Despite all the good the Dolphins management has done in free agency this year, some are still bellyaching over the offensive line and in particular the RT position where T Austin Jackson is the projected starter and for a left handed QB that Right Tackle is more like a left tackle, so it is very important for Tua Tagovailoa that we have his blindside protected and that is the job of the RT.
Many have little confidence in Austin Jackson, and some feel he is a draft bust. In fact, if you look back to the 2020 NFL draft many Dolphins fans have labeled the top picks in that draft Bust! Before last year’s career turn-around many thought Tua was a bust and even now some still are looking for change despite him LEADING THE LEAGUE in passer rating and having his best career under new head coach Mike McDaniel and showing top 10 potential.
The second pick in the 2020 NFL draft was T Austin Jackson and he has not played up to first round potential by many people’s standards and some are screaming for his replacement. So, why are the Dolphins not showing the panic that many of their fans have?
Let us take Tua’s example, under Brian Flores he was not supported privately as Flores was trying his best to replace Tua with another starting QB who was seeking to be traded, we also know that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also was illegally tampering behind the scenes and coast the team one of our first-round draft picks this year and fined for blatant tampering.
Now after having a promising season in 2022 the Owner is in Tua’s corner, thanks to 2 people. GM Chris Grier who has every reason to want Tua to succeed and for Mike McDaniel who proved to everybody the real potential Tua. (A Healthy Tua that is)
What does that have to do with Austin Jackson you ask? Well ask yourself could it be that poor coaching is the problem than the player? There has been no stability at the offensive line coaching position since Jackson was drafted. Flores treated his O-line coaches like disposable diapers and fired his O-line coaches and OCs after every season he was here. And even after his first season in Miami Mike McDaniel fired O-Line coach Matt Applebaum and brought in Butch Barry as new OL coach. (Some hate this hire too)
So, since being with Miami in the last three years Austin Jackson has had 4-5 different O-Line coaches, the same is true of any of our linemen especially the YOUNG ONES!!!!
It is hard to evaluate a young lineman when there has been ZERO stability at the coaching position! Austin Jackson is still just 23 years old! He has room to grow as most of your top linemen grow ito their roles by the time they are 27-30. The same is true of 25-year-old Liam Eichenberg. Maybe some stability at the coaching position is all that is needed for these young offensive linemen to develop.
It is way too early to label either one a bust, another pick that year was Noah Igbinoghene someone I have labeled a bust, but he too is just 23 years old and who knows if Vick Fangio can bring out the best in hm.
The last thing any of us want is to see these players land on some other team and reach their true potential, especially a division rival. The truth is some players develop late and others just need the right coach to reach and teach them how to be a pro player and reach their potential.
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