Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin addressed the media Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. Philbin touched on several topics, including one of high interest involving the Dolphins' No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan in 2013.
According to Philbin, Jordan's focus will remain at defensive end this offseason. There has been speculation the Dolphins may try to play Jordan at outside linebacker after experimenting with the idea at the end of last season. It appears those ideas have been put on the shelf for now.
"Right now we feel like he's [better] utilized as a defensive end," Philbin said. "We want to get his training there to improve so he can continually develop his pass-rush ability. If we play him at linebacker and move him full-time, the dilemma is when is he going to practice rushing the passer?"
I don't agree with this thinking by Miami. The offseason is the perfect time to experiment and get Jordan reps at outside linebacker, which is a position that's currently wide open on the depth chart. There also are schemes where Jordan still would get to rush the passer as a linebacker.
The Dolphins have tried Jordan at defensive end for two seasons without success. It's difficult to get Jordan any meaningful playing time before making way for Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake and solid starter Olivier Vernon. Also, Jordan has done little with his opportunities at the position, recording just three sacks in two seasons.
Miami traded up nine spots in the first round to snag Jordan two years ago. He was expected to be a dynamic pass-rush threat and a starting defensive end by now. Instead, Jordan is a player who looks lost and confused so far. Jordan also didn't help himself by being suspended six games last year for violating the NFL's substance abuse and performance-enhancing drug policies.
Keeping Jordan at defensive end ensures he will be a limited role player for the third straight season, and that is not acceptable for a player the Dolphins traded up nine spots in the first round to get in 2013.
Miami's coaching staff is big on "position flexibility" with many of their players during Philbin's tenure, which makes this close-minded call with Jordan all that more baffling.