Players the Miami Dolphins have failed: Who, why and what can be done

Mike Gesicki Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gesicki Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports /
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Miami Dolphins
Aug 14, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Austin Jackson (73) sits on the sideline during the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports /


Austin Jackson was the 5th or 6th best tackle coming out of the 2020 NFL draft. His play strength was limited due to his heroic bone marrow donation to his sister, who needed the transplant. His play strength was always an issue, even before the procedure, but the procedure was a massive step back.

After starting all but one game during his rookie season, during his rookie year, his hesitation in pass block sets allowed pass rushers by, and his little upper body punch limited his ability to engage and slow down pass rushers on their way to the quarterback.


When the Miami Dolphins drafted Austin Jackson, they saw a kid with great morals and the ability to sacrifice for the greater good. But those knobble traits do not always translate to success in the National Football League. Protecting your quarterback from elite athletes trying to sack them, you must also possess equal athleticism or elite fundamentals to make up for the lack of athleticism.

What can be done?

The Miami Dolphins are trying a forged by fire approach with their struggling lineman. The Miami coaching staff puts their team at a disadvantage every week to grant Jackson the snaps to harden him into a quality starter along the offensive line. But Jackson needs time to improve his playing shape, improve his technique and get the mental reps every week during gameplay.

This approach would allow Jackson to be removed from fan and media crosshairs and allow Jackson the mental reset to focus his mind and body on improvements. Without this, the Miami Dolphins might as well start filling his retirement paperwork. This old and archaic way to improve players comes typically at the cost of mental health.