Looking back…Spotlight on Dan Marino
Date of Birth:September 15, 1961 (age 52) in Pittsburgh, PA.
Height: 6’4” Weight: 228 lbs
Dan Marino was ready to become one of the top QBs taken in the NFL Draft of 1983. His lousy Senior year combined with rumors of drug usage dropped his stock. Ken O’Brien, Tony Eason, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelley and John Elway were all drafted ahead of Dan, Team after team passed on the talented but troubled young man. The Miami Dolphins and Don Shula took a gamble at #27.
As new know today, it wasn’t much of a gamble at all. Dan Marino burst onto the scene with a vengeance.
Marino participated in 9 Pro-Bowls, 3 AP First Team All-Pro, 3 AP Second Team All-Pro. He was the Rookie of the Year in 1983; the NFL MVP in 1984 and NFL Offensive Player of the Year that same year.
Two time UPI AFC Player of the Year, Professional Football Writers Association Comeback Player of the Year in 1998.
12 times Miami Dolphins MVP. Dan became the first QB to throw for 5000 yards in 1984, and the first to throw 40 TDs in 1984 and 1986.
His Jersey #13 has been retired by both the University of Pitt and the Miami Dolphins. He currently holds 31 Dolphins records and numerous NFL records.
Dan Marino was inducted into the College HoF in 2002, and the NFL 2005. He was recently named the 25th Best Player of All Time from NFL.com
Yesterday I told you how honored I was to have had the pleasure to hate Bruce Smith. That same honor was being shared with Dan Marino. Dan was a passing machine, like we had not seen before. I grew up in awe of Dan Fouts and Air Correyll, but Dan was a different breed. His passing abilities allowed the Dolphins to remain in games even down two TDs and 4-5 minutes to go. Marino was a class act, one we didn’t witness again until Peyton Manning.
My comments will hurt the devoted Dolphins fans, but I blame Don Shula for not putting the best QB of his era in a situation to win it all. The Dolphins and Shula, in a “before CAP Era” lived off of Dan without finding a way to give him support. His receivers are remembered only because of Dan’s ability and not because they were talented. The running game was non-existent, and the defense couldn’t stop anyone from scoring. I have had so many people tell me the Jets should taken Dan. Yes, however he would have never had the passing stats he had in Miami. The Jets and many of the other teams that passed on him had a defense to rely on, the Fins didn’t.; as a result Dan’s numbers got inflated by the fact that they had to score 40 points juts to be in the game.
Please understand what I wrote, because I consider Dan an incredible talent, and an opponent I will forever respect.