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 secondary unit!
Sam Madison has the 3rd most interceptions of any defensive back in Dolphins history (31, 2 return TD’s) and earned four straight Pro Bowl honors from 1999-2002 as well as two straight All-Pro selections from 1999-2000. Madison also led the NFL with 7 Int’s in 1999 and finished his career as a Super Bowl champion with the Giants in 2007.
Jake Scott has the most interceptions of any defensive back in Dolphins history (35) and earned five straight Pro Bowl honors from 1971-1975 as well as two straight All-Pro selections from 1973-1974. Scott also had two interceptions in Super Bowl VII to earn MVP honors and led the league with 318 punt return yards on 33 returns in 1971.
Dick Anderson has the 2nd most interceptions of any defensive back in Dolphins history (34, 3 return TD’s) and earned three straight Pro Bowl honors from 1972-74 as well as two straight All-Pro selections from 1972-73. Anderson also won Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1973 by leading the NFL with 8 Int’s and led the league with five fumble recoveries in 1972.
Patrick Surtain has the 4th most interceptions of any defensive back in Dolphins history (29 (tied with Glenn Blackwood), 2 return TD’s) and earned three straight Pro Bowl honors from 2002-2004 as well as an All-Pro selection in 2002. Surtain also had the most interceptions in the AFC in 2003 (7 Int’s) and finished his career with the Chiefs.
Statistics from Pro Football Reference website