The doldrums of the off-season are upon us. Sure the Dolphins added a lineman, Daryn Colledge, and released Marcus Thompson but other than that, it’s quiet. And it should be. This is the off-season and so many things can go wrong off the field that quiet is a good thing. Knock on wood, let’s hope it stays like that.
We however don’t take the off-season, off. Sure we slow down but we don’t stop entirely so let’s talk about numbers shall we?
Today we hit number 35.
Like the off-season, 35 is a rather quiet number that really hasn’t been used a whole lot in franchise history, which means someone down the road might. In 1966 Rick Cesares wore it first, Stan Mitchell wore that same year until 1970, Clayton Heath in 1976, Nick Giaquinto from 1980 to 1981, John Tagliaferri wore it in 1987 as a replacement player (and so far is the only one I actually recall 100%…that’s sad), Kerry Glenn donned it from 1990-92, Michael Stewart from ’94-’96, Irving Spikes in 1997, Ben Kelly in 2000, Shawn Wooden in 2001, Jimmy Wyrick in 2004, Eddie Jackson in 2005, and Tuff Harris in 2007. Currently the number is worn by Walt Aikens.
It seems that the number is used a lot on one year players, that doesn’t bode well for Aikens. That all being said this is really a no-brainer and we need to give the honor to Kerry Glenn. Wooden would have been a good choice as well but he switched numbers in 2001 after coming back from one season in Chicago. That leaves Glenn as the only player that really wore the uniform for any period of time. Three seasons.
So with 35 in the books we move to 36 with the hopes that we get a little more debate going although you can feel free to argue for someone else at 35 if you wish.
Unfortunately, 36 doesn’t give us much to debate either. I could throw up a poll to see what you think but frankly there is no way, realistically, that Lousaka Polite 2008-2010 wore the uniform better than Don Nottingham from 1973-1977. So I’m giving it to Nottingham who definitely earned it. Others who wore the number, Preston Carpenter in 1966, Charles Leigh in 1972, Steve Howell from 79-81, Tom Brown from 87-89, Stephen Braggs 92-93, Stanley Pritchett 96-99, Darian Barnes 2005-2006, and Tyrone Culver in 2010. Today it’s worn by CB Don Jones.
So let’s move on to 37.
Charley Wade in 1973, Andra Franklin from 81-84, Mike Kozlowski from 1979-1980, J.B. Brown 1989-1996, Zebbie Lethridge 2001 and Yeremiah Bell 2004-2011. Today it’s worn by rookie Kevin Fogg.
The debate here will settle on three players, Franklin, Brown, and Bell. Most fans will look to Bell but I wouldn’t discount J.B. Brown. In fact, here is a comparison of statistics for the two.
Brown played 12 years in the NFL with his first eight coming with Miami. He was the last selection for the Dolphins in the 1989 draft and eventually started six of his eight seasons with the Dolphins. Brown posted 16 interceptions for 293 yards and 1 touchdown in his career as a DB. All of his recordable stats came in a six year period as the starter for the Dolphins.
The similarities between Brown and Bell are interesting. Both were drafted late by the Dolphins, Bell in round six, Brown in round Bell was drafted in the 6th round by the Dolphins in 2003 and Brown in round 12. Both players have played a similar number of years. Brown played through 11 seasons and Bell is entering his 11th season. Statistically, Bell has posted eight interceptions for 89 yards and no touchdowns but has forced nine fumbles to Brown’s five.
Good debate with this one. Who wore 37 the best? It’s up to you.