Next Man Up

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No. 5

Brian Griese –    27th October 2003  vs   San Diego Chargers

Now this was a tough one, but the fact the guy came in and threw 3 touchdowns, with all the pressure of being “the” legends son. Come on, that must of been huge! And to get the monkey of his back with this game, was definitely a relief . I remember watching it over here and wow, I must admit I got on the BG 2 train! Alas it was not to be,  yes his season was pedestrian, yes he did better things in Denver, but that one game in the same uniform, for the same professional team that your dad played for, that surely must take pride of place on  the mantle piece  in the Griese family household.

No. 4

Damon Huard 17th October 1999 vs New England Patriots

It’s 1999, and Marino goes down. Who do we have? “Damon Huard,” “who?” You may of asked way back in 1999! This guy went from holding on field goals, to starting in less time than it takes to “pump fake”. Now I really don’t have much affiliation for Damon Huard, but he did lead a nice come back that day against a divisional rival, so kudos goes out for that! But for people to think he should be the guy to take over from Dan Marino…. “please” …. thank god for Jay Fielder (lol never really thought i would say that).

No. 3

Scott Mitchell – 10th October 1993 vs Cleveland Browns

 With Marino going down against Cleveland, Miami turned to the unknown Mitchell.

When Don Shula saw Dan Marino go down, he turned to Scott Mitchell and whispered the immortal lines,  “Get warmed up,” “You’re going in.” He went in alright!  Going 10 -16 for 118 yards and two  touchdowns. Now Scott’s performance that day, and  for the rest of the season, forced a bit of a QB controversy in Miami. Scott went on to play well enough that there was talk of the possibility that Marino would go! I remember being torn between keeping “Dan the Man” or going with the young guy? Eventually Scott was shipped to the Detriot Lions, I remember personally hoping he would do well, but in the end he never really lived up to the hype.

No. 2

Dan Marino –  19th Septmeber, 1983 vs  Los Angeles Raiders

Ok ok! This was just mop up duty, and David Woodley wasn’t injured, but man how great was it for us Dolfans from here on out!

Dan Marino’s first NFL regular season pass was just a short completion, but boy did it set the tone for things to come! The Raiders where wining 27 – 0! With the game practically over  Marino came in! Was this a great game by a back up?  Not really, but we  got to see, arguably the greatest player to ever don a Dolphins uniform!……. Marino had come  in relief of starter, David Woodley and guided the team to two TD’s late in the game. He threw his first  to Joe Rose, (bet Rose wish he had kept that ball!) and a 2 yarder to Mark Duper, this is my number two purely on the fact of Marino’s career, but oh what a career!

No 1.

Don Strock, 2nd January 1982 vs San Diego Chargers

The “Epic in Miami!”      To me, this is probably the greatest game by a Miami back up! And possibly by any back up, quarterback ever! (Yeah i’ll stand by that claim!) but to boot, it’s also one of Miami’s greatest games ever (nice work fella!!)

Ok we didn’t win this game either, but from both a statistical and from an all out gutsy performance,  this ranks as my no. 1 game by a back up QB! Don strock came in and “filled his boots”, throwing for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns. (Dan Fouts also threw for over 400 yds in the same game, imagine being a fan at the Orange Bowl that day!). It truly was an epic, with both teams missing overtime field goals.

Don Strock  came into the league in 1972 on the “taxi squad.” (that’s the practise squad to you and me). He helped Griese, Woodley and Marino be better players, and had his chance to shine that day! Man ‘o’ man did he shine with such historical highlights, as the hook and lateral play,  the Bruce Hardy 50 yard touchdown, and of course, “poor” Kellen Winslow being helped off the field, this was a classic in every sense of the word! Reading about this game as a teenager, and watching the highlights made me realise how much I loved this sport!!!

Honorable Mention!

Earl Morral  15th October 1972 vs San Diego Chargers

 By now some of you may of noticed I have a man crush on Earl Morrall lol… Seriously the guy just played ball, no diva  s***!  He just played ball…. This is an honorable mention because this quarterback back didn’t just come in and play one game, or one season! He never aimed to replace a hero, nor did he do it  to get a big payday! He came and saved a season, “the perfect season”, because that was his job! Would we have gone 17-0 if Griese had stayed healthy? (sorry but probably not). What’s even better for Morrall, is this wasn’t the first time either! … But this is not a Colts site! .. Don Shula knew what he was doing, (as usual) saying “I happen to have a good memory. I remember what Earl did for me in 1968.” In fact Don Shula had a way with back up QB’s. Over the years Shula was probably one of the better coaches, where being a back up was concerned.

“With backup’s,” Shula said, “you try to give them as much work as you can in practice to instill confidence. Show support. Make them feel important. And once they’re the main man, if something goes wrong, you’ve got to be patient. But they’ve all been different.”

 But I think the immortal Bum Phillips said it best when he uttered the words:

 “Don Shula can take his’n and beat your’n, or he can take your’n and beat his’n.”

Thanks for reading another, “histroical hightlight.”

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