Miami (Sun Sentinel) — The Miami Dolphins’ defense used four sacks and four turnovers to beat a divisional opponent at home, and start the second half of the season with a victory.
But the day after the Dolphins’ 13-6 win over the New York Jets on Sunday surely did not feel like a victory Monday for coach Adam Gase.
“No, I'm slightly irritated,” Gase said Monday. “This is the way it is for me.”
Gase’s angst derived mostly from the biggest issue surrounding the Dolphins’ win: safety Reshad Jones pulled himself from the game because he did not want to be a part of Miami’s secondary rotation.
Gase said he met with Jones after the game and they are “on the same page” following their discussion. If Jones is disciplined, it will be internally. Jones is expected to play for the Dolphins in this Sunday’s road game against the Green Bay Packers.
But the Dolphins defense, led by defensive coordinator Matt Burke, believes it’s in the team’s best interest is to continue rotating players to get prized rookie defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick on the field more.
“There are other factors involved so I’m going to get that addressed, and cleaned up,” Gase said.
The Dolphins took advantage of four interceptions by Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, including a pick-six touchdown from rookie linebacker Jerome Baker, to rebound after giving up 884 yards and 74 points in losses to the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans in the previous two games.
“We’ve got to make adjustments,” Gase said. “We’re not going to sit there and do the same thing we did the last two weeks you guys been b------- about, right?
“We’re going to move some things around. We allowed 1,000 yards in two games. We’re not going to stay the same. We’re going to move around. We’re going to have different guys playing in spots. That’s what it’s going to be.”
Despite the Dolphins’ performance, Gase does not expect the same recipe, which included two sacks each from defensive linemen Cameron Wake and Akeem Spence, to produce a similar output — at least statistically — against the Packers.
“We’re playing a different guy this week,” Gase said. “If we do a lot of things we did this last game, the results will be different. I know we’re results oriented, but [Packers quarterback] Aaron Rodgers is a little different than Sam Darnold.”
Jones — in the second-year of a five-year, $60 million deal — was not in the locker room after Sunday’s game, which he pulled himself from following the third defensive series.
The Dolphins started Fitzpatrick as a boundary corner, ahead of Bobby McCain, who filled Fitzpatrick’s role as the nickel cornerback.
When the Dolphins rotated Fitzpatrick in at safety alongside starter T.J. McDonald, Jones steamed on the sideline and did not play for the remainder of the game.
“He played three or four different spots,” Gase said of Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins’ No. 11 pick in the 2018 draft. “We’re moving him around, and keep shifting and moving guys around.”
The Dolphins eventually played shorthanded when McCain left in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. Special-teams player Walt Aikens finished the game, and sealed the victory with an interception in the final minute.
McCain is not in concussion protocol, and expected to practice this week.
The Dolphins relied on cornerbacks Cornell Armstrong and Torry McTyer on the boundary, with Cordrea Tankersley out for the season after suffering a torn ACL during practice last week.
While on the sidelines, Jones was consulted by Wake in an extended conversation. Wake did not care to share the details of their discussion after the game.
Gase also wants to keep his conversation with Jones private, and does not expect the issue to continue moving forward.
He also expects Burke’s defense to continue to produce in the second half of the season.
“I think everybody needs to be slow to judgement — they don’t know the facts of everything. It’s a lot of things that happen in the locker room and as far as decision-making goes,” Gase said.
“But I know this is the day and age of everybody just going all in on something on Twitter and Instagram and all that crap. We’ll handle it internally, and make sure the people that need to know, know.”