Maybe Reshad Jones was turning to teammate Byron Maxwell to encourage him after a failure. No, that’s not it.
Maybe the Dolphins safety was merely wondering what was going on behind him and so he asked Maxwell for some information even while Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith was crossing the goal line. Nope, that doesn’t sound right.
There are a lot of ways to interpret that moment Thursday night when a surprised and obviously upset Jones made it clear to everyone in the stadium and on national television that something was terribly wrong within the Dolphins secondary. And we don’t know what Jones said.
But we know what his body language said.
And it was bad. And it was wrong.
It was, bluntly, a bad look for the Dolphins that must be addressed and cannot be repeated.
If you missed it, Maxwell, who gave up three important completions in about one quarter of play, had coverage on Smith. It looked like two-deep coverage so when Smith went to the post both Maxwell and Jones should have gone with him.
“I had him covered,” Maxwell said afterward. “I should’ve just stayed on the post but your eyes play tricks on you. You think you see a little, you see a lot and sometimes it just doesn’t work out.”
It certainly didn’t work out for Jones because Maxwell dropped off to cover, well, nobody. And Jones suddenly saw himself alone having to cover up Maxwell’s error. He couldn’t. And he obviously didn’t appreciate the assignment.
So not only did Smith run by Jones as well, Jones got so frustrated by the moment he stopped running before Smith crossed the goal line -- just so he could turn back to Maxwell to seemingly scold him.
And you might say, “Well, Maxwell deserved it.”
He probably did deserve some of it. But he deserved to hear it from coaches or teammates either on the sideline or in some way that didn’t expose the issue to every ... freakin’ ... body watching the game.
Jones turned it into a public moment. It was as if he signaled to everyone, ‘This wasn’t my mistake and I’m angry at the guy whose mistake it is.”
Not a good look.
Now I’ll tell you why it’s not a good look: Suppose Maxwell, after Jones missed tackles on Zach Ertz and later LaGarrette Blount, started making an obvious spectacle that his teammate had blown tackles?
Would that be cool?
Suppose some random linebacker started demonstrably ripping Cameron Wake for missing that easy sack on Carson Wentz? Or maybe Wake rips the linebackers when they can’t get off blocks? Suppose the corners start showing up the safeties when they don’t bracket tight enough in coverage?
What if Maxwell had started woofing at Jones for also failing to cover Smith on that touchdown?
You’d have a snarky little defense sniping at one another.
And I don’t remember snarky little defenses that snipe at one another every winning anything significant.
That outburst in which Jones made it clear that touchdown was not his fault, but rather pointed at his teammate, has to be shelved. It is on coaches to speak to Jones to tell him to never do that again.
(Yes, it’s on coaches to make sure Maxwell doesn’t keep blowing coverages. But it is also on them to make sure he doesn’t get undone by his own teammates after being undressed by the opposition).
Teammates will and should celebrate each other publicly. It’s part of football.
But to dishonor each other publicly?
Not a good look.
Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero