When Reshad Jones entered the National Football League in 2010 as a fifth round pick out of Georgia, not many expected him to become an impact player within a few years. As a fifth round pick, the odds are already stacked against you and it takes determination, drive and perseverance to rise to the top. Slowly working his way into the lineup starting in 2010 and improving each year, Jones is ready to take the next step and become one of the best safeties in the NFL.
That includes working on his craft more than ever this offseason and it hasn't gone unnoticed by the coaching staff, especially head coach Joe Philbin.
“Early in the game the other day, he gets guys on the ground. He’s a good tackler, that showed up on film the other night, that’s number one. He’s a guy that we can bring down into the box and he can be effective, but he’s also got good range, so he doesn’t have to be always the guy that comes down and plays in the box. So I think he’s got versatility, too.”
However, as any NFL head coach would do, Philbin said that there is also room for improvement with Jones and he looks forward to seeing it happen over the course of the 2015 season.
"We still want more playmaking out of our defense. We talked to the team about we’re, our turnover ratio after two games is poor. There’s no other way to say it. Getting takeaways, creating takeaways is something we want to continue to emphasize and get production in it in games.”
Ryan Tannehill, who goes up against Jones in practice on a daily basis, knows just how good he is. Additionally, Tannehill has noticed an overall improvement in Jones, even from last season.
“Reshad’s a good player. I think he’s playing really well right now, he’s playing fast and he’s always been a good player for our team. I think this year I’m seeing him make more plays, even in simple one-on-one drills with the receivers where he’s covering like a corner and playing safety as fast as I’ve ever seen him play. I’m really excited the way he’s playing right now and how he’s going to help our run defense. He’s the whole package.”
With Louis Delmas out for the year and now Walt Aikens likely to start next to Jones, it will be more important now that Jones steps up and takes his game to the next level. If he continues doing what he has been so far this off-season and pre-season, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @FinsInsider
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