What would the Miami Dolphins lose if Reshad Jones has a torn rotator cuff or some other injury serious enough to cost him the season, a possibility reported by the NFL Network on Monday afternoon?
Measure it this way. The time is coming when the veteran safety will seem more deserving of a spot than Brent Grimes on the Miami Dolphins’ 50 greatest players of all time list.
That list came out last December in conjunction with the franchise’s golden anniversary celebration. Grimes, a feisty cornerback with great instincts, was nearing the end of his time with the Dolphins. He was 32 and not staying up as well with the NFL’s tallest and fastest receivers like he once did. Still, 13 interceptions in just three years with the team is a very i
mpressive total and it earned him a spot.
After Sunday’s 30-15 win over the Steelers, however, I noticed that Reshad is up to 16 picks in his Dolphins career. He’s had more years, six-plus, to reach that total, but only seven players are ahead of him on the franchise interception list.
Jake Scott (35), Dick Anderson (34), Sam Madison (31), Glenn Blackwood (29), Patrick Surtain (29), Louis Oliver (24) and Brock Marion (20).
Not bad for a fifth-round draft pick like Jones, who needed a little while to establish himself with the Dolphins. He started only two games in his NFL first season (2010), 12 in his second season and has been a fixture since. The only interruption was a four-game suspension in 2014 for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Reshad denied that he intentionally took a substance not approved by the league, but took full responsibility for using something a former college trainer gave him without being sure.
Nobody on the Miami defense is more productive on a consistent basis. Matter of fact, I figure Reshad is the best fifth-round pick the Dolphins have made in the last 20 years.
If you go back to 1996 you find Zach Thomas, and in earlier eras guys like Jim Kiick and Don Strock came to Miami in the fifth round, too, but Reshad really stands out for the Dolphins fans of today, and in so many ways.
Reshad’s interception of Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday was no surprise. It came in the second quarter, with the Steelers leading 8-6. Reshad’s pick led to a field goal and Miami never trailed again.
Here’s another note from Miami’s all-time records. Zach is the only Dolphin with more touchdown interceptions for returns (4) than Reshad. Jones is tied at 3 with Dick Anderson, Terrell Buckley and Jason Taylor.
Because Reshad is so reliable in covering his area of the field and a little bit more, we all had to check the videotape twice to make sure he was the Dolphin who missed so badly on Darrius Heyward-Bey’s 60-yard touchdown. The Pittsburgh receiver went flying on an end-around, eluded Jones around the 50-yard line and made two or three more Miami defenders look bad as he pulled away from the pack.
“It’s just part of the game,” Reshad said. “I’m not going to make every tackle. I try to. I pride myself on tackling but I went with my shoulder and missed it. You have to put that behind you. As a DB, there’ soing to be some good plays and some bad plays. I had to put that play behind me and just keep on fighting.”
The few bad plays stand out because there are so many good ones. That’s why Reshad was one of the Dolphins’ team captains at Sunday’s game, and why he really comes off like more of a general for Vance Joseph’s defensive unit.
None of this is meant as a knock on Grimes, who was a solid performer for Miami and a leader in the locker room. He’s starting for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season, which means he’s still got it.
It’s that Reshad may wind up meaning more to the Dolphins over time due to the longevity of his service, and the opportunity he has to add to all those great numbers, providing his health allows it.