There’s been very little questioning of Jordan Phillips’ talent, but his actual performance has been up and down since the Dolphins drafted him in the second round in 2015. They expected more from a player selected No. 52 overall, but it’s been difficult to predict what he’ll give them throughout his career.
Phillips has been open about some of his struggles at times, vowing to change, and it appears as though he’s going into this season ready to back that up. He’s in shape as the Dolphins begin training camp and he’s got his biggest opportunity yet now that Ndamukong Suh is gone.
“So far, through two days, he’s done a good job,” coach Adam Gase said. “When you’re a bigger guy like he is, the way that we’re running the football, it’s one thing to do it in the spring, but now that the temperature is slightly up, when you’re a big guy like that and you’re running as much as he is, it’s fatiguing but he’s doing a good job of embracing it because it’s gonna help him get in really good shape.
He’s listed at 6-foot-6, 341 pounds, but those weights aren’t updated regularly and he looked slimmer than usual when he arrived for training camp this week.
The Dolphins felt good about where Phillips was near the end of the preseason last year, battling back up the depth chart after falling behind fifth-round pick Davon Godchaux.
Health was an issue, however, and Phillips missed three games after getting hurt in the season opener. He ended up starting 11 games and posted 16 tackles, including two sacks. Pro Football Focus rated him the No. 71 defensive tackle in the league.
Phillips did not reach a deal for an extension this offseason and will likely hit unrestricted free agency in the spring. He’ll play for about $1.4 million this season in the final year of his rookie contract.
He appears to be healthy again going into this season, which is spurring optimism within the Dolphins. They’ve been working Phillips and newcomer Akeem Spence as the starting defensive tackles the last two days, with Godchaux pushing for a spot as well.
“Athletically, he does some things that you just don’t see many people be able to do,” Gase said. “For a guy that size, the way he moves — his athleticism is really off the charts.”
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