High-octane Kris Kocurek and mercurial Jordan Phillips

DAVIE — 

Miami Dolphins defensive line coach Kris Kocurek cares so much about each and every snap the players in his room play.

“I have a passion for d-line play,” Kocurek said Thursday. “I was a d-lineman. I’ve always put my hand in the ground and I’ve got a passion for coaching those guys and getting the most out of those guys, from a physicality standpoint, from an effort standpoint, from a mentality standpoint. In my mind, there’s nothing more beautiful to see than a d-line all come together and working as one.”

Kocurek has been charged with getting the most out of a high-pedigree group that has underachieved in recent years. Specifically, Kocurek is trying to find a way to maximize Jordan Phillips’ talents.

On each and every snap.

Kocurek may seem like a wild man at practice, eyes buggy and constantly screaming, but there are methods to his madness. He knows how to push buttons. And he knows the importance of developing trust with a player like Phillips, who has been labeled a disappointment.

“Just be consistent,” Kocurek said. “Me show up, be consistent with him. Him show up and be consistent with himself and let’s just stack one day on top of the other. Just stack one block each day and we’ll see what the end result is going to be.”

Miami Dolphins defensive line coach Kris Kocurek is one intense dude.
(Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Phillips was utterly dominant at times on Thursday. At one point, he dropped a running back in the backfield and pounded his chest in celebration.

It’s an old story, but true. If Phillips showed his talents at a higher frequency, he might be a Pro Bowl talent. It’s on Kocurek, in his first-year with Miami, to coax the best from Phillips.

And Phillips knows what’s up. He knows there are reasons he doesn’t have a Dolphins contract extension yet. And is playing out his contract year.

“I just have a lot of doubters, the whole time I’ve been here,” Phillips recently told the Palm Beach Post. “People don’t understand it’s a process. And I’m finally where I need to be. So it’s time to show up.”

In the spring, Phillips complemented Kocurek, who has been seen in the summer egging Phillips on between practice reps.

“Kris is a great guy,” Phillips said before training camp. “He brings a lot of energy. He’s fired up all of the time. He’s a good motivator. He gets into you when you need to get into. He’s definitely going to bring a culture change to our d-line.”

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Phillips appears in excellent shape. A few teammates have said he’s having a productive and effective camp.

Kocurek and Phillips are an interesting duo to watch this season. Can Kocurek help him come closer to his potential?

“(Phillips) is doing well,” Kocurek said. “He’s showing up with a great attitude and practicing hard. Consistency is starting to come. He’s done well. He had a really good day today. He was disruptive in the backfield, especially in some of our short-yardage situations. You really saw him show up. I’m pleased with Jordan.”

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