When it comes to the history of the Miami Dolphins, there are many names that come to mind. These are names that are legends not only for the Dolphins, but in the history of the National Football League. It can be difficult to put them in order or rank them, but I’m going to give special attention a few Dolphins that stand the test of time and have made a really positive impact on the franchise with their work on and off the field. The great thing is there is more to come from Miami, and there are more historic players that can arise in the future.
One cannot forget about the 1972 Dolphins that went 17-0, a record that still has not been broken to this day and probably never will be. Let’s start by talking about a few players from that team as no list would be complete without a few of those legends.
Mike Kolen: We all know the rules have changed in the current NFL, so you can’t hit people like you used to, but back when football was football, Mike Kolen was a feared defender. His nickname was Captain Crunch, which tells you all you need to know about how he played and the kind of hits he put on the opposition. When you can strike that kind of fear in the opposition, you have already won before the game even started as you are in their head. He played for the Miami Dolphins from 1970-1975 and then in 1977 again. Those hits are still ringing in the ears of the opposing team.
Paul Warfield: We all know that you need to also stretch the field in order to win football games. You need to be able to have a receiver that can strike fear in the opposition. He was an important part of those teams in the 70’s. As the old adage goes, speed kills, and he had plenty of it, as he amassed 156 passes for 3,355 yards and 35 touchdowns in his career playing for Miami Dolphins.
Larry Little: He might have had the last name of Little, but there was nothing little about the way he played on the football field at right guard. Oftentimes, offensive linemen don’t get enough credit for how they help stop pass rushers and also how they help the run game. They do all of the grunt work and oftentimes get overlooked and ignored. When it comes to the history of the Dolphins, his hard work, team-first attitude will never be forgotten.
Moving onto other players …
Zach Thomas: You would be hard pressed to find anyone that was tougher or played the game during his heyday with more passion than Zach Thomas. As an inside linebacker, he put up stats that are truly and utterly mind-blowing, such as 1,041 tackles, 17 interceptions and four touchdowns. When you were the quarterback playing against him, you always had to know where he was on the field.
Finally, no Miami Dolphins list is complete without the greatest Dolphin of all and perhaps the greatest pure passer of all-time: Dan Marino
People love to talk about how he never won a Super Bowl, but as we all know, football is the ultimate team game and you win as a team and you lose a team. Marino had one of the prettiest throwing motions in football and he had a way of making magic happen on the field. You have to remember that he played in an era where the QB’s weren’t as protected as they are now. Imagine how great his stats would have been had he played in today’s game. However, during his day, his stats speak for themselves: 61,361 yards and 420 TD’s.
I know I’m leaving a ton of Dolphins off the list, but these are the names that stick with me and stand out when I think of the Miami Dolphins and their great history.