Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Derrick Shelby has been one who has flown under the radar for the past three years. However, his impact on and off the field hasn’t gone unnoticed by the coaching staff and teammates. Since his time in Miami, Shelby has worked hard to prove himself and has done just that and it starts with not missing a game since 2012. One player who has noticed is Cameron Wake.
“The reality is he’s probably the most versatile of all of the guys in there,” Wake said. “He’s probably the more jack of all trades. He obviously comes in, he subs for me, he can sub for Randy. He’s been stuck in the nose, which obviously is probably something he never thought he’d been doing. He knows every position on the field. He’s kind of that jack of all trades where he can go in at any time, he can do it all. He’s dropping in coverage, he’s running down on kickoffs. I mean, how many guys can take on a double team and run down a kickoff? That’s the kind of guy he is.
“He’s definitely — don’t tell him I said this — a joy to have in that room and on our side. He’s probably the guy who’s come in for me more than anybody and he’s in there making plays, getting to the quarterback. When I think of a guy on this team who really does it all, it’s definitely him.”
Shelby has tried to figure out where he fits in on the extremely talented defensive line but has slowly been finding his own role that he feels comfortable with.
“Adding value to myself, as they say,” Shelby said. “Guys like Cam, who’s been established, and OV with the double-digits sacks last year, it’s kind of hard to get those reps outside, so I’m just trying to get it where I fit in. At Utah, I just tried to shoot gaps, but here I actually feel like I have the strength to do a little bit of both, so I can actually set a game plan when I’m trying to attack a guard that I’m going to go against.”
Shelby will have four games without Dion Jordan to prove that he belongs on the field much more. If he can prove that he can be just as disruptive as the others, he could see a lot more playing time with different rotations throughout each game.