In 2014 Miami Dolphins safety Reshad Jones only played in 12 games due to a PED suspension. Jones returned from that suspension with a vengeance and turned in what would have been a Pro Bowl worthy season had it not been for the mistake he made earlier that year. Jones looks to continue that momentum from last season and finally show the national media that he is one of the best safeties in the NFL.
Notching three interceptions to go along with seven passes defended in his 12 games last season, Jones is very familiar with getting his hands on the ball. After Sunday’s practice Jones was asked how he feels after he grabs an interception:
“It’s huge. It’s more important for the defense." Jones said. "Redzone defense, a couple of years ago we were like top three in the redzone defense. That’s one of the things we want to pride ourselves on, getting back to that area, being one of the best defenses in the redzone. I think it’s huge for our defense.”
Reshad Jones is absolutely correct about Miami’s recent slide in redzone defense. In 2012 (Jones’ best season,) the Dolphins were number one in the NFL in defending their endzone. In 2013 they were fifth, and last year they were at 16th. Miami needs to revert to their stingy defense, and Jones knows it. He was asked if he and his new peers in the secondary have been communicating well and he had this to say:
“I think we’re coming along pretty good. We added some valuable pieces, veteran guys like Brice McCain, Louis Delmas coming back off his injury well. I think we’re doing pretty good right now. We’ve got the ball rolling in the right direction. We just have to keep it going.”
This secondary has a chance to be great this season, and although sometimes undersized, the cornerbacks are holding their own and competing every day in camp. In years past the Dolphins only had one, maybe two receivers that could truly challenge the cornerbacks in practice, but this season the wide receiver unit is as deep as it has been in a long time, and it is making for some good competition in the passing game, which was seen on Sunday when Brice McCain and Jarvis Landry were trading blows in camp.
"He’s a competitor." Jones said of McCain. "That’s what I love about him. He’s passionate about the game and he comes to work every day.”
Excitement is high in the Dolphins’ practice facility this season, but there have only been four practices so far in training camp, and there is still much to work on. Veterans like Jones know the ins and outs of this defense, but there are many new faces on the team and it takes time to get acclimated to a new system and he acknowledges that.
“We just want to come out each and every day and get better." Jones said. "I think we’ve gotten a lot in right now – if we had to go play a game tomorrow, I think we can go play. Right now, it’s still early. Like I said, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We just want to come out and improve each and every day.”
An improvement on Jones’ season and a full 16 games would all but guarantee the Pro Bowl selection that has evaded him the past several years. If Jones had played every game last season at the pace he was at, he would have had around 105 tackles, four interceptions, two forced fumbles, one sack and nine passes defended, numbers equal to or better than AFC Pro Bowl selections Eric Weddle (114 tackles, one interception,) and Tashaun Gipson (52 tackles, six interceptions.)
This story was written by Efrain Ramos. Follow him on Twitter @EfrainRamos
Latest Dolphins News