Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke confident in relationship with Reshad Jones, defense
DAVIE, Fla. (AP) —Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke has spent the week patching up things, and not just because his unit is on pace to allow more yards than any team in franchise history.
Two-time Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones mysteriously took himself out of last week's win over the New York Jets and watched the second half from the sideline. In the aftermath, coach Adam Gase said communication problems between Burke and players needed to be addressed.
"Obviously there was some sort of disconnect," Burke said Thursday. "We've had a lot of conversations — the whole defense and myself, Reshad and myself, Adam and myself. I think we're all on the same page."
Jones declined to say why he became a spectator, but he apparently was unhappy with Burke's plan to rotate safeties against the Jets. Burke said he's confident that if the decision is for Jones to share playing time Sunday at Green Bay, the veteran will accept that.
Gase, who seemed to side with Jones in the aftermath of last week's standoff, agreed the issue has been resolved.
"We did everything we need to get straightened out and moved on," Gase said. "Sometimes you have to go through all of this kind of stuff during a season. Sometimes it gets aired out publicly. That's the hardest thing about the NFL sometimes. You have to bounce back. We got what we needed fixed, and we're moving on to the next game."
Jones has been a starter for Miami since 2011 and a defensive leader. Burke said he doesn't believe Jones' standing within the team has been harmed.
"I know he has had conversations with his teammates on how he's going to move forward," Burke said. "I don't see an issue with that."
Even if the matter is now in the rearview mirror, Burke has plenty of other problems. The Dolphins held the woeful Jets without a touchdown , but before that their defense had been awful for several weeks in a row.
They rank 26th in league overall, 28th in run defense and 22nd in pass defense. They're allowing 394 yards per game, more than the team's record-high average of 383 in 2016, the year before Burke became coordinator.
The Dolphins have allowed 107 points in their past three road games, and now they visit Aaron Rodgers and the Packers , who are ranked sixth in offense.
Rodgers, ever the pro, managed to find nice things to say about Miami's defensive, specifically Jones' secondary.
"They've made a lot of plays on the ball," Rodgers said. "They do a nice disguise package. They play some different coverages behind some of their pressures."
The saving grace for the Dolphins' defense is that they have 15 interceptions, including four last week. They're on pace to the lead the league for the first time in franchise history.
Burke believes that for his defense, the best is yet to come.
"I hope so," he said. "Hope is not a strategy, but you hope the trend from last week is where we're heading more than weeks prior. If we execute and perform the way we performed last week, we'll have a chance to put a decent showing together."