Reshad Jones might have the best statistics of any safety in the NFL, but he’s not sure if anyone has noticed.
Jones, speaking to the media on Wednesday for the first time since being snubbed from the Pro Bowl, was stunned that he isn’t going to Honolulu as one of the league’s three best strong safeties.
“It’s obviously a popularity contest,” he said. “They just picked the popular guy or whoever made it last year or however it goes.
“We can’t be going off play and production because my numbers double all those guys numbers.”
Well, not quite.
Jones’ 124 total tackles easily lead NFL safeties — Dallas’ Barry Church is second with 110.
Jones’ five interceptions is tied for third among safeties — Cincinnati’s Reggie Nelson leads with eight.
You can technically make the case that Jones doubles any other safety in picks returned for a touchdown — he’s the NFL’s only safety with two interceptions returned for a score.
No matter, Jones felt he should have make it — especially considering that he’s the first defensive back in more than a decade to have more than 100 tackles, two sacks and four interceptions in a season.
“The numbers that I put up, a DB hasn’t done it in a decade,” he said. “I’m going to continue to work my butt off and do everything that I can and help the Miami Dolphins win.
“I don’t know what else I have to prove or put up.”
Arizona’s Eric Berry, Seattle’s Kam Chancellor and Oakland’s Charles Woodson were the strong safeties chosen ahead of Jones.
Jones is a Pro Bowl alternate and could still make the trip to Honolulu if another safety sits out.
He initially said he won’t play as an alternate.
“It would be a cool compliment but I won’t play in the game,” he said. “I shouldn’t have to be an alternate. I don’t want to play in the game as an alternate player.”
But Jones later changed his stance on Twitter:
It was always a dream to play w/ the best, I was upset, but I thank God for teaching me humility, I WOULD play if they ask me
Dolphins interim coach Dan Campbell was equally surprised that Jones didn’t make it.
“I was shocked,” Campbell said. “I thought he would get in. He’s a hell of a player. I thought he put up good numbers. He’s been consistent all year.”
Both Campbell and Jones agreed that Miami’s 5-9 record and overall defense — the Dolphins are third-worst in the NFL — hurt him.
But Jones doesn’t think it should have.
“I thought the Pro Bowl was for individual play, each player,” he said. “Like I said, my play and my numbers speak for itself.”
Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh had a lot less to say about his snub.
Suh, who this offseason signed the largest contract for a defensive player in NFL history, didn’t make the Pro Bowl for just the second time in his career.
Suh was far from dominant this year but still had solid stats.
His 52 total tackles are fourth at his position — St. Louis’ Aaron Donald is first with 64.
Suh’s 4.5 sacks are tied for ninth among defensive tackles — St. Louis’ Aaron Donald leads with 11.
Suh’s 12 stuffs this year are tied for fourth-best in the NFL — one behind Donald, J.J. Watt and Mark Barron, who lead with 13.
When asked if he was disappointed or upset at not making the Pro Bowl, Suh simply said: “Next question.”
“He was another guy that deserved to get in,” Campbell said. “I thought that he was productive all year — very productive. He was a force. And for a defensive tackle he did about all that you can do.”
Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, the team’s lone player to make the Pro Bowl, said he believes he’s having his best season yet in the NFL.
Pouncey is in his fifth season with the Dolphins and made his third consecutive Pro Bowl.
But he said he really cares about making the playoffs, something Miami hasn’t done in seven years.
“With team success comes individual success,” Pouncey said. “Obviously you can see that with the Panthers — those guys have 10 Pro Bowlers because they’re winning games.
“At the end of the day when I look back on my career, I’ll be happy about making Pro Bowls. But it means zero to me right now unless we’re in the playoffs.”
Injury updates: Pouncey, who was in a walking boot on Wednesday, did not practice after suffering a foot and ankle injury in Sunday’s loss to San Diego.
Campbell said he doesn’t foresee Pouncey playing this week against Indianapolis, but said he also didn’t expect Pouncey to return a week after after injuring his foot against Baltimore last month.
“Pouncey, he’ll surprise you,” Campbell said.
Defensive tackle Earl Mitchell (calf) and left tackle Branden Albert (knee) also did not practice. Campbell said Albert is healthy but was resting.
Right tackle Ja’Wuan James (toe), linebacker Jelani Jenkins (ankle), receiver Jarvis Landry (knee), running back Lamar Miller (quadricep) and guard Billy Turner (calf) were limited.