Byron Jones Making a Good Early Impression
Byron Jones was the Dolphins' marquee free agent acquisition of the offseason, as they made him the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL (for a while at least), but we've had to wait to get our first look at him in a practice because of the coronavirus-related restrictions in place.
In the meantime, there's only so much Jones can do. He can make sure to stay in top physical condition (though not football shape because that's different) and stay of top of his assignments through careful attention and/or note-taking in Zoom meetings.
Even though the work has taken place outside of public view, that doesn't mean it's not happening and his head coach Brian Flores declared himself happy with Jones' work so far.
"Yeah, we’re pleased with him so far," Flores said during a Zoom media session Monday morning. "I joke around with him a little bit, he wears some nice shoes. I was on him a little bit today. But he’s good. He’s been fun to spend some time with. It’s nice to see guys getting to know each other, guys from different teams, and just trying to pull this whole thing together.
"But, yeah, I’m very pleased with that addition. But, look, we’re still at the very early phase. We don’t have pads on. We haven’t put a helmet on. We’ve got a long way to go. He’s gotta make some improvements. We all have to make improvements. I know he’ll work towards that.”
Jones, who came over from the Dallas Cowboys, ideally will team with fellow 2018 Pro Bowl selection Xavien Howard for what could be one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL. Those two will lead a cornerback group that also features rookie first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene, as well as 2019 11-game starter Nik Needham and a few other young players.
The whole Dolphins cornerback unit was ranked as the fourth-best in ESPN's position-by-position NFL rankings, easily the highest spot for any Miami position group.
And even though this probably should be taken for what it's worth, Jones was the Dolphins' highest-rated player in Madden '21.
Flores explained Monday for the first time what it was he liked about Jones.
“He’s a smart player," Flores said. "He’s a tough player. I think he can tackle. He’s got good cover skills. He’s got length. He’s got some leadership qualities. And he’s a talented player. We’re happy to have him."