DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores had his customary pre-practice press conference with the media on Tuesday, ahead of the team’s first minicamp workout of 2019.
He surely had an idea of what the first question would be about, and flashed a big smile when asked.
“Reshad is here, yes.”
Miami’s Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones returned to the team for this week’s mandatory minicamp after skipping the Dolphins three weeks of voluntary OTA (Organized Team Activity) workouts last month.
“I don’t really have to prove anything to anybody. I’ve been one of the best safeties in this league for a long time. I put the work in year in and year out,” Jones said after practice.
As for why he was absent from OTAs, he simply said, “I wanted to take time to get physically in-shape and ready to play a 16-game stretch or longer.”
Jones had shoulder surgery in February and wants to be at peak performance once the season arrives.
That’s been his goal throughout the offseason.
“I’m not 100 percent, but I’m close,” Jones said, pointing out that this process is nothing new for him. “I mean coming off of surgery, I had been through it. I’ve had two of my labrums [repaired]. Two, three years ago, I went through the same surgery. I feel pretty good now. It’s the same thing for me, pretty much.”
Jones also addressed the rumors that missing the voluntary workouts was an indication that he may be on the trade block.
“I’ve seen it and I’ve heard of it but I control what I control,” he said. “I’m in great shape. I’m still one of the best safeties in this league and whatever happens, happens.”
As for any desire to leave the Dolphins, he was quick to squash that idea.
“I’m here. I love this city, I love the fans. I’d love to be a part of the Dolphins organization,” he said.
Since arriving in Miami, Jones has been a leader on defense. It’s a role he has relished and surely would expect to maintain.
When asked where he sees Jones’ place on the team, Flores gave what he called a “longwinded” answer.
“That could go a few different ways,” explained Flores. “This is a guy who has a lot of experience, someone who can play a few different roles. He can play a lot of roles for us, quite honestly. But that’s up to him, like it is for every other player. For each player, and I tell them all this, what your role on this team will be is up to you. That’s the case for Reshad. That’s the case for really every other player on this team. It’s about how you practice, about how you prepare, about how you perform in practice and in games when we get to that.”
COACH FLORES’ MINICAMP GOALS
Flores said multiple times during OTAs that the main focus was on installation and comprehension of the team’s new offensive and defensive systems.
The hope is that the work put in during that time can be put to use this week.
Entering the pre-Training Camp void on a high note is what Flores is ultimately striving for.
“I want to finish strong,” said Flores. “That’s definitely at the top of my list. I think we’ve made a lot of improvements since we got started on April 1st. I think this group is working hard.”
Flores wants his players to be able to play without thinking, to instinctively know where they should be on the field and where everyone else should be as well.
Yes, it’s a tall order, but Flores has no problem setting the bar nice and high.
It makes sense for a team like the Dolphins, one without any superstars or marquee players.
If Miami is going to succeed, the team will have to play nearly flawless week in and week out, and that kind of consistency begins with the smallest of details.
“You have to be able to fall back on your techniques, your fundamentals, and it has to be something that’s seamless,” said Flores. “It’s something that you don’t think about. When I talk about finishing strong, that’s where I’m at. It’s in those little details of the things that nobody is going to write about or that nobody is going to talk about on ESPN. It’s those little things, that’s where my focus is. I try to steer their focus in that direction too.”