Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Second year defensive end Dion Jordan was suspended for the first six games of the season and since then, he's been getting his feet wet and shaking off the rust off. Three weeks after his return, Joe Philbin said he's almost back to where he needs to be.
“I think he’s coming along. From a football conditioning perspective, I think he’s kind of built his stamina up a little bit. He’s showing that he’s able to sustain a high level of effort throughout the course of the game. He’s made a good contribution, both in special teams and on the defensive side of the ball.”
One thing we've noticed this year is that Jordan has been playing more in coverage. For example, he was seen covering Calvin Johnson in the end zone towards the end of the Dolphins vs. Lions game a few weeks ago. Philbin said that it's game specific and changes on a week to week basis.
“I think it’s a little bit specific to the game plan, who we are playing and how we can utilize him best. He certainly has a nice skillset, but one of the thoughts in rushing the passer was, as we said, to devote some practice time to developing some of the specific skills, moves, countermoves to have a good toolbox, as we like to say, at defensive end. The ability to put him in the game and have his jersey number in the game, sometimes rushing and sometimes dropping, is an advantage I think defensively. We will certainly utilize that as we see fit as we move forward.”
There has been much debate and discussion about where to play Jordan on the field - whether at defensive end or linebacker - but for now, the Dolphins seem content on using him as a hybrid defensive player and will likely do so throughout the remainder of the season.