Last year Jonathan Martin came in with such high expectations to fortify the right side of the Dolphins belaguered offensive line. By replacing the swinging door, in Marc Columbo, Martin was drafted in the second round to protect the number one draft pick Ryan Tannehill.
However, just as Martin was getting comfortable in his new role as a right tackle, Pro Bowl tackle Jake long went down in a heap and missed the final four games of the season. In came Jonathan Martin to the rescue at left tackle, his natural position. Except there was one problem, Martin was not prepared to handle the pressures of switching back to his natural position and did not have enough practice reps facing power rushers.
For instance, after switching to the right side and appearing to have two left feet, Martin settled in. In fact, Martin played the position well enough to keep would be line backers and defensive linemen off his quarterback. Despite the switch, Martin appeared to move well and got stronger as the season progressed.
As of now, people clearly are not happy with Jonathan Martin. Everyone from certain sports talk shows, Dolphins journalists, and ESPN analysts believe that Jonathan Martin is the weak link on an already untested and unsettled line. Martin receives all the blame when the sacks are a result of the left guard, center or right tackle's inability to get their hands on the defense.
So much so, that even Ryan Tannehill appeared to cringe before the pocket collapsed when Martin was driven back by the player he was blocking last Sunday. Tannehill, regardless of what he says, is playing cautious, and with the media he is playing it coy trying to say he backs his left tackle, when in reality, he might miss his old Pro Bowl tackle.
What is becoming more apparent, is that without Jonathan Martin, the Dolphins shiny new Ferrari in Mike Wallace might not be able to go from 0-60 if Martin cannot block the heck out of the blind side.
Despite the negativity, this much is true: Jonathan Martin has come to work with his hard hat and a new physique after shedding excess weight to become quicker and smoother.
Let's remember, it's not easy to replace what could have been a legend in Miami in Jake Long, but Jonathan Martin is up for the challenge. No matter what anyone says, he's just coming to work and there to help the Dolphins win, until his body gives out and he cannot continue to play the game he loves.