Barry Jackson

Jordan Phillips: Most players’ careers take off after leaving Miami. Here’s what the facts show

Miami Dolphins DT Jordan Phillips intends to be best player he can be

Miami Dolphins Defensive Tackle Jordan Phillips speaks to the media after practice at the Dolphins training facility on Thursday, May 24, 2018.
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Miami Dolphins Defensive Tackle Jordan Phillips speaks to the media after practice at the Dolphins training facility on Thursday, May 24, 2018.

Bills defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, cut by the Dolphins on Oct. 2 after a sideline argument with his defensive line coach, told Buffalo media this week in advance of Sunday’s game in Miami that “things have definitely turned around since I’ve been here. Fans love me. My teammates love me. … Whoever has something coming to them is going to get it on Sunday.”

Asked about the need to maintain professionalism, Phillips said, “I don’t care anything about professionalism, to be completely honest with you, going into this game. Everything’s going to be handled in between the sidelines. Once we’re inside those white lines, anything goes…. There are going to be more Bills fans than Miami fans there.”

He also said this, too: “Most people that leave Miami, that’s really when their career gets started.”

But it that really true?

There was a time when some Dolphins players who left played better elsewhere. That hasn’t been the case, for the most part, in recent years. Some examples over the past five years:

In four seasons in Miami, Jarvis Landry averaged 100 catches per season, 109 receiving yards per game and 5.5 touchdowns per season.

In Cleveland, he’s on a pace for lesser numbers in all three categories. As is stands, he would finish with 87 catches, 916 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions.

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh averaged 60 tackles and 5.2 sacks in each of his three seasons in Miami. With the Rams, he has 34 tackles and 3.5 sacks — a pace for 49 tackles and nearly five sacks.

Pro Football Focus rates him 27th among defensive tackles this season, well below his routine top-10 rankings in Miami.

Mike Pouncey has stayed healthy — which wasn’t always the case with Miami — in his first year with the Chargers and is rated 14th among centers by PFF. Last year, PFF rated Pouncey 27th among centers, so he appears to be playing better in Los Angeles than he did in his final year in Miami.

Lamar Miller averaged 4.6 yards per carry and 48 yards rushing per game and 19 rushing touchdowns in four years with the Dolphins. He’s averaging less per carry (4.1 yards) but more per game (68.4) and 11 rushing touchdowns in three years in Houston.

Jay Ajayi averaged 4.3 per carry and 62.1 yards per game rushing in parts of three seasons with Miami, compared with 5.1 per carry and 53.8 yards rushing per game in 11 games with Philadelphia since he was traded there 14 months ago. He’s out for the season with a knee injury.

Defensive end Olivier Vernon had 188 tackles and 29 sacks in four years in Miami and 111 tackles and 16 sacks in three years since joining the Giants as a free agent. He was better as a Dolphin.

Defensive end Dion Jordan, a draft bust whose Miami tenure was doomed by NFL substance policy violations, had 3 sacks in two years with Miami and 4.5 in two years with Seattle, but only 0.5 in eight games this year.

John Jerry was a pedestrian-to-below-average four-year starter with the Dolphins and a pedestrian four-year starter with the Giants. He’s out of the league.

Nolan Carroll had five interceptions in four years with the Dolphins and three interceptions in three years in Philadelphia. He was an average starter with both teams and is now out of the league.

Paul Soliai had 4.5 sacks and did good work against the run in seven years in Miami, then had one sack and did generally good work against the run in three years for Atlanta and Carolina but was set back by injury late in his career. In April, Soliai signed a one-day contract for the purpose of retiring as a Dolphin.

Bills tight end Charles Clay caught 161 passes for 1,809 yards and 14 touchdowns in four years with Miami and has comparable numbers — 176 for 1,807 yards and nine touchdowns — in four years with Buffalo.

Rishard Matthews caught 107 passes for 1,396 yards in Miami, then left for an expanded role in Tennessee where he had 121 catches for 1,751 yards in three years before asking for his release in September because of lack of playing time and targets. He’s now with the Jets.

Derrick Shelby had 105 tackles and nine sacks in four years with Miami but has had injuries in Atlanta and has 48 tackles and one sack in three years with the Falcons.

Tight end Dion Sims, a skilled blocker, had 74 catches for 699 yards and eight touchdowns in four years in Miami but just 17 catches for 189 yards and one touchdown in two years in Chicago.

Jamar Taylor got more playing time and improved somewhat after leaving. He had no interceptions in three years with Miami, three in three years with Cleveland and Arizona.

Damien Williams — who had 181 yards rushing and 155 yards receiving for Miami last year — has barely played offense in Kansas City; he has three carries for one yard and three catches for 18 yards.


Center Travis Swanson, who missed Wednesday practice with an ankle injury, participated in individual drills but was limited in practice. Receiver Danny Amendola (knee) again missed practice.

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