Miami Dolphins At 50: Top 10 OLs
By Dan Heaning
Mandatory Credit: MiamiDolphins.com
No. 10 – Keith Sims
Why was Roy Foster’s playing time limited in 1990? Because Keith Sims showed up in Miami.
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Sims became a vital part of the Dolphins’ resurgence in the 90s. In his rookie season, after being taken with the 39th overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft’s second round, Miami went 12-4 and the offensive line allowed only 16 sacks.
Sims would start 13 of 14 games in his rookie season and only missed seven games from 1990 to 1996. During that time, Sims made three consecutive Pro Bowls beginning in 1993.
In 1994, Pro Football Weekly and UPI gave him first team All-Conference honors while the Associated Press nominated him for second team All-NFL honors.
The offensive line continued to protect Dan Marino with vigor. The line allowed 28 sacks in 1992 (best in the AFC), 18 in 1994 (2nd in NFL), and 29 in 1995 (top 10 in the league).
In eight seasons as a Dolphin, Sims started in 108 of 113 games before leaving for Washington to finish his career in the nation’s capital. He didn’t duplicate his success as a Dolphin in the red and yellow then retired after the 2000 season.
Mandatory Credit: MiamiDolphins.com.
No. 9 – Tim Ruddy
The Dolphins took Tim Ruddy with the 65th overall pick in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft with expectations that he would become a Pro Bowl center.
Though Ruddy only made the Pro Bowl once, he missed only four games during his entire 10-year career.
Jeff Dellenbach took the starting center role in Ruddy’s rookie campaign of 1994, but he appeared in every game subbing in occasionally for the 10-year starter and playing special teams.
From the beginning of the 1995 season to the end of Ruddy’s career in 2003, Ruddy started every game in which he appeared.
During Ruddy’s tenure, the Dolphins would gain their first 1,000-yard back since 1978. The Miami offensive line would be a top five unit in terms of allowing sacks in four seasons, and helped pave the way for Ricky Williams’ two record breaking rushing seasons as a Dolphin in 2002 and 2003.
The Dolphins led the AFC in rushing in 2002, thanks again to those career numbers from Williams, but Ruddy was not selected to the Pro Bowl that season as his only appearance came in 2000.
The shame of it all is that Ruddy deserved more than that one appearance as he is one of the greatest centers, and linemen in general, in the history of this franchise.