The surest sign the Dolphins’ defense is playing well?
Confidence — and dare we say swagger? — is back.
Take, for instance, this exchange between a reporter and Reshad Jones Thursday:
The topic of conversation was this week’s opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, who rank fourth in yards and eighth in scoring this year.
That offense is a little powerful, isn’t it, Jones was asked.
“Yeah, our defense is too.”
Last season, you could have come up with 100 words to describe Miami’s defense, but “powerful” would not be one of them. The Dolphins allowed the most yards in franchise history (6,122).
But a different year, with a different coordinator (Matt Burke), has produced a far different result.
Through Week 5, the Dolphins allowed the eighth fewest yards (309.5 per game) and the fourth fewest points (16.8) in football.
And they have done so despite facing two likely Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Philip Rivers and Drew Brees) in their first four games.
Jones has been a big part of that, no question. He is playing at a high level again after missing most of 2016 with a shoulder injury, as evidenced by his fumble return for a touchdown Sunday.
Having Jones back healthy surely helps. He missed all but a handful of games in 2016 due to major shoulder surgery.
“I think I contributed to that a little bit,” Jones agreed, “but it was all of us. A team effort on defense. We all just bought in, being where we're supposed to be on defense. We want to be great.”