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Miami Dolphins' Austin Jackson pledges to be 'nasty' in Year 2

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Dolphins left tackle Austin Jackson expects to be better in his second NFL season, and he believes there are many reasons he will be.

"Things are a lot different when you're not in a pandemic," Jackson said Thursday. "Being able to just have way more access to resources this year as opposed to last year certainly helps a lot. Getting my feet set for my second year. Having more knowledge. Knowing a little bit more of what to expect."

Jackson was solid though not spectacular as a rookie. As the 18th overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft, he will be expected to take a step toward dominance.

"He's competitive. He's tough. And he's going to do exactly what the coaches ask of him," Dolphins edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel said Thursday. "I expect Austin to make a big jump in his second year."

Jackson is listed at 6-foot-5, 325 pounds. He began last season as the third-youngest player in the NFL, at 21, and listed with the exact same measurables.

"I wasn't asked to put on weight," Jackson said. "Every year you want to take off bad weight and put on more good weight. But you know, this muscle is heavier. Just working out and making sure my technique is consistent."

Instead of a focus on weight, Jackson said he's been stressing flexibility, including knee bend and a strength and conditioning program designed to increased torque and turn power. Jackson, who is a congenial fellow, has also pledged to bring more nasty.

"We want to be tough, disciplined, detailed and nasty," Jackson said. "All of those four words are kind of what we aim for, and we can see big improvement in those aspects. We want to do our job well. We don't want to have any errors and we want to do it fast, do it with a sense of urgency."

Buffalo Bills defensive end Mike Love (56) is blocked by Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Austin Jackson (73) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Buffalo Bills defensive end Mike Love (56) is blocked by Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Austin Jackson (73) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

Jackson seems to like Miami's decision to promote Lemuel Jeanpierre to offensive line coach. Jeanpierre, known as "Lem" was an assistant position coach last season.

"A big part of this is all of us being able to communicate and be on the same page," Jackson said. "I think he does a great job with that."

Jackson is going to have a new left guard by his side following the trade of Ereck Flowers. It would seem likely to be Solomon Kindley, though it could be Liam Eichenberg, Jesse Davis or even Michael Deiter.

Miami will have a new center in Matt Skura, and Eichenberg figures to slide into the lineup at either right tackle or left guard, with Robert Hunt likely sliding inside to right guard.

Miami is making these changes because it needs better overall performance from the offensive line. And Jackson believes it will happen.

"I would expect, the type of jump from the offensive line, first and foremost, we look back to our values and how we want to see ourselves," Jackson said. "We have our own kind of culture in the room."

What does he want to see?

"It's a mentality," Jackson said. "You can't just show up and be nasty. Everything you train for has to be aggressive and with intent. It definitely starts now with how we train ourselves to go to battle."

Jackson has quick feet and ideal length. He should be physically stronger and better prepared to both anchor and get positive push in the run game in 2021.

"Yeah, that's what everybody's been saying," Jackson said. "I've heard that a lot as well. As a competitor and as a teammate, I definitely want to go out there and do everything perfect for myself and for my team. Having that kind of expectation but also having the knowledge of what needs to be done, it's exciting. It excites me a lot and I'm looking forward to it."

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Miami Dolphins' Austin Jackson pledges to be 'nasty' in 2021