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Philbin: Everybody's In A Competitive Atmosphere Here

Posted May 7, 2013

Nothing is being promised to anyone – rookie or veteran.



All of the rookies on the Miami Dolphins competed against each other during the three-day rookie orientation, but in two weeks that competition will expand to the full roster.

Head Coach Joe Philbin knows how to pull the right strings in order to get the best out of players, which is why he tries to create situations geared specifically towards that desired end result. He made that clear from the outset six days after the 2013 NFL Draft ended reiterated his philosophy when explaining his expectations for the top draft picks.

“Everybody’s in a competitive atmosphere here,” said Philbin, now in his second year at the helm in Miami. “We’re going to bring 90 guys to training camp at some point in time when the ‘real’ competition begins and everybody has to earn their keep. There are no preconceived notions that you’re going to play X amount of snaps for any player.”

Rookie defensive Dion Jordan out of Oregon was Miami’s first-round pick and the third overall after the Dolphins traded up from the 12th spot with the Oakland Raiders and gave up their first of two second-round picks to get him. He is well aware of the outside expectations that come with being a top three pick.

Standing 6-foot-6 and weighing 248 pounds, Jordan is lanky for a pass rushing end but has a unique set of skills that Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland has been aware of going back to 2011. This was the player on the board that Ireland did not want to let slip away, so Jordan had heard Philbin’s message loud and clear and is taking a humble approach.

“Honestly, my expectations are just come in and just do whatever they ask me to so I can help my team out,” Jordan said. “I feel like, as long as I work hard and, like I said, do what I’m supposed to, I’ll be successful. The main thing for me is taking care of my body and honestly just soaking up as much as I can as far as when it comes to the scheme and all of the little things.”

It’s precisely that type of thinking that Philbin wanted all of his young players to embrace for during rookie orientation and through the upcoming OTAs and mandatory mini-camp#mce_temp_url#. All of the returning players figured that out quickly last season.

The competitions on offense, defense and special teams will only heat up when training camp begins in July, especially as the roster cut-down dates draw closer. So Philbin is hammering home his key principles early on to make sure the rookies understand what’s at stake.

“People earn playing time by how they perform day-in and day-out on the practice field and he’s not unlike any of our other players,” Philbin said. “I told the guys (Thursday) night in the meeting, ‘I don’t really care how you got here. You’re here. You got invited. You didn’t just come into the building unannounced. We know who you are. We know why you’re here. We all feel like we brought you in here to compete for a spot on this football team and everybody has to do that.’”

Jordan is taking the lead in that regard among his fellow rookies, which is a positive sign.