Get ready, Jordan Phillips.
Your moment has arrived.
With Earl Mitchell gone and the Dolphins taking a thrifty approach to free agency, Phillips is in line to play far more in 2017 than he has in his first two NFL seasons.
“We need some consistency out of Jordan, which I think we’re going to get this year,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said at the NFL Scouting Combine Thursday.
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When asked if he’d be comfortable with Phillips playing 45-50 snaps a game, Gase responded:
“That’s where he needs to get. He knows it. We talked about it before the end of last season that we need to get his reps up. Twenty five plays a game is not really going to do anything for us. We need his snaps to get up, we have shorten snaps on defense altogether and that starts with the offense holding onto the ball and the defense getting off the field on third down. If we can do that it’s going to be better for us as a whole team. So if we can get Jordan to that 45, 50 snaps per game, that’s what we’re looking for.”
Phillips was on the field for 54 percent of Miami’s defensive snaps in 2016.
All of this means the Dolphins are probably not in the running for Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams or Chiefs star Dontari Poe. Both will likely cost more than Miami is willing to allocate for a defensive tackle.
“Obviously we don’t want to be big spenders,” Gase added. “We’re moving away from that thing.”
Phillips was a second-round pick in 2015, but has never been consistent enough to regularly stay on the field. He has just 2.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss in his career.
“I think my discussions with Jordan have been absolutely about we just need you to be able to play more snaps because we do feel like we can do a lot of good things,” Gase added. “We feel like he does do things well, it’s at a very high level. When he screws up, everybody knows, which is hard to do as a defensive tackle. He knows we’re looking for more from him. I think he’s taking the right steps to how he kind of can get there. I think [Ndamukong] Suh is trying to help him out to help him develop skill set and become more of an effective piece for us for the whole season.”