Dolphins quarterbacks have spent the previous month attempting to study and function a dynamic NFL offense. There’s a number of work to do, performs to put in.
But Jevon Holland retains getting in the way in which.
There’s no extra encouraging story to emerge from Dolphins coaching camp than Holland’s dominance, which might doubtlessly portend his evolution from NFL security to an elite one. He had three interceptions in three practices this week, all towards Tua Tagovailoa.
Allow tight finish Durham Smythe to elucidate the disruptive impact that Holland has had on the Dolphins offense throughout a coaching camp by which he has intercepted not less than 5 passes and damaged up a number of others:
“He’s so instinctual. He’s obviously a great athlete, but the instincts [set] him apart. He makes plays he really shouldn’t be making in terms of what his job is in the defense on certain plays.
“When you have a guy that knows what’s coming that can read things so quickly, he’s a guy that can make a play on the opposite side of the field when he’s not supposed to be there. That’s tough as an offense because when you don’t expect a guy, when [you’re running a play on one side and] he’s playing on the opposite side and he makes a play in the middle of the field, it’s like, ‘What am I supposed to do here?’ Wow, he’s come a long way and this camp has really shown it.”
Holland doesn’t merely need to disrupt opposing offenses. He needs to instill a way of dread within the individuals on the opposing sideline.
“I just want offenses to fear me, really — not necessarily the quarterback, more the coaches,” he stated.
Holland already was borderline elite by the tip of his rookie season. Among 94 qualifying safeties, Pro Football Focus rated Holland fourth in general efficiency final season.
He allowed an 88.6 passer score in his protection space — with simply 12 completions in 22 targets for 208 yards, 4 touchdowns allowed and two interceptions.
What’s extra, he had three sacks (second amongst all NFL safeties), 16 pressures (additionally second behind teammate Brandon Jones) and two compelled fumbles.
Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed famous that “Holland is PFF’s highest-graded rookie safety since Derwin James’ 2018 season. He was dangerous as Miami’s post safety, registering the fourth-highest forced incompletion rate among safeties with at least 250 snaps [at 27.7 percent].”
But none of that was ok for Holland, who spent the offseason learning tape and refining his sport.
Where is he a greater participant than a yr in the past?
“My entire game,” he stated. “I think I’ve improved in every category… because I don’t think I hit my ceiling yet. As a competitor, as a high-level competitor, I hold myself to a high standard. So every day, I’m trying to get one percent better than I was yesterday.”
His urge for food for learning different safeties on movie has gone again years.
“Tyrann Mathieu when he was at LSU, I watched his tape every Friday before my college games, and then right before I went to bed, me and my roommate, Jamal Hill — he’s out of Oregon — we watched Minkah Fitzpatrick’s last year in college [at Alabama] every day.”
Ask him what safeties he has admired through the years and he rattles off a bunch:
Besides Mathieu and Fitzpatrick, he mentions: “Bob Sanders, Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Derwin James, Kevin Byard, Budda Baker.” He stated he’s not but in a bunch textual content with a few of these gamers as a result of “I’m not at that level yet.”
He has sought suggestions from a few of them, in addition to Bengals security Jessie Bates.
“Jessie Bates (III) helped me a lot last year. So those guys are — everybody in the safety community and the football community in general is always cool about spreading love, spreading ideas.”
With Reed, who’s now chief of employees at UM, “I try to take his whole game, everything he does, really. He was a phenomenal player. He played with such energy, such grit and furious intention.”
How a lot has he loved the string of coaching camp interceptions, most of which have come towards Tua Tagovailoa?
“I love it, I love it,” he stated. “Coach [Josh] Boyer, he makes the calls based on the situation. He does a great job aligning us in the right position.”
Holland and the quarterbacks typically discuss after a apply or earlier than the following one, discussing what one in every of them might have performed otherwise.
“I usually ask him about plays that I messed up on or things like that,” Holland stated. “I’m not really looking for him to explain what I did right or what he saw in that specific play. I’m more looking for things that bother me when I go to sleep at night and how I can correct them, because Tua is helping me tremendously, him and Teddy Bridgewater. But because Tua is a left-hander, it challenges me a lot, because I’m seeing things from a different side.
“Tua is a hell of a competitor, and his desire to be great is the same as mine, and that resonates with me. That’s why I’m continuing to ask him questions and I’m trying to compete with home every day in practice. They want to know what they did wrong or how they could get better. So the atmosphere in the locker room between us four [Holland and the team’s three quarterbacks] is awesome, really. I would want to go watch film with them too. So that’s something that I plan on doing in the future.”
Holland doesn’t downplay a private objective: Making a Pro Bowl. Defensive backs coach Steve Gregory stated he doesn’t particularly focus on that or changing into an All-Pro with him.
Gregory stated it didn’t take lengthy to appreciate Holland has particular abilities.
“You watch the guy play — he’s extremely instinctual,” Gregory stated. “When you have a guy that’s that naturally instinctive, he can do things that are outside the box a little bit and you’re like, ‘Don’t take that away from him.’ Sometimes there will be some growing pains with that where he will make a little bit of a wrong decision but that’s all right. It comes with the territory.”
Barry Jackson has written for the Miami Herald since 1986 and has written the Florida Sports Buzz column since 2002.