Dion's Debut

DE Dion Jordan

So much for the concern about first-round pick Dion Jordan missing a lot of time at the start of training camp. Even though he was limited to individual drills, Jordan took part in his first practice as a member of the Dolphins on Tuesday morning.

Jordan actually never practiced in the spring after being taken in the 2013 draft, which came about two months after he underwent shoulder surgery. He began training camp on the Active/Non-Football Injury list, one day after he signed a four-year contract.

"I feel real good, first of all just being out there with the guys and being able to run around and hit things and just get back to normal football routine," Jordan said Tuesday. "I knew how far I was as far as my injury. I'm just trying to push myself to make sure I'm ready. I want to be out here, so I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I'm ready."

Jordan didn't do a whole lot on Tuesday, but just having him at practice was a positive sign for the Dolphins.

While Coach Joe Philbin made clear that it's "not about one player or one position," Jordan could be an important player for the Dolphins, an X-factor who could help reach their goal of creating more takeaways.

Tuesday was the first step, the next one will be having Jordan taking part in all the drills.

"I'm just as curious as everybody else," said new linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. "He's got a good frame. I heard a lot about him. Unfortunately, I didn't get to watch him when he was at Oregon. I know he's the No. 3 pick, I know we're going to get a lot from him, so I'm just looking forward to it."

On Tuesday, there was only so much Jordan's teammates could take from his first practice.

"Hmm, he looks good in pads," said defensive lineman Jared Odrick. "He passes the eye test. He's just itching to get back out there and everybody is itching to see him on the field. But it's just a matter of time in terms of him being out and getting out there and feeling good.

"Everybody wants to jump the gun and get out there, including himself and the rest of us, but you've got to be smart about it. When you've got a guy like that who's talented and know that he's able to contribute, you've got to hold back and wait for him to get healthy and go out there and go full speed."

One thing for sure about Jordan in the early stages, he didn't bring a diva attitude to training camp.

On Sunday, he responded to a question about being a "million-dollar baby" by saying he was just a rookie and expected to be treated that way.

That came to pass because Jordan showed up to practice on Tuesday sporting one of those Paul Soliai special hair treatments with three strips of blond hair dyed into his hair on the sides and down the middle.

And at the end of practice, Jordan walked off the field carrying the shoulder pads and helmets of veterans Cameron Wake and Randy Starks.

"Hey man, I'm paying my dues," Jordan said. "It's nothing, though. I'm not the only guy that had to go through it. I'm just doing what they want me to do and get it over with."

While Tuesday was the first step, Jordan said he was hoping to start being a full participant in practice sometime this week.

Coach Joe Philbin took a more cautious approach.

"It's going to be a gradual process," Philbin said. "We'll see how he responds, see how he feels tomorrow and take it from there. We're never going to rush a guy if we don't feel he's ready. We'll take our time."

Tuesday actually marked the first time that Jordan practiced as an NFL player. He underwent shoulder surgery on Feb. 27 and, after attending the Dolphins' rookie minicamp on the first weekend of May, had to stay away from all the Organized Team Activities (OTAs) and minicamp because of an NFL rule involving schools on a quarter system.

Philbin, though, downplayed the notion that Jordan was far behind his teammates in terms of learning the defensive scheme.

"When we come back (for training camp), we start back at square one," Philbin said. "We start with install number one, we go to install number two, today was install number three. He's been there for all of that. He sat in the classroom, he's been out there, he's watched all the practice film, heard the corrections. Obviously, there's going to be a point in time when he needs to get out there and feel it for himself and do it for himself and make a couple of mistakes and then learn from them and move forward as a player."

The Dolphins moved up nine spots in the first round, from 12th to third, to land Jordan in the draft. They gave Oakland a second-round pick in the transaction and made Jordan the highest-drafted defensive player in team history.

A finalist for the Butkus Award at Oregon in 2012, Jordan is expected to provide the Dolphins with a pass-rushing complement for two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake.

Jordan says his draft position doesn't additional pressure on him, nor he did come to training camp with any expectations about his role.

"No matter what it is, if it's just a pass rusher, if Coach puts me out there to start, even if it's special teams, I want to play football," Jordan said. "No matter where it is, you've got to earn everything. I have to earn whatever it is."

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