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Determined Dion Jordan formulates plan; Dolphins, Heat, Canes, Marlins chatter

WEDNESDAY BUZZ COLUMN

Dion Jordan’s name has come up a lot early this offseason because he was the poster child for disagreement between the Dolphins front office (which thought the third overall pick should play more) and the coaching staff (which didn’t).

As it turned out, only three non-injured rookie first-round picks logged fewer snaps than Jordan, and all three (Bjoern Werner, Datone Jones and Sylvester Williams) were selected between 24th and 28th. But Jordan blames nobody; instead, he points the finger at himself.

“I need to get stronger, and I’ve got to add to my repertoire,” he said in a private moment recently. “I’m a speed rusher. I have to find a way to get around the edge. This offseason, I need to get much better. And I’ve got to get better with my understanding of the game.”

After producing just two sacks, Jordan has devised a multi-pronged offseason plan to try to become the player the Dolphins expect. That includes:

### Adding a third pass rush move. He already has a speed move and an up-and-under move, according to defensive line coach Kacy Rodgers. But Rodgers said he needs a “long arm move. Jason Taylor had that.”

Jordan agrees. He plans to meet with Taylor and add elements from JT's game. “I want to pick his brain,” Jordan said. “Watching his film is a project for me this offseason. I’ve got to continue to develop moves.”

He also plans to work with Cameron Wake on pass rush mechanics and will study tape of “Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, Jared Allen, guys with my body type and speed.”

Jordan, who had 26 tackles, had a sack in the opener but just one after that, in Week 12 against Carolina. And in five December games, he had no sacks and just three hurries in 61 snaps when he rushed the quarterback.

Overall as a rookie, he had four hits and 18 hurries on the 205 occasions he rushed the passer, and his ratio of one sack per 102.5 pass-rush chances was well below Wake (1 every 49) and Olivier Vernon (1 every 46).

### He will hit the weight room hard to “put on more muscle mass. But I want to do it while keeping my speed.” Jordan came out of Oregon at 244 pounds, played at 260 this past season and believes 265 “would be legit for me. Getting stronger will help me push the pocket and play the run.”

### He will do sprint work to improve his speed (already a strength) and will spend a few weeks training in martial arts at MMA Athletics, the Los Angeles-based facility run by Fox NFL insider Jay Glazer.

“The martial arts helps with hand-eye coordination, leverage, teaches you how to be aggressive with your hands,” said Jordan, who worked with MMA Athletics last spring.

Jordan ended up playing 338 snaps. He logged 87 against the run --- though it’s not his strength, it’s “better than you think,” Rodgers said --- and he graded out 31st of 52 defensive ends in a 4-3 defense against the run, according to Pro Football Focus.

He played 46 snaps in pass coverage, allowing two of three passes thrown against him to be completed, for 19 yards, but bottled up New England’s Rob Gronkowski on one play.

Though some evaluators believe he is best suited for outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, the Dolphins appear likely to leave him at defensive end in their 4-3 instead of having him compete with Koa Misi at outside linebacker, because they value Misi against the run. The challenge will be figuring out how to create more playing time for him, barring injuries to Wake or Vernon.

“I’d like to be part of the group playing the run,” he said. “But I will be out there more eventually. There’s no need to feel I need so much so soon. Everything takes time.”

His teammates remain bullish. “The sky is the limit for him --– his speed and size are pretty phenomenal,” tackle Tyson Clabo said.

CHATTER

### Dolphins owner Stephen Ross already has said that the new GM, whenever hired, will report to him. But an unnamed candidate for the job told The National Football Post: "Maybe they’re waiting for the second interview to lay it all out, but they were completely non-committal about how it was going to work. I honestly don’t know if you answer to the owner or to (vice president of football administration) Dawn Aponte. It’s all really unclear.”

The GM, Aponte and Joe Philbin might all report to Ross. 

"If you have three people all at the same level, you’re going to have one taking sides and that’s going to create problems,” a candidate told The National Football Post. “You just don’t know what you’re walking into at this point.

"If you’re going to take that job, you’re going to want some protection because if they fire Philbin after next season, they could bring in some experienced head coach or a guy from college and they’re going to want a lot of control."

### Besides being open to possibly adding another big man (perhaps Andrew Bynum), the Heat also has interest in potentially adding a skilled perimeter defender if a cheap, good one shakes free, according to a team that has spoken to the Heat.

### In a year, the Heat has gone from historically good in the clutch to below average. Last season, Miami outscored teams by 131 points in 176 minutes in the last five minutes of games with a margin of five points or fewer, and went 32-8 in those games.

This season, the Heat entered Tuesday having been outscored by nine points during those clutch minutes (12th-worst), with a record of 13-9 in those games. But Miami outscored Boston, 11-4, in clutch time in Tuesday's win.

LeBron James generally has been very good late in those tight games this season (53 percent clutch shooting) and he scored nine in clutch time Tuesday. But Ray Allen, who hit the most meaningful clutch shot in Heat history in the Finals, is shooting 4 for 14 in the clutch this season, and Mario Chalmers 4 for 16.

### Please see the last post for a lot more Heat notes from Tuesday night.

### UM coach Jim Larranaga tells us that an NBA team that changed coaches within the past year reached out to him last year to gauge his interest in their coaching job, but he said he told that team he loves Miami and has no intention of leaving. With Duke visiting Wednesday (Dick Vitale will be on the call for ESPN2), Larranaga and his staff so far have extracted the most anyone could expect from a team that lost its top six scorers, has very little depth and is limited offensively.

“This year has been tremendous fun for me,” he said Tuesday, with UM ninth in the country in scoring defense at 59.6 per game. “Every player [on this team] has challenges to overcome” –-- from freshman Davon Reed learning point guard to Belgian freshman Manu Lecomte “crossing the Atlantic…. All of them have pleasantly surprised me…. We’re fighting for survival, trying to figure out ways to overcome our limitations, mostly from… lack of experience.”

### Booker T. Washington defensive end Chad Thomas, UM's only five-star oral commitment, told our Safid Deen that he will visit FSU and Alabama" because he's "making sure I'm picking the right school" but remains "100 percent committed to Miami."

### UM, which continues to explore adding a big-bodied running back, on Tuesday visited 6-3, 212-pound Solomon Hunter, according to Hunter. He's a two-star prospect who, according to rivals.com, has offers only from Sam Houston State and Houston Baptist but has drawn interest from several major schools.... UM also started recruiting another two-star prospect this week: Mississippi-based defensive end Darrius Liggins, a former Mississippi State oral commitment who had eight sacks last season. He told canesport.com that Miami asked him to visit late this month but Liggins isn't sure; he first wants to see how his visit to Louisiana-Lafeyette goes.

### Looking for a right-handed hitting backup outfielder, the Marlins have interest in free agent Jeff Baker, 32, who also can play three infield positions and hit .279 with 11 homers and 21 RBI for Texas last season. They also have discussed Vernon Wells, 35, who batted .233 with 11 homers and 50 RBI for the Yankees in 2013 and was designated for assignment last week.

### Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

Comments

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Larry Coker

Liggins says he wants to "see how his visit with Louisiana-Lafayette goes" before deciding whether or not to visit UM. All righty then. Maybe he's holding out for a call from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale?

Penguin

Ross is really mishandling the search. Maybe he'll pick up some ancient wisdom while he's in China.

joe r

i said it a few days ago and i say it again..ross needs to hire a gm and then walk away, gm reports to ross, football people report to gm, its real easy and now ross who is running a real estate biz and now he is going to try and run an nfl team, this is never ever going to work folks

Kevin

Ross once again shows how out of touch he is. Going away to London and the China and leaving your team leaderless. He didnt learn from his first mistake when he went to go hire Harbaugh.Now you keep the 2 who sided together to get Jeffy fired. NFL Network is reporting than most of the candidates felt that Aponte was the real GM. Also look at those who declined to interview. Best candidate by far is Tom Gamble.He built current 49er team and had good year with Eagles.Tom wanted no part of this mess. whats the point of having a GM if he cant hire or fire? Ross is turning us into the Raiders East.

sflafan

Not a Dion Jordan fan. I don't believe he's a very instinctual football player (like JT was). He also appears to lack the demeanor (nastiness) required of a top notch DE. He basically has one move when rushing the passer. He tries to get by the tackle on a speed rush. Tackles know that's all he's got, so they just push him easily right past the QB. On running plays, he gets pushed back into the linebackers laps due to his lack of physicality. He's a good athlete whose not a "baller". It might have been enough to give him decent (not great) stats in the Pac 12, but it won't be enough to cut it in the NFL. I don't see it, but I hope I'm wrong.

Marios

What about the other rookies, why didn't they play?

We had 5 of the top 92 picks and nobody saw the field on a mediocre roster.

johnnie j

Agree Ross (once again) is hugely mismanaging this GM hiring.First,Philbin should be long gone too by now.Losing/not having his team at all prepared to win the final 2 crucial games FALLS PRIMARILY on the HC.Shula NEVER would have allowed that to happen.Then again it s insulting to Shula to mention Philbin s name in the same paragraph.Ross being out of Country demonstrates his bumbling,slow,feeble,laikadaisical approach vs an aggressive search for all possibilities.NONE of these GM s makes anyones toes tingle.Sad.Regarding Golden and their attempt to lure a 2 star prospect.It s really scary when the kid says he wants to check out Louisiana-Lafeyatte first.THAT is really,really SCARY.

Jeff

No potential GM with experience is interested in the Dolphins because they don't want to work in a dysfunctional organization. From your reporting, it appears that the new GM would be caught in a power struggle with Joe Philbin and Dawn Aponte. Who would want a job like this except the less experienced candidates who have already interviewed.

Spivey

I think Dion Jordan gets a pass on his rookie season...coming in injured and subject to what appears to be a coaching staff-front office feud over his status and development philosophy. The number of players leaving the Dolphins and having success with other teams indicates a serious lack of coaching and player evaluation.

AnonymousCane

Soloman Hunter is from Roosevelt,Texas, was visited by coach D yesterday and Coach Williams is supposed to call and set up a visit. He is rated as a two star but he is an under the radar kid and I think he is better than the kid form Mississippi. Better burst and quicker, good short yardage option.

Miami has known about this prospect for a while and actually was sent film on him about a year ago. I may be wrong about the last name but know the person who interviewed him and sent the tape!

roger

golden's flirting with penn state continues to cost us recruits.

Reality Bites

Chad Thomas will visit FSU and Bama to make sure he is making the right choice.
The 2 schools with the 3 most recent NCs, should Um be worried? Are those 2 programs known to play good D?
Where is Thomas going to get the best chance at a championship?
No contest, U lose.

Go Heat!

Sunny Dee

Reality - you didn't care to comment on Miami going after 2 stars after losing Powell, Valentine, and others? Too easy???

I think Thomas will stick. I wish he wasn't visiting other schools but he owes it to himself to make sure he is making the right decision. Cristobal is scum though. I wouldn't trust a word that comes out of his mouth.

If the class holds as is, it's a very good class. It started out great and is slipping a bit. The Gators class started out poorly but is gaining momentum. In the end, it looks like both schools will have very good classes. Go Canes. (Go Heat too...)

Sunny Dee

One more thing - Gators could use another QB in their class. They still have not adequately addressed the most important position on the team. I think they'll make a push to flip Treon Harris, who might be able compete immediately for the starting job if he adds some weight.

Not our rival

Posted by: Reality Bites | 01/22/2014 at 10:41 AM

Hush nerd.

mayberd

I like the attitude of Dion Jordan and He will be successful if healthy or if the clownish coaching staff can use him properly.It looks like another Dolphin disaster in the GM search.Stephen Ross should have fired
Philbin and Aponte with Ireland and now the new GM may have to battle Philbin and Aponte for power and clout and this will continue the three ring circus the Dolphins front office has been since Joe Robbie died.

The dawn of a new Aponte

"What about the other rookies, why didn't they play?
We had 5 of the top 92 picks and nobody saw the field on a mediocre roster."

....Hence the Jeff Ireland unemployment vacation.

The dawn of a new Aponte

"Chad Thomas will visit FSU and Bama to make sure he is making the right choice.
The 2 schools with the 3 most recent NCs, should Um be worried? Are those 2 programs known to play good D?
Where is Thomas going to get the best chance at a championship?
No contest, U lose."


Where is Thomas gonna get the best chance to START?

Reality Bites

Sunny Boy you are one smart cookie, a rare thing for one who calls himself a cane. Just look at the blog policeman "Not our rival" never has anything to contribute.
I have no interest in ragging your school for going after 2 star kids. Golden and company don't have the luxury of going after the cream of the crop, that is for SEC teams, FSU and Ohio State mainly. And who knows maybe one of the hundreds of those 2 star kids may turn out like say a Russel Maryland. One out of a few hundred, so there is some hope for you.
Whether Thomas sticks or not, who knows. But it has to give you pause that he will visit FSU and Bama, two programs that are way better than you and with a strong defensive pedigree.
Still it looks like you will get a decent class anyways, but not the hyped up one from back in the summer.
You are right that the Gators are going after Harris and why not. But the biggest get for them is Roper the OC.
These days leading up to NSD will be very interesting indeed.
Go Heat!

Reality Bites

Hey Dawn the immediate playing time carrot will only get you so far. Valentine didn't care about that and will go to LSU. What good does it do you to start right away under a clueless coach and lame scheme?
Jimbo has a good answer to that, I heard him talk about that on the Joe Rose show and it is compelling.
But we will soon see.
Go Heat!

Not our rival

Hush nerd, no one cares about your fake internet rivalry that has nothing to do with football.

Reality Bites

"Hush nerd,"


resort to name calling when you can't compete intellectually

"no one cares"


you respond the same thing every time I post, thank you for your concern and for caring so much

"about your fake internet rivalry"

what rivalry? who's the fake? you?


"that has nothing to do with football."


your posts are the ones that have nothing to do with football or anything else, they are just about me, I'm flattered but you should expand your limited scope


Go Heat!

Not our rival

Hush nerd. No one cares.

EnVouge

Free your mind
And the rest will follow
Why oh why must you be so shallow?

jeffrey j. hill

Firing Ireland was an OVERDUE first step. I can't believe they're going to the Senior Bowl without a GM in place. Maybe they should give Philbin both jobs? Then it is ALL on him. And if the Dolphins under-perform next year (I've heard & read that the draft this year is RICH with O-lineman); maybe it'll time to blow-out anyone that had contact or knew Bill Parcell.

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