DAVIE, Fla. – With a four-game suspension looming in September, it would be easy for Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan to go in the tank. Anything Jordan does this summer won’t matter when the regular season begins. Miami’s 2013 first-round pick cannot play in a regular-season game until Oct. 12 against the Green Bay Packers because of a violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
However, Jordan is showing maturity by not only continuing to practice hard, but also making plays. Jordan has been one of Miami’s biggest defensive playmakers in the first week of training camp. He had arguably the best defensive play of camp so far with his pick-six of Dolphins starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill during a screen attempt.
“He’s been great. Dion has done nothing but come to work every day,” Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said. “He’s a lunch-pail kind of guy as it is. There is no prima donna in Dion Jordan, from the time he came here a year ago he was out here jumping on the scout team before he was even asked to do it.”
Jordan had a nondescript rookie season with just 26 tackles and two sacks. Miami’s coaches didn’t think Jordan had enough strength to be an every-down player, especially against the run. Therefore, Jordan was relegated mostly to obvious passing downs and special teams.
The Dolphins were counting heavily on Jordan to increase those numbers and become a valuable member of the defense this season. But that can’t happen until at least October.
Jordan’s current flashes in training camp are bittersweet. It proves that Jordan is getting better, but it is also a show of what Miami will be missing in September.
Coyle believes Jordan -- eventually -- will develop into an important player on defense.
“He’s anxious to continue to develop,” Coyle said. “He knows he’s got a lot of work. He’s been getting a lot of work here. We’ll continue to try to get a lot of players in the preseason games knowing that we’re going to miss him for a bit, but we envision his role is going to be extensive when he comes back and we know he’s going to be a great player for us.”