HENDERSON, Nev. — A few days into the second month of the year, Miami Dolphins defensive end Bradley Chubb is feeling better physically than he has at this point on the calendar in quite some time.
A litany of injuries has plagued the two-time Pro Bowler’s five seasons, but despite breaking his hand this past campaign Chubb has deemed himself ready to rock heading into what he forecasts as a pivotal offseason.
“In the month of February, I’m probably as good as I’ve been in three, four, five years,” Chubb told NFL.com on Friday at a community event to refurbish the Donald W. Reynolds Boys & Girls Club. “I broke my hand during the season, but you can see I have the cast off now, I’m moving it around. It’s all good, man. It’s just a matter of just getting back to it, locking the schedule in, and then getting everything back moving forward.”
Picking up youngsters while helping to build a garden as part of renovation efforts at the Boys & Girls Club on Friday might not be the equivalent of pulling down a quarterback, but Chubb’s improvement was apparent.
Having damaged his hand in a Christmas loss to the Green Bay Packers during Week 16, Chubb was inactive for Week 17. It was the former Denver Bronco’s only missed game of the season, which is a far cry from the 12 he missed in 2019 or the 10 in 2021.
The 2018 NFL Draft’s fifth-overall selection, Chubb, 26, was traded the Dolphins mid-season and hauled in a five-year, $110 million deal. After joining the Fins, Chubb was part of five-game losing streak from Dec. 4 through New Year’s Day. Still, Miami was able to earn a playoff bid, which marked Chubb’s first postseason trip. It made for one heckuva mercurial campaign that began in Denver and ended with a Super Wild Card Weekend loss in Buffalo.
“It was a little bit of everything,” Chubb said of the season. “Some highs, some lows. For sure one of the highs was coming to a great organization and being valued as a premier player in the organization and in the league. So, that was one of the highs. Another high was going to the playoffs for the first time in my career. A lot of things I haven’t done and that was one of them.
“And then you had the lows of of course losing the playoff game, nobody wants to do that. Just having that losing streak throughout the year and I feel like it was just a lot of highs and lows.”
In total with the Broncos and Dolphins, Chubb produced eight sacks, 39 tackles, 20 QB hits, 44 QB pressures and three forced fumbles. Though he garnered a Pro Bowl selection, Chubb’s characterization of his season is of the pedestrian variety.
“I felt like I played decent,” Chubb said. “I feel like I had a lot of good rushes that didn’t really amount to sacks. And those sacks could’ve been game-changing plays for the losing streak that we had, the playoff game that we had.”
More change is afoot for Chubb with the Dolphins having moved on from defensive coordinator Josh Boyer. However, they’re set to welcome Chubb’s former head coach in Denver, Vic Fangio, as the new DC.
Though hesitant to make excuses about being thrust from the Broncos defense to the new-look Dolphins D, Chubb is confident that a full offseason with Miami and a clean bill of health will have him poised to improve on his “decent” 2022.
“It’s hard for anybody to come in and learn a new defense and do all that, so I wouldn’t give myself that excuse, but with a whole offseason, with a whole OTAs and camp and all that with the guys I’ve got around me, I’m excited to see where this thing really goes,” he said. “Like I said, it was cool, but it was nowhere near where I want to be.”
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