MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins were one of the surprise teams of 2016, winning 10 games and making the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.
What was especially impressive about Miami’s resurgent campaign was the obstacles they had to overcome.
It seemed by the end of the season that half of the defensive starters were out with injury, and the holes were apparent when all was said and done.
While any injury hurt the unit, one key player to have lost was safety and defensive captain Reshad Jones, who was forced out of action with a shoulder injury.
Having its leading tackler go down for the season in mid-October was a crushing blow for Miami, but first year head coach Adam Gase and his team persevered.
Jones has been recovering and rehabbing and is ready to start the new season fresh and injury-free.
“I feel great, I’m almost back [to normal],” Jones said Wednesday on the Joe Rose Show. “I’m doing everything with the team right now and I’m excited to get back on the field.”
Prior to that injury, Jones had not missed a game for any reason other than suspension since 2011.
The Dolphins drafted Jones in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft and it didn’t take long for him to evolve into one of the league’s premiere safeties.
A Pro Bowl selection in 2015, last season was Jones’ first taste of success with the Dolphins on a team-level.
Needless to say, it was not easy for Jones to have to sit back and watch as Miami went to the postseason for the first time during his career.
“I hated that I couldn’t be out there to help my boys in the playoffs against Pittsburgh,” he said.
But that’s in the past.
Now that he’s healthy, Jones is looking forward to helping his teammates take the next step in 2017.
“I think we got all pieces and I really like the moves we did this offseason,” Jones said. “We got a lot of great guys in this locker room and we want to do something special.”
One big change for the defense is they have a new coordinator in Matt Burke, who takes over the position from Vance Joseph.
Joseph was hired in January to be the new head coach of the Denver Broncos and Miami promoted Burke, who had been the team’s linebackers coach, the following day.
“We’re running the same scheme, same defense,” Jones explained. “Matt Burke learned from Vance Joseph. So we’re running the same stuff and excited to build off of last season.”
The Dolphins will be on the field for OTA workouts beginning May 23rd, 24th and 25th.
Additional on-field OTAs will take place May 30th-June 1st and June 5th-8th.
Miami will also hold a mandatory minicamp from June 13th to June 15th.
Listen to the full interview with Reshad Jones on the Joe Rose Show: