John Jerry's Struggles Revealed in Hard Knocks Show How Difficult NFL Is

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2012

Aug 5, 2011; Davie, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Lydon Murtha (left) blocks guard John Jerry (right) during training camp drills at the Dolphins training facility. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Miami Dolphins offensive guard John Jerry is a third-string player, according to the team's website, and that couldn't have been more obvious on Tuesday night's episode of HBO's Hard Knocks.

Sun Sentinel reporter Mike Berardino gives us some context regarding Jerry's current situation:

Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman referred to John Jerry on Hard Knocks as "a player descending fast ... going the other way."

— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) August 22, 2012

No one wants that label attached to them. Even if you've already reached the highest level of football competition, no one wants the word "descending" attached to their name for any length of time.

Not only did Tuesday night's episode shed some light on Jerry's standing with the Miami coaching staff, but we also got to watch him try to turn that around.

Jerry pushed himself so hard at one point that he threw up on camera. This gave us a first-hand look at the pressure NFL players face on a day-to-day basis.

Just because you're a world-class athlete doesn't mean your job is easy, and the money doesn't make it any better. These guys have to show up and work for their spot every single day, especially fringe players like Jerry.

Roster spots are not guaranteed. Miami's team page lists Jerry as 328 pounds, and that could be the difference between one missed block or his next pancake. All the little things matter, and the bright lights don't ever go off.

Tuesday night's show gave us a great look at NFL training camp and the conditioning that goes with it. Jerry is in better shape than most 330-pound guys you know, but the rigorous training regimen put forth by his coaches still got the best of him.

He pushed himself to the limit because the next day isn't a given for any player in his position.

Losing your lunch is one way to cut weight, although it's not advisable. Either way, Jerry showed us how bad he wants it and how tough it is to hack it in the NFL each and every day.

As an afterword, Jerry's performance against Carolina in Miami's second preseason game is worth noting. He did an above-average job of maintaining position on the interior line, and his coaching staff should be much happier with his performance.