The expectations were high after then Dolphins' GM, Jeff Ireland vaulted eight spots to get the third pick of the draft. As Jeff Ireland hung up with the Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, the Dolphins thought they had their man.
To fans, the selection of Dion Jordan was the missing piece of the puzzle. The guy that would become Tom Brady's nightmare and career-ender. However, little did all fans know, what was going on behind the scenes with the coaching staff in what they truly saw in playing Dion Jordan. Certainly the Dolphins had a PR nightmare on their hands shortly after signing Jordan to his rookie contract and he had yet to be cleared for contact, even though he passed his physical.
Back in March of 2013, shortly after the NFL scouting combine, Jordan had his labrum repaired. This is a similar injury that the likes of Chad Pennington, Mark Sanchez, and other's have had. Except Jordan, a defensive end isn't a quarterback, but a lineman who thrives on tackling opposing ball carriers and quarterbacks. Additionally, the lack of shoulder strength and lack of conditioning impacted Jordan's ability to rush the quarterback and gain the trust of coaches to be a run-stopper on defense. As a consolation prize, Jordan played more plays on special teams given his athletcism.
Which begs the question: was Jordan playing injured during the season, so much so that an impact play like hitting a ball-carrier square in the numbers would put him at risk of re-injury?
It seems that plenty of people on Twitter this afternoon have chimed in on the subject. There is an idea that because of Barry Jackson's (Miami Herald) article, that the Dolphins coaches didn't express much confidence in playing Jordan to the point that he needed to get stronger and add more "muscle mass". Said a Dolphins staffer per the article "He would not project as a 2014 starter." In addition, the idea that Jordan's effectiveness could be improved should he switch to linebacker because of his ability to cover tight ends and is clearly faster than most Dolphins linebackers.
At this point, as a Dolphins fan, one can wonder what exactly Dion Jordan needs to do in order to validate his selection as the third pick of the draft. One wonders that if the Dolphins coaches cannot use Jordan properly in this offense, then perhaps his time in Miami could be limited.
However, with an entire offseason to get his shoulder stronger, work on his technique, and earn his spot on the Dolphins with the coaches, Dion Jordan can become the difference maker.
For an internal Dolphins staffer (source), this statement could be put out there to either motivate Dion Jordan or further infuriate an already smoldering fan base of Dolphins fans.
As for the GM hire of Dennis Hickey, he has his work cut out for him and turning the Dolphins defense around to the coaches liking, might prove easier said than done.