Reshad Jones on Wednesday was a case study in anger management.
Jones was beyond miffed over being left off the Pro Bowl roster.
So at first, the Dolphins’ star safety lashed out, saying he wouldn’t play if called up as an alternate.
Later, he hedged slightly, saying that at this point, “I’m leaning towards not playing … [because] I shouldn’t have to be an alternate.”
And even later after that, cooler heads prevailed.
Jones wrote on Twitter: “It was always a dream to play w/the best. I was upset, but I thank God for teaching me humility, I WOULD play if they ask me.”
His frustration was understandable. He’s having not just a Pro Bowl season — with five interceptions and 124 tackles — but will get strong consideration for the All-Pro Team.
There’s still a decent chance Jones will get asked to go to Hawaii. Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu, who was picked to the team ahead of him, is out for the season with a knee injury.
Plus, the odds are good that at least one of the other five will end up in the Super Bowl, which would prevent them from playing. If that happens, Jones has a good shot.
That didn’t lessen the sting Wednesday, however.
“It’s obviously a popularity contest,” Jones said. “They just pick the popular guy or whoever went last year or however it goes. We can’t be going off play and production, because my numbers double all of those guys’ numbers.”
Michael Thomas, who shares the defensive backfield and a corner of the locker room with Jones, said his teammate was “very disappointed. We all feel for him.”
Then Thomas argued that the NFL needs to scrap a selection system that excludes Jones.
“I definitely feel like they need to change the rules, but you know, that’s not up to me,” Thomas said.
Said Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell: “Certainly, I was shocked. I thought he would get in. … There’s enough [snubs] to where it doesn’t seem completely accurate.”
Ndamukong Suh had a lot less to say about his exclusion from the game for the first time in four seasons. Suh is tied for sixth in the NFL — and third among all defensive tackles — with 15 tackles for loss, but was not one of the six at his position selected.
Suh is an alternate, Campbell said.
When asked about the omission Wednesday, Suh’s only response was, “next question.”
Jarvis Landry, likewise, didn’t care much to brag — although there’s an excellent change he will make the game as a fill-in wide receiver. Landry is a top alternate.
“It’s definitely important to me,” said Landry, who has caught a team-record 97 passes for 974 yards. “Obviously, guys are deserving of it in this room. It’s a borderline popularity contest. It doesn’t give the guys that — I don’t want to say deserves the credit or deserves the accolades — but the guys that made plays around this league that guys respect that don’t get the proper recognition they deserve.”
▪ The Dolphins’ only guaranteed Pro Bowler is Mike Pouncey, selected for the third consecutive time after what he calls the best season of his five-year career. Yet Pouncey’s availability for Sunday’s game remains very much in doubt. His injured left foot and ankle were in a walking boot Wednesday, and Campbell said he doesn’t expect him to play this week.
The biggest news Pouncey made Wednesday was not about his most recent injury, but the one that cost him the first six games of the 2014 season. Pouncey needed summer surgery for a torn labrum in his hip. At that time, it was reported that Pouncey was injured during 2014 OTAs, but Pouncey said otherwise Wednesday.
“I played the whole season with it the year before , and I decided to get surgery on it in the offseason before the season started,” Pouncey said.
It’s unclear why Pouncey and the Dolphins didn’t elect for surgery immediately after the 2013 season, which likely would have had him healthy for the 2014 opener.
▪ Tackle Ja’Wuan James did the most in practice Wednesday since injuring his toe in late October. However, it doesn’t appear the Dolphins plan on using James on Sunday; Campbell said James worked on the scout team during practice.
▪ Rookie Bobby McCain likely will start at corner again Sunday, Campbell suggested, and Tony Lippett will also play in the nickel package.
▪ Along with Pouncey, tackle Branden Albert (knee) and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (calf) did not practice Wednesday. Five Dolphins were limited in their participation: James, Landry (knee), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (ankle), running back Lamar Miller (quadriceps) and guard Billy Turner (calf).