Now that Bryant McKinnie is a Miami Dolphin, what is the best application for McKinnie? A massive tackle who was dominant on the blind side during the Ravens postseason run a year ago, he struggled during the regular season last year and early this season. McKinnie has struggled during his tenure with Baltimore, both with weight issues and with concerns off the field. All of this has been well documented, and quite frankly it could mean good things for the Dolphins.
When he is motivated, McKinnie is a player who can be dominant. When he isn’t motivated, he is a liability nearly on par with Clabo’s play in the early part of this season. The good news for Dolphin fans is there should be plenty of motivation for McKinnie at this point. Being replaced by a rookie and discarded for a late round pick should serve as motivation for the man. This following being benched in favor of a young player that the team traded for. Media and fans across the NFL landscape have questioned if he still has it in him to be “good” let alone dominant.
Jonathan Martin has actually been pretty decent on the left hand side of the line, and should remain there for the time being. Tyson Clabo has not been working out on the right side, and that would be a natural fit for McKinnie given the issues he’s displayed thus far this season. Until he shows he still has it and can play with motivation, I don’t trust him to man the blind side. This should also serve as motivation for him as a player. In his play this season, he is only one spot ahead of Clabo in the rankings for tackles across the league.
Make no mistake, this may be one of the last chances for McKinnie. If he doesn’t pan out in Miami, it will make it difficult for him to move on in his career. Dolphins fans should show their support of him, but he needs to step up into the role and seize the opportunity. He is a very critical piece to Miami’s chances at the playoffs going forward, and we need him to succeed for this team. Here’s hoping he does.