Ok, ok, we all know all the talk has been about Matt Roth, and yes he may want to pay us some due’s this Sunday and yes we know he’s a tough guy! In fact, since he was drafted he was one of my favourite players and still is, I hope he has a great career, just not this Sunday! (I wish we could of had this blue collar guy when Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor were in their prime!).
I’m sure Cleveland Browns fan’s are thanking us for letting him go, but we were just repaying an old debt. You see, way back in the day, (1969 to be exact) Cleveland let one get away when Miami traded for an established star in Paul Warfield. The Cleveland all star had already established himself as a baller, so coming to the upstart Dolphins must have been an eye opener. But Don Shula had a plan, the Dolphins were going to run the ball and run it often, and when those crafty defenses tried to clog up the run he wanted to punish them and who better to do that with than Paul Warfield! But in most instances it happened the other way round. With Paul on the team, it seemed the passing game would open up the running game, go figure?
Now at first, as a young English kid just getting my head around this new sport, reading anything and everything about the Miami Dolphins and their history, I couldn’t understand how a running back (no. 42) could play WR? Of course his number was from before the 1973 rule change. I was still getting to grips with it all … but with the imagination that made the Star Wars galaxy seem like a short trip past Mars, it was real easy to picture Warfield make a cut, get open, raise his arms, and haul in a screamer of a pass from Bob Griese!!
So what did Paul Warfield do for the Dolphins? Well in just 5 short years he helped us reach 2 superbowls, lead the team in recieving, and finshed with 33 touchdowns! And still leads the team with a 21.5 yard average per catch, “nice work fella” !
Stats are great, but what Warfield brought to the Dolphins meant much more, such as leadership and talent. Come on, name those other Dolphin’s wide receivers, (and yes i’m a fan of Howard Twilley), but Warfield was the “go to guy” before being the “go to guy” actually meant anything! I mean, this guy went to 5 straight probowls! (One for every year he played for the Dolphins). His record’s for the Dolphins stood for a decade! Come on!
Griese would often move “the go to guy” around to best use his talents, and help the team exploit other teams weaknesses. Whether it was scoring the first touchdown in Miami’s first ever AFC Championship game against Don Shula’s old team, (Baltimore Colts), or scoring the only touchdown, again v’s the Colts! And to preserve the undeafted record in 1972, to scoring 11 touchdowns off 29 receptions in the 1973 season. Talk about setting the bench mark !
Terry Pruyne ‘s article, on suite101.com, lists the NFL’s Best Wide Receivers as follows: 1. Jerry Rice 2. Randy Moss 3. Chris Carter 4. Michael Irvin 5. Tim Brown 6. Marvin Harrison 7. Lynn Swann 8.Steve Largent 9. Charlie Taylor & No. 10. Yes you guessed it, our very own Paul Warfield! Now I understand that these lists are up for debate, but I must agree that for the career and the success that No. 42 brought to both teams he played for, he deserves a top ten billing.
So thanks Cleveland for dealing to us our first Premier Wide Reciever, the guy who gave every other wide reciever that ever donned a Dolphins uniform, something to emulate! Lets hope you Browns fan’s can say that about Mr Roth in 20 years time… Just not this coming sunday!
Thanks for reading another, historical highlight!
Tags: Baltimore Colts Bob Griese Charlie Taylor Chris Carter Cleveland Browns Don Shula Jason Taylor Jerry Rice Lynn Swann Marvin Harrison Matt Roth Miami Dolphins Michaek Irvin Paul Warfield Randy Moss Steve Largent Superbowl Tim Brown Zach Thomas