The Miami Dolphins Need Jared Odrick
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins are not going to sign Ndamukong Suh this off-season. He is far too pricey and frankly he doesn’t fit the Joe Philbin character image. Now Jared Odrick might not exactly be the best example of what you might think Joe Philbin’s character image would be but Jared Odrick is a good football player and is starting to become a leader.
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The Dolphins defense lacks leadership and you won’t find it filtering down from the coaching staff. As much has Cameron Wake is a bruising edge rusher, he is the kind of leader who leads by example. He is the guy that younger guys look up to in order to see what Wake is doing. Wake leads by allowing others to join him for off-season workouts and film study. He is not the guy who is going to get in your face on game day or at practice. Cam Wake is far quieter than that.
Brent Grimes is a lot like Wake. He quietly leads by example but you don’t see him leading the team out of the tunnel or onto the field with a Drew Brees like pre-game speech. He does his job and expects others to the same. Ask him a question and he will show you the answer. Do it wrong and he might tie your shoes for you but he isn’t going to get all inspirational on you. He isn’t in your face.
There are no other leaders on this defense that can lift a team when it needs it the most. Not Reshad Jones or Randy Starks. Not Olivier Vernon or Dannell Ellerbe. In fact no other member of the defense shows the flash of in your face leadership or the traits that they will develop into that type of leader, except Jared Odrick.
We saw Odrick get on head coach Joe Philbin on the sideline and we have seen him standing in front of the defensive line while they sat on the bench. The only thing holding Odrick back is the amount of time he is on the field. The use of the ridiculous every other series rotation is keeping Odrick, in my opinion, from becoming a far better defensive lineman. It’s difficult for players to get into a rhythm, gain momentum, and get a feel for the guy they are playing against when they keep coming out of the game. There are times for substitutions but Odrick will be the first to tell you, “We don’t need no substitutions”. One day I’ll ask him how if that is in fact how he feels.
The point is Miami needs physical and emotional leaders and while they have two maybe three “good” veteran leaders they lack one singular individual that can lift the team up by both his play and his emotions. Odrick isn’t quite there yet but he is the only member of the Dolphins defense, for now, that shows signs of getting there.
The Dolphins will have a tough decision to make on Odrick as he approaches free agency but they may need to realize they need him a lot more than he needs them.