a contradiction in terms using Florida and education in the same sentence!
Posted by: Progolf667 | October 30, 2013 at 05:48 PM

We have a winner!

The problem at this stage is how and when does this regime (incl. Ireland) get shown the door.

There are 3 main things I see involved here.
1) Ross's belief in success through continuity (keeping staff that fails in the hope they will succeed)
2) Empty seats (loss of profits due to losses)
3) Losing seasons/no playoffs (nobody likes a loser)
4) Loss of any chance to award SB in Miami (see 2 & 3)

Bottom line: This is a Ross decision about money and pride.

Thanks austin....will give it a look.

We've seen 23 starts from Tannehill now. That is more than enough time to conclude that he will never be an elite QB. An elite QB doesn't need everything around him to be perfect in order to produce. Look at Marino. He was hardly ever sacked, but why? Is it because he had the best offensive line in the league? Fact is, he made lighting fast decisions and delivered the ball with accuracy and velocity. And when he was sacked, he had the awareness to feel the pressure and protect the ball.

I'm sure this has been posted but it would seem prudent to run a pure 3-4 again. solia in middle with starks and odrick on the ends then wake and jordan at olbs and ellerbe and misi at ilbs with still having vernon and wheeler and shelby as rotationals. seems like a plan to me.

They don't talk Football in the Huffington Post so I'm forced to come among these aborigines here.

Tannehill is so busy locking onto his receivers downfield, he is unaware of what is happening around him. You don't just develop football instincts in the NFL. You either have them, or you don't. It takes him forever to read the field. The fact is, all of Miami's problems begin and end with the QB. He is the same guy that threw 3 interceptions against a mediocre Texas team that got Mike Sherman fired in his last game at TAMU. They will both be ushered out together here, soon.

These out of state 'fans'...florida education for one Progolf for another...are you that stupid or do you parrot what you hear? You must be from that $hithole NJ.
The reason why Fla. schools are not good is, these pasty white yankees come down here to find 'Margaritaville' with their short bus kids. Heres's a hint: Margaritaville is just a song, not a real place.

austin cant compare thill to marino, we all know marino was da man and better than most any qb ever on planet


Sorry for delay - I had to take a call.

Barry's Sport's Buzz Column on the Miami Herald is at:


No cocoa joe, you're just dumb. sorry. don't blame the yankees, blame your pathetic excuse of a state or their residents for not striving for education. I sense jealousy in your oost

please take the collective iq of this blog and you'll notice that there are a bunch of dumbphucks that come here. I'd love for you to include me in that list so I can laugh at you for being just as dumb for not sensing my mockery or sarcasm

some people here are too stupid to realize they're stupid

If players have to earn playing time by showing up, What about the coaching staff when the call a bad game

Here's the part of Barry Jackson's Sports Buzz blog post that I found shocking (but should not have been in the least surprised):

"For all of the hype around the front seven, any suggestion the Dolphins are among the best against the run is pure myth. They were at one point: In 2011, their last year in a 3-4 defense, they ranked third. That slipped to 13th in 2012, and now they’re 19th.

And despite the depth on the defensive line, this unit often wilts against the run late in games. Miami is allowing a deplorable 5.6 yards per carry in the fourth quarter, more than any team permits over an entire game."

Barry also points out that the Dolphins are ahead of only Jacksonville in total offense. And that Wallace has seven drops - third worst in the league.

Unfortunately for us fans, the problems seem to run very deep.

sigh..thanks but Austin got me started in the right direction.

He hit all the bases. Everything that we've been talking about here he put into proper perspective.

Oh, and I'm not ready to give up on T-hill, at not yet! In the Buffalo games' last series he was trying to go deep to Wallace and there just wasn't time for Wallace to get into position for the pass. That was on Clabo. (Per Barry Jackson). I would like to see an average OL that he can play behind before I start thinking of showing him the door. After all we're on track for a 72 sack season. 16 more then in any year in 'Phins history. And with Clabo back this week it can only get worse. But I'm not forgetting the other members of the OL who will feel a need to contribute to this growing total.


I agree with you.

I hope Tannehill can improve; it's not his fault the OL and WR are not doing well.

I hope he avoids injury and the David Carr syndrome.

That being said, I hope the Dolphins do pick a QB next year just in case (if there is a new GM and coach). It may be that a different coach can help him improve significantly (such as Alex Smith).

Hey florida education, you piece of $hit from NJ, do yourself a favor and crawl back to that cesspool you call a state.
Everyone in this country knows it's a running joke. In doubt? Watch South Park 'It's a Jersey Thing' episode. The whole country is laughing about you.

coco.....I have a 6 year old nephew and a 9 year old niece in the public schools of the Florida Education System. Before they were put in the advance classes they had from 1 to 3 hours of homework each and every night. Nobody seems to be teaching just handing out homework. Well done Florida!!!

No I'm not living in NJ, close but not quite. I'm in Texas and not necessary a proud citizen of this f****d up State. My city is San Antonio, a good city regardless of state, that's why I'm here and not back in Florida.

My older son, Dr. O. Canosa, has invited me to spend my last days in Morristown, NJ, where he lives with his family. I refused. Considering NJ, and him, I prefer to stay in Hialeah.

Scott...thought that your idea was good last week, early this week and again now. Our personnel is screeming for a 3/4. Your personnel positioning looks good to me.

I'm not quite sure I like the primary Education in FL now, or in the US in general for that matter.

Is it true NJ girls don't get picked up? Sissy?

Yes, Write to Coyle. Tell him to change back to a 3-4.

Posted by: cocoajoe | October 30, 2013 at 06:44 PM

I don't live I nj but nice try. Seems you have a particular hatred for them. But I guess uneducated floridians just assume any smart or demeaning person is from nj. Good investigative work!

..Slam..So I see we are moving back to a 3-4.. Funny 2 years ago when that wasn't working that we were "better suited for a 4-3 team" Maybe we are(better suited for a 3-4) But you said I the coaches had a clue..This is the way it would be.

Darry Dunphy | October 30, 2013 at 02:18 PM

We haven't truly had 3/4 personnel since the days of Interim Bates replacing Wannstedt. The main stays at DT (LDT,RDT) on those teams were quicker gap shooters like Jeff Zgonina, Bryan Robinson, Larry Chester and even Tim Bowens before injury given his quick 1st step (before injury zapped his career) and of course Darryl Gardner.The DE's were David Bowens and JT, all waaay to undersized to play in the 3/4.

The culture changed in 05 when Saban made the switch and as fans we can hate on him plenty but he cemented the legacy of JT by making him a hybrid DE/OLB (adding Yrs and money with an NFL D-Player of the Yr. to his career accolades) The other DE of note in that ERA besides David Bowens was Ogunleye and both would have been run over like a freight train in the 3/4 at around 280 Pds and even lighter in the case of D.Bowens

In 05 we let D.Bowens walk (to the Jets) and brought in the 300 plus Kevin Carter along with the 340 plus Keith Traylor allowing the other (undersized) DT's to leave bringing in Vonnie Holiday who played both inside and outside in that scheme.

The difference was Saban ran a HYBRID version NEVER fully committing to one scheme realizing his pieces didn't fully fit what he wanted mainly because of the LB's and did a masterful job of having his D's ready on Sunday. I hate him like every Fin fan for his HIGH-N-DRY ACT but he Coached up his D well.

In the Parcells ERA more head scratching futility when we grab a 3/4 OLB (Dansby) to plug into the Middle and to make it worse last Yr. they wanted him to man the MLB spot alone were his coverage was terrible, it's lacked this Yr. but you guys must have forgotten what Dansby turning and running looked like??

Again this team to this day keeps grabbing players more fit for the 3/4 than the 4/3. It's what caught me so off guard by the D.Jordan pick, this kids a clone of Aldon Smith's and a wrecking ball in the 3/4 but we want to take away from his coverage ability to put him in a 3 point stance! I've read over and over about fitting round holes in square pegs but this is ridiculous!

fin4life.....Amen!!!! Jordan would be a monster in the 3/4 and we have other pieces that fit nicely! But if your not a believer of the 3/4 then you go away from it at a run. Doesn't it seem that either Philban or Ireland are trying to get rid of the other. Or they're both incompetent. At the very least on different pages!

I am now convinced that Uncle Joe is no head coach, he is in fact, an idiot. How much practice does each Dolphin participate in Tue thru Fri. ? it boils down to minutes not hours each day. Jordon needs to be playing, thats where it counts, You actually believe if Clay Mathews didn't practice well the Packers coach would take away min from his playing time? Joe are you insane?
Name one Dolphin DB who can go step for step with Gronkowski ?

Maybe Philbin and sherman need to do more to receive playing time on the sidelines and in the booth. They haven't earned it up to this point

Trade up to third in the overall draft, to get a "situation player?"


it obvious his injury is not right

This coaching staff doesn't surprise me one bit.

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