Dolphins Notebook

Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle will try to get Dion Jordan more plays

 

bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

Rookie first-round draft pick Dion Jordan played only seven of the Dolphins’ 73 snaps on defense against Indianapolis on Sunday, but defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said Monday he is “going to try to get Dion more involved.”

Jordan, who also played on special teams, rushed the quarterback on five of those snaps and dropped into coverage on two.

On a third-and-11 early in the fourth quarter, Jordan squandered a chance for a sack when he tried to push Colts quarterback Andrew Luck to the ground instead of tackling him. Luck got a first down.

“I thought Dion thought he threw it, so he pulled up,” Coyle said, noting Luck faked a throw “as Dion was approaching him.”

The lesson there?

“Finish the play!” Coyle said.

Clay’s rise

Coaches are pleased with the progress of H-back/tight end Charles Clay, whose 163 receiving yards through two weeks ranked 21st in the league — and fourth among players who don’t play wide receiver — entering Monday night’s Steelers-Bengals game.

“He’s playing faster,” coach Joe Philbin said. “His play speed is better. He’s a smart player. He obviously has things to work on.”

The first carry of Clay’s career was a 1-yard touchdown Sunday, and “hopefully we’ll employ him a little more” as a runner, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said.

Clay averaged 5.1 yards on 179 carries at Tulsa. He said his one thought before the rushing attempt Sunday was simply: “Just hold onto the ball.”

Besides being pleased with his work as a receiver, Sherman said: “This last game, we challenged him to be a better blocker. And he really contributed. On the first pass to Mike Wallace, they blitzed us. He made a huge block.”

Sherman praised Clay for that play during Monday’s film session.

“He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now, coming into his own, doing things without hesitation,” Sherman said. “In the past, maybe he wasn’t 100 percent sure of what he was doing.”

Clay played 53 of the Dolphins’ 66 offensive snaps, while Dion Sims’ snaps more than doubled, to 35. That was a function of the Dolphins using more of the package that features Sims, Sherman said, adding not to read anything more into that. Michael Egnew played nine snaps.

This and that

• Philbin said cornerback Nolan Carroll, starting in place of injured Dimitri Patterson, “did a good job.” Patterson said Monday he hopes to play Sunday against Atlanta, but “groins are tricky.”

• Sunday marked the sixth time, and first since 1998, that the Dolphins had no penalties in a game.

• Right tackle Tyson Clabo allowed two sacks Sunday, and Mike Pouncey one, according to Pro Football Focus. Clabo has now allowed three this season.

Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas also each relinquished a sack, according to PFF. Sherman said their pass-blocking has improved but “still has a ways to go.” Incidentally, Thomas played 36 snaps on Sunday, Miller 30.

• The Dolphins closed with 101 yards on 27 carries and Sherman said: “I should have rushed it more than I did. I thought the linemen really came off the ball. We had a very simple package. Maybe the simplicity enhanced their ability to execute the plan.”

• Linebacker Philip Wheeler praised Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, but said unlike Luck, “I don’t think Ryan has that ability” to escape pressure as deftly.

Miami Herald sportswriter Matt Kelley contributed to this report.

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