We continue our march towards 99. Today we bring you the numbers 15, 16, and 17 with a poll for 17. Why only one? 15 and 16 are pretty easy to determine without spending too much time polling the audience.
At 15, there is no question that the late, Earl Morrall wore the jersey the best. Morrall led the Dolphins to the NFL’s only undefeated perfect season. He did so for much of the 1972 season in place of the injured Bob Griese and then graciously turned the reigns of the team back to the starter for the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Still, without Morrall the Dolphins likely never would have ended the season perfect. Morrall wore the uniform number from 1972 to 1976 but he wasn’t alone in sporting the one five.
John Stofa wore the uniform from 1966 – 1967 and Kim Hammond wore the number in ’68. Karl Kremser wore it in 1969 to 1970 and Charles Leigh wore it in 1971 prior to Morrall taking it over. After Morrall the Dolphins gave the uniform to Kyle Mackey a 1987 replacement player, Kirby Dar Dar in 1995 and 1997, Ronald Bellamy wore it 2004, Kerry Reed in 2007, and Davone Bess wore it from 2008 to 2012.
Bess would be an interesting player here as his time in Miami was very productive and he became a fan favorite. Still he fails simply for going up against Earl Morrall. Today the number is worn by WR Kevin Cone who is in his first year with the Dolphins. Cone however has not made the team yet so we will see if he is added to the list next year.
With fifteen out of the way we move to 16 where a thinner group is listed. Archie Roberts was the first to wear 16 in 1967. Tom Boutwell wore it in 1969. From 1970 to 1979 no one wore the number. QB David Woodley took that over in 1980 and wore it until 1983. From there Robert Baker wore it in 1999, Albert Johnson in 2001, Marcus Vick wore it for part of a season in 2006, while Tyler Thigpen donned the 16 from 2009 to 2010. Shayne Graham wore it in 2011.
It’s not a great field of players but there is no question that the Super Bowl run by David Woodley stands out. A game managing QB, Woodley ran the Dolphins offense against the Washington Redskins in his only Super Bowl appearance. The fact he got the team there is why he wears it the best.
From sixteen we move to seventeen.
Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill dons the jersey today and while he is still making strides to establish himself as the teams future and franchise QB, he wasn’t the only one to wear the uniform number. In 1977 Mike Michel wore the number followed by Ron Jaworski who wore it in 1987 and 1988. Steve DeBerg wore it for one season in 1993. John Kidd was a very solid punter for the Dolphins and he wore the number from 1994 to 1997. Todd Doxzon wore it 1998 and Cleo Lemon wore it from 2005 until 2007. In 2008 Brandon Landon wore the number and Ryan Tannehill has been wearing it since he was drafted three seasons ago.
So who wore 17 the best?