I have been a long time fan of the Miami Dolphins, my parents had me drinking from a Dolphins bottle even so naturally this team runs through my veins. So I wanted this off-season to be able to celebrate the greats of my lifetime. However, I was born in 1984 and can’t recall Marino’s rookie season and those shortly to follow.
So I began thinking about what would make this series of articles more fun. Then it hit me, I initially was going to write this article about the top 10 seasonal performances since Dan Marino’s parting. However I quickly found that the list got rather boring after Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas’ name came up 2-3 times a piece, and frankly I wanted to include one-hit-wonder names like Lamar Smith and Brain Walker.
So let us just call this the top 10 players (fluke years count) since Dan. I will be putting up a few at time, giving us all enough time to argue why someone should or should not be on this list. So with no further ado, here we go.
10. Olindo Mare
Signature Year(s): 2003, 2000
Wow, did I start strong right? A kicker! Everyone loves a kicker. Well given my HUGE obsession with fantasy football I had to at least include the little guys once. If you look at Mare’s track record you could argue that his best season was in 2000 when he had over 30 FG attempts and made 90.3% of them, but I love the dramatics and I really think his year in 2003 was his best for one reason. The 50+ range. In 2000 he attempted ZERO FG’s above 49 yards, so OF COURSE he had a higher percentage. But in 2003 he was 4 for 6 at 50+ and that’s my friends is why he made this list.
9. TIE Brian Walker/Patrick Surtain
Signature Year(s): 2000(Walker) 2003(Surtain)
Only one stat counts here, INT. And these players are the only two guys to have over 5 INT’s since Dan’s departure. Walker’s only impact was the 2000 season where he had 7 INT’s and 2 sacks. However Surtain had a few solid season’s with the ‘Phins having 6 INT’s in 2002 and 7 INT’s in 2003 and 4 INT’s in 2004. To be honest Surtain was better longer, but considering how little effect our secondary has had the last decade or so, it just felt right to include Walker here as well. You will find one more secondary player on this list later on, and he has made a real impact the last few years, but other than that guys… these two names are our only shinning lights.