It’s a bit premature I know. The 50th season has yet to be played by the Miami Dolphins but it’s safe to say that no new members of the squad will make the 50th anniversary team. Before we get a look at the last 24 years of Miami Dolphins football, we need to go back and look at the first 25 years, the Silver Anniversary Team.
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We need to go way back to 1990 when the Dolphins celebrated 25 years of football. Don Shula still patrolled the side lines and a young Dan Marino called the shots at QB. So much has changed in the past 25 years that it’s hard to imagine another 25 has gone by. Many of us “old” fans recall the Silver Season and some of our “older” fans recall the first. This year the Dolphins will celebrate “GOLD”.
The Dolphins announced in 1990 their Silver Anniversary Team and you might be surprised by some of the names. Today we will name our own silver team, the best the Dolphins had to offer over the past 25 years and then, after the season (provided I can still remember) we will do our all-time gold team.
When it comes to quarterbacks, none shine brighter than Dan “the man” Marino. Marino’s Hall of Fame career entered it’s 8th season in 1990 on his way to the HOF. Marino’s career numbers topped almost all of the NFL’s record books, later broken, at the time of his retirement. Marino to this day is a part of the organization and one of the most beloved members of the Miami community.
Griese entered the HOF as part of the 1990 class fittingly kicking off the Dolphins silver season.
Williams had a lot of off-field issues and found himself suspended or missing from the team for over two seasons. Despite this Williams’ contributions to the Dolphins can’t go unnoticed. He ranks 2nd behind Larry Csonka in total rushing yards and boasts the largest rushing yards total in one season with 1,853. Williams was an enigmatic player who endeared himself to fans on not off the field but in the last 25 years no one was better than Ricky Williams at the position.
Still beloved by fans, Csonka still remains the Dolphins all-time leading rusher with just under 300 yards separating he and Ricky Williams. Csonka’s HOF career still follows him wherever his travels take him making him one of the most popular fan favorites in team history.
Is it sad that the top three receivers in the last 25 years came almost 25 years ago? There is no question that Mark Duper and Mark Clayton deserve to be on the 2nd 25 year team. O.J. McDuffie stands above all others in the last 25 years statistically. He posted more than 5,000 yards in his eight year career.
McMichael, a 4th round pick in 2002 amassed 18 touchdowns and just under 3,100 yards in his five years with the Dolphins. He caught 283 passes over the course of his Dolphins career.
The Dolphins voted Hardy, a late round pick in 1978, Hardy would spend 12 seasons with the Miami Dolphins playing his entire career in Miami. He would finish his career with 256 receptions for 2,455 yards, and 25 touchdowns.
Richmond Webb put out a just enough to make his career a HOF conversation. There was no question that over the last 25 seasons Webb was and still remains the best left tackle the team has employed. Should he be in the HOF? Probably but will he ever get in is another question and it’s not looking likely. Webb was a stalwart left tackle during his career with the Dolphins.
The Dolphins didn’t have the same kind of luck at right tackle. Vernon Carey was the most stable tackle on the Dolphins the last 25 seasons playing both the right and left position.
Both members of the original silver season were very worthy of the nomination. They both quietly did their job and stayed out of the limelight on and off the field. Neither player put up HOF careers but the Dolphins were a far better line with them on it.
Sims was part of one of the best offensive lines in the 1990’s teaming with Richmond Webb. He was a pro-bowler and still works for the Dolphins on the teams radio show “The Finsiders”. Sims was a fantastic pass blocking guard.
If we worry about off-field issues then Ricky Williams wouldn’t make this list so there is no reason that Richie Incognito shouldn’t be included here. Over the last 25 years the guard position has been very light outside of Sims. Incognito spent four seasons with the Dolphins starting all 55 of the game he played in. Had he not been suspended two seasons ago, Incognito may still be on the roster.
One is a HOF tackle while the other would be in the HOF if the media didn’t scrutinize his sometimes bitter attitude. Kuech was one of the best tackles in Dolphins history and a member of the teams Super Bowl years. His 14 year career was dotted with six pro-bowl selections and he started all but 20 games in his Dolphins career.
Larry Little is in the HOF…’Nuff said.
Ruddy spent 10 seasons in the NFL all with the Miami Dolphins and started 140 of 156 contests. Ruddy was a solid run blocking center and pass protector. Throughout his 10 seasons Ruddy was consistent and reliable. Mike Pouncey was given consideration but his length of service pales in comparison to Ruddy.
Not only is Stephenson in the HOF but his career was cut short due to a knee injury.
Continue reading for the defensive side of the ball.