Head coach Brian Flores shared his thoughts this week on the new Jones in town, Byron Jones, suiting up in the Miami Dolphins‘ secondary in 2020. And what he had to say should have fans excited about the All-Pro cornerback.
“I think he can tackle, he’s got good cover skills, he’s got length, he’s got some leadership qualities,” Flores said. “He’s a talented player and we’re happy to have him.”
Flores covered so much in that quick sound bite. The second-year coach said he “thinks” Jones can tackle. The reason for the “think” rather than a more definitive take probably resides in the fact that Jones did not have to tackle players too often in 2019. He was so good that opposing offenses generally avoided his side of the field.
Comparatively, Jones only registered 44 tackles last season compared to former Tennessee Titans safety Logan Ryan’s 113. What Flores does know is that when Jones has his opportunity he follows through.
In 2019, Jones only missed one tackle. Last season, Defensive Player of the Year, Stephon Gilmore, recorded six missed tackles in that same span. Gilmore garnered the same respect, if not more than Jones. But statistically speaking, Jones is a superior tackler than Gilmore.
A more important trait mentioned by Flores was Jones’ leadership qualities. Miami, a fairly young team with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, 37, being the only player over 30 and the next closest being 29. The youth movement looks to continue as the Dolphins look for leaders to step up. It looks like the new Jones, 27, might fit the bill, further filling the void of Reshad Jones, 32.
“I’m very pleased with that addition,” Flores added in reference to the free-agency acquisition of Jones. If the new star cornerback can continue to play at a high level in a Dolphins uniform, I’m sure the Fins fanbase will be pleased too.