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Philbin expects expanded role for Jordan, discusses entire 2013 class; Moreno mulls options; Fins notes

ORLANDO --- No team received fewer offensive and defensive snaps from its rookie class than the Dolphins last season. But Joe Philbin made clear this morning that he expects the 2013 class to assume more prominent roles this season, starting with Dion Jordan and the rookie cornerbacks.

“We have a lot of hope for that draft class,” Philbin said from the NFL owners meetings in Orlando. “You usually see a significant jump from year one to year two.”

Philbin said he sees Jordan as a defensive end primarily, not a linebacker. That creates challenges in creating playing time behind starters Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon, especially because Philbin said reserve end Derrick Shelby deserves playing time also. (Shelby played 446 snaps last season, Jordan 339).

Nevertheless, Jordan "will make a big jump this year,” Philbin predicted today. “We expect his role to expand. He played [339] snaps. We definitely want to see that increase. The most natural place is on third down. He’s going to have to have more snaps on first and second down. I think he will have a very good season. We know he has a lot of talent. He plays fast. When he did get snaps, they were quality. We see his role increasing somewhat.”

Philbin denied a published report that the coaching staff was dissatisfied with Jordan and his work ethic. “Not sure where that came from,” Philbin said. “He’s definitely a hard worker. He loves the game.”

He said Jordan’s progress was limited somewhat last season because of his offseason shoulder surgery ---the shoulder injury was aggravated during training camp --- and because his Oregon class schedule didn’t permit him to report until June.

“He missed a good number of practices at training camp,” Philbin said. “We don’t have a ton of individual time [during the season]. He missed a lot because of the academic calendar and injuries in the spring."

But he suggested he’s not going to bench the undrafted Shelby to play Jordan a ton more. “Shelby was one of the highest graders we had on the defensive line,” Philbin said. “Derrick Shelby earned every snap. We expect Dion will as well.”

Here’s what Philbin said to say about the other members of the 2013 draft class:

### At the moment, Jamar Taylor and Will Davis are in the top four cornerback rotation and both will have a chance to beat out Cortland Finnegan for a starting job.

“We expect to see progress there,” Philbin said of Taylor and Davis. “Whoever performs best should be the starting cornerback. Those are guys we thought highly of. They had injury issues. Will was having a really good training camp; he was getting his hands on the ball a lot. That's what jumped out at us. Jamar's play speed attracted us to him in the film evaluation a year ago.” Davis played just 65 defensive snaps last season, Taylor 45.

### Philbin said the Dolphins staff needs “to find a home” for Dallas Thomas, who played just two snaps last season. He said he’s not sure whether he’s better at guard or tackle but could play either.

Philbin said Thomas has been one of the “hardest-working guys” in the team’s offseason program but the staff needs “to give him a place to anchor down. It’s a matter of consistency, gaining trust and confidence of himself and the guy next to him.

“One of the things that intrigued us when we watched him is when he played left tackle. We don't anticipate that's where he's going to be. He's going to give us roster flexibility --- either right tackle or one of the guards. He can play at either guard position. Once the dust settles, we'll figure out where the best spot is for Dallas Thomas to reach his potential. That's on us to figure it out. You want a guy to get comfortable and acclimated. A [starting job] is certainly a possibility. There's a lot of opportunity in the offensive line. We're an equal opportunity [employer] there.”

### Philbin said tight end Dion Sims, who played 280 offensive snaps, “has a chance to be a very good blocker in this league. I like what I see in that area. And he has soft hands.” But he said “his play speed has to become more consistent” and that on tape, “there were pictures of him being indecisive” at times. “But there’s a lot to work with.”

### Philbin said he does “not have a great feel yet” for Mike Gillislee as a running back but liked his work on special teams. He played only nine offensive snaps last season. He also likes the special teams work of seventh-round pick Don Jones.

### Linebacker Jelani Jenkins got more work late in the season and could earn playing on third down.

“He's very bright guy and picked up the system well," Philbin said. "He's athletic and has good zone awareness and has the skill set to run with receivers and play man-to-man. We hope he pushes for play time.”

### On Caleb Sturgis, who was a somewhat disappointing 26 for 34 on field goals, Philbin said: “He has all the qualities you look for. You see the leg strength and accuracy; there was a little spell there with a little inconsistency. We have to work through that and we will. I expect him to improve.”

QUICK HITS

### Regarding running back Knowshon Moreno --- who visited the Dolphins on Friday --- Denver coach John Fox said Moreno can return to the Broncos if he wishes, and we hear rumblings another team (besides Miami) also has him on their radar. The Dolphins remain interested but only at a price with which they’re comfortable. They remain in contact with his agent.

Moreno, who liked his visit to Miami, wasn't done considering his options as of late Monday night. One person with knowledge of the situation said it’s a toss-up whether he signs here and it could go either way at this point.

Maurice Jones-Drew remains an option, but the Dolphins haven’t yet been motivated to bring him in for a visit. Philbin declined to discuss Jones-Drew but left the door open on Moreno.

### Philbin said his linebackers need to be more consistent and that Lamar Miller must “break more tackles.”… He said he expects Dannell Ellerbe to improve playing middle linebacker but left open the possibility of moving Ellerbe outside…. He said Branden Albert and Shelley Smith are good scheme fits for the Dolphins’ offensive line and that Miami will remain a zone blocking team… He said the deep ball chemistry between Ryan Tannehill and Mike Wallace must improve, and that will be a focus. But he said there’s no bigger priority on offense for him than pass protection.

### Philbin indicated the Dolphins tendered receiver Armon Binns. But offensive linemen Danny Watkins and Will Yeatman were not tendered, according to their agents.

### Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said the seventh-rounder that the Ravens acquired from the Dolphins for Bryant McKinnie will be in 2015, not 2014 as had been widely reported.

### Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson raved about Erik Spoelstra’s speech to the Seattle team last summer, but Philbin indicated no plans to bring in the Heat coach to address his players. “I have great respect for him, for what he does as a coach,” Philbin said. Philbin added that he and Spoelstra have texted several times but not spoken. 

### Check out Armando's Dolphins blog for more from Philbin, and check back here later for more updates from the NFL meetings in Orlando.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz

Comments

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Seth

Coach Speak 101

Jeff

Dallas Thomas has been with the team for a year & the coaches don't know if he is a guard or tackle. What? First round pick Dion Jordan has been with the team for a year and he is the fourth defensive end. What? Dion Sims is slow and doesn't have a clue. What? Jamar Taylor & Will Davis are in the top four. What? In short, Philbin is clueless!

robert havens

just shows how bad last years draft was.you trade up to 3 overall to pick a guy who only plays roughly 3oo snaps?the 3rd overall player should be on the field unless hes a total bust.guess we see this year.far as running back, why not lagarios blount?heres a battering ram who can break a tackle. I would part ways with miller and Thomas.

rboud

I said it the day of the draft and I'll say it again now. You don't use the 3rd overall draft pick on a part-time player. This will go down as one of the worst Dolphin picks ever if Jordan doesn't have a big year.

Rodger Podacter

So glad Miami won and Indy lost last night.

The game tomorrow night is going to be fun, a chance for Miami to pull even in the loss column.

mayberd

Joe Philbin is not the strong competent leader the Dolphins need but Jeff Ireland left Philbin a pile of s*** with the 2013 draft and that is why I am happy that Mr Ireland is now the ex GM of the Miami Dolphins.

green

a crappier stadium that's still far from campus.

Posted by: Lt. Lois Einhorn | 03/24/2014 at 02:49 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xws0XKHXpXg

This would be the Orange Bowl of the future. Same beautiful view of our downtown. Intimate stadium with great sound. In the heart of Miami. This time right on the water with beautiful aerial shots during games. It would put the jaws of all recruits on the ground.

I wanna pull up on the boat before a game at night, with the skyline reflecting off the water as I tailgate. I wanna BBQ while whores tan on the deck during a hot September afternoon before we host a top 10 matchup with Clemson. I want it ALL. I WANT DAT ****. I WANT DAT **** IN MY LIFE.
-- WhatTheHell

BECKON

green

makes zero sense for UM, UM isn't going to give up 10-30k ticket sales PER GAME

Posted by: Lt. Lois Einhorn | 03/24/2014 at 02:49 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zUUtf7gOe8&feature=kp

when demand exceeds supply ...
prices go up ...

POP GOES THE WORLD

Lt. Lois Einhorn

Man you're a weird guy, why would you post some random person's opinion on what this stadium would be as if that's some kind of evidence towards your point?

There's zero chance UM plays in Beckham's soccer stadium, they're not even pursuing it, it makes no sense for the university.

If they wanted a tiny stadium in Miami, they could just as easily play in Marlins' park.

The university doesn't want that. It makes no sense on any level.

Lt. Lois Einhorn

You have paypal green?

I'd bet you any amount of money UM doesn't play in Beckham's stadium. No one involved with the university thinks it's even a remote possibility - least of all the AD.

D-Rod

Barry,

How can a coaching staff which wants to be considered as a credible one:

A) Draft a tweener, who has freakish athletic ability with the 3rd pick of the draft, find that he can cover the hell out of opposing TEs as he did in college, have a team strength on the D-line, yet a horrid LB corp, but still see him as a D-lineman? He can't be coached up to play LB at 6'6" and 255/260 lbs?

B) Not know what position an O-Lineman (that they drafted, watched film of while he played both positions in college, and have coached for a season plus), is best suited to play?

Even I know, if there is even a question as to whether someone can play tackle, you move him inside as a guard. Almost all pre-draft scouting stated, good tackle not great in college,much better at guard, and should make a very good NFL guard!

C) No feel for a RB?! What does the man do? He doesn't call plays, he doesn't coach a specific position.

Mr. Ross erred greatly by not cleaning house. What is your current opinion of Joe Philbin?

D-Rod

Hey Bad Lt.,

It has already been reported that UM and the Beckham group are discussing how this could be made to work. If that isn't "pursuing" it, then OJ was actually being escorted home.

green

I'd bet you any amount of money

No one involved with the university thinks it's even a remote possibility - least of all the AD.

Posted by: Lt. Lois Einhorn | 03/25/2014 at 02:10 PM

http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/caneswatch/2014/03/25/miami-hurricanes-interested-in-david-beckhams-soccer-stadium-but-eager-for-sun-life-upgrades/

would we have interest and try to make it work? Definitely.
-- Miami AD Blake James 3/25/14

LIKE TAKING CANDY FROM A BABY

sflafan

The 2013 draft will be an all time bust. Dion Jordan is an "athlete", but NOT a "football player". He wont see the field, and if he does, he wont be effective. Bust! Philbin blames the lack of productivity of Jordan and the 2 corners on "injuries". How about we speak the truth. They can't play. Dion Sims, Dallas Thomas, Mike Gillesie and Jelani Jenkins showed nothing last season. There's no talent in that bunch. All busts! In 2 years, there will be ZERO players from the 2013 draft on the roster. And with regard to Lamar Miller, does it come as a shock to Philbin that he can't break a tackle? Did he not watch the film of his years as a Cane? The guy would go down on the first hit from a 175 college level cornerback. He hasn't broken a tackle since Pop Warner. If he had stayed at UM for his senior year, he would have been on the bench most of the time behind freshman Duke Johnson. Lamar Miller is not an NFL caliber running back. Tannehill hitting Wallace on a deep ball? I can't see the ex- WR turned QB getting much better on that. Throwing the deep ball is NOT a learned skill. You either have it, or you don't. This Dolphin team is going nowhere fast with Philbin and Tannehill at the helm, and saddled with wasted draft classes. They're in rebuilding mode again. Oh wait, they've been in rebuilding mode for the past 20 years.

green

so when we start winning, for at least 3-4 big games per year, thats going to cost 40k or so seats, merchandise, and drinks/food...........

Posted by: Dom | 03/24/2014 at 08:54 PM

Miami AD Blake James said UM would “need to have no less than 40,000 seats and ideally not more than 50,000 seats."
-- Matt Porter

CAP & TRADE

Lt. Lois Einhorn

So make the bet, give me a number.

I know he keeps saying they'd be interested in the media but what else is he going to say?

No one at the university thinks there's any chance this happens. They don't even think the stadium is going to be at the port.

wishful thinking

Thank GOD that Jeff Ireland is gone... no more wasting Draft picks! Now that Ireland is gone, I will be attending a Dolphins game for the 1st time since they hired him as GM.

green

http://www.vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2014/03/032414-bov-marchoverview.html

first rendering of VT's indoor football facility

I WANT MY CIGARETTES, NURSE RATCHED!

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IMAWriter

Amazing how many UM fans and grads have become somewhat accustomed to being an anomaly as regards a REAL home field advantage.
Will UM draw 45 k against Wake Forest? probably not, unless UM has an 80-81 record at the time. Even in the old OB days, 45k would come to those games, in a 65k+ seat stadium.
So, a FILLED 40k seat stadium would provide a HUGE home field, by limiting the # of tickets to opposing teams. 7500 max, if the NCAA would allow that.

It is a disgrace to the city that UM, which has brought enormous resources, employment, and when behaving GREAT publicity to the city is treated like a poor step-child. Blame this on the Gator and FSU grads who run the city of Coral gables, and to an extent Miami. That and the fact the Latin leaders, who couldn't give a SHI* about football, UM, football or anything else other than furthering their own agenda.

I've been out of Mi9ami since graduating from UM in 1969, yet I KNOW THIS. Why6 aren't those who CARE. living in Miami doing something substantive to get something DONE?

IMAWriter

Sorry, should have been 8-0, 8-1 record.
Main point is, with an ACC championship or 2 under their belt, UM will make LOTS more money, sell more UM authorized gear, attract more sponsors, alumni gifts, etc.
10k more seats means nothing when measured against ALL the added income derived from the other stuff I mentioned.

IMAWriter

Posted by: THE []_[] IS ON !!! | 03/25/2014 at 04:39 PM

-----
How about, instead of wasting your time and ours typing this crap, you get off your butt and (if you live in Miami) work toward getting some attention for a stadium.

THE []_[] IS ON !!!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

but

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WELL BE BACK SOON !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GOLDEN IS OUR SAVIOR !!!

LET'S PLAY AT TROPICAL STADIUM AS IS !!!

3K IN THE STANDS AND 20K AROUND THE TRACK !!!

WE'LL GO 15-0 !!!

Not our rival

Posted by: THE []_[] IS ON !!! | 03/25/2014 at 05:00 PM

Hush nerd, no one here cares about your fake internet rivalry. In real life UM crushed your team last season and we're not scheduled to play again.

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