Miami Dolphins coach dishes on how team has been preparing for Lamar Jackson

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins outside linebackers coach Ryan Slowik shared how the team is preparing to face Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson in Week 17 of the 2023 NFL season.

Jackson is a candidate to win the league’s MVP award this season, and he’s one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL.

“You definitely need to be tied together up front, rush together, rush as a unit, be cohesive and not make any selfish decisions,” Slowik said. “It’s very important to respect his skill set and understand what he can do with the ball in his hands.

“We’ve made a conscious effort to get that across to the guys this week, about playing as one, understanding where you are in the pocket and understanding who that guy is with the football.”

This is a massive game for the Dolphins, who currently hold the No. 2 seed in the AFC through 16 weeks of the NFL season. The Ravens, the No. 1 seed in the AFC, would clinch the top spot in the conference with a win in Week 17.

Miami also has a tough game in Week 18 against the Buffalo Bills, so the team is hoping to close out the season strong – especially since it has already clinched a playoff spot.

This season, Jackson has been solid for Baltimore, completing 66.3 percent of his passes and throwing for 3,357 yards. He only has 19 touchdown passes, but he hasn’t turned the ball over much, throwing just seven interceptions.

Jackson has great speed when he gets outside of the pocket, and the two-time Pro Bowler has carried the ball 142 times for 786 yards and five touchdowns this season. Jackson has posted his highest carry number since the 2020 season, and he’s been relied on as a runner with running back J.K. Dobbins out for the season.

The Dolphins will need to do their best to keep Jackson in the pocket to stop him from creating big plays. He showcased that ability in the Ravens’ win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 16.

It will be interesting to see how the Dolphins’ plan for Jackson plays out in Week 17. The team would love to keep him in check to give Tua Tagovailoa and company a chance to win the game on offense.

The Dolphins and Ravens are scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. EST on Sunday, Dec. 31.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.