With the NFL celebrating its 100th anniversary this upcoming season, it is time to analyze all 32 teams and remember some of the greatest players to ever play the game for each of these respected franchises.
The next team to be analyzed is… the MIAMI DOLPHINS! Beginning in 1966, the Dolphins struggled in their first four years in the American Football League with three 10+ loss seasons under head coach George Wilson. But, after hiring Don Shula as their new head coach in 1970, the Dolphins became a playoff contender with five consecutive postseason berths from 1970-1974 along with three straight Super Bowl appearances in Super Bowl VI (loss to the Dallas Cowboys), Super Bowl VII (17-0 season, win over the Washington Redskins), and Super Bowl VIII (win over the Minnesota Vikings).
However, after winning Super Bowl VIII, the Dolphins would not experience another postseason victory until 1982 when they advanced to Super Bowl XVII, but came up short to the Redskins. But, after drafting Dan Marino in the 1983 NFL Draft, the Dolphins advanced to their fifth Super Bowl appearance in 1984, but would fall short to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XIX. Despite losing two Super Bowls in three years, Don Shula still remained in control and led the Dolphins to five more playoff berths (including two AFC Championship games in 1985 as well as 1992) before retiring at the end of the 1995 season.
With Don Shula’s departure from Miami, the Dolphins could not reclaim their postseason magic despite another five consecutive playoff berth streak from 1997-2001 under head coaches Jimmy Johnson and Dave Wannstedt with only three Wild Card victories. After recording their first losing season in 16 years in 2004, the Dolphins fell in the AFC East standings over the next three years before claiming a division title in 2008 under head coach Tony Sparano. However, the Dolphins continued their struggles as the 2010’s began and made one postseason appearance in 2016 under head coach Adam Gase.
Now, after this brief history of Miami’s NFL franchise, here is my all time roster of the Dolphins using the 53-man roster the NFL uses today. I will separate each section of the team’s personnel into different parts and post each section.
Part 1: Offensive Backfield (Quarterbacks, Halfbacks, Fullbacks)
Part 2: Receiving Corps (Wide Receivers, Tight Ends)
Part 3: Offensive Line Unit
Part 4: Defensive Line Unit
Part 5: Linebacker Corps
Part 6: Secondary Unit (Cornerbacks, Safeties)
Part 7: Special Teams Unit
Let’s take a look at the Miami Dolphins all time offensive line unit!
Richmond Webb played in 164 regular season games (missed only one start) in his 11 years with the Dolphins and earned seven straight Pro Bowl honors from 1990-1996 as well as two All-Pro selections. Webb also started in 13 playoff games with Miami before finishing his career in Cincinnati. Webb was the first offensive lineman drafted in the 1990 NFL Draft.
Bob Kuechenberg played all 14 seasons of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and earned six Pro Bowl honors as well as an All-Pro selection in 1978. Kuechenberg also was a key contributor in Miami’s 1971-73 Super Bowl runs and his brother, Rudy, was a linebacker for the Chicago Bears from 1967-1969. Kuechenberg was originally a 4th round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1969 NFL Draft.
Jim Langer played in 129 regular season games (made 109 starts) in his 10 years with the Dolphins and earned six straight Pro Bowl honors from 1973-1978 as well as four All-Pro selections. Langer also was a key contributor in Miami’s 1971-1973 Super Bowl runs before finishing his career with the Vikings. Langer was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.
*Dwight Stephenson played all eight seasons of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and earned five straight Pro Bowl honors from 1983-1987 as well as four straight All-Pro selections from 1984-1987. Stephenson also played in 11 playoff games with Miami and won the NFL’s Man of the Year award in 1985. Stephenson was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1998.
Larry Little played in 159 regular season games (made 152 starts) in his 12 years with the Dolphins and earned five Pro Bowl honors as well as five straight All-Pro selections from 1971-1975. Little also was a key contributor in Miami’s 1971-1973 Super Bowl runs and his brother, David, was a Pro Bowl linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1990. Little was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1993.
Norm Evans played in 138 regular season games (made 135 starts) in his 10 years with the Dolphins and earned two Pro Bowl honors. Evans also was a key contributor in Miami’s 1971-1973 Super Bowl runs and started for two expansion teams (the Miami Dolphins in 1966 as well as the Seattle Seahawks in 1976). Evans was originally a 14th round pick by the Houston Oilers in the 1965 AFL Draft.
Statistics from Pro Football Reference website