The Miami Dolphins will fete their 50 greatest players during a Fifty Seasons Gala Friday evening at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood and this is a good occasion to let you know who those 50 are, methinks.
The following list is from the team. It was arrived at, I'm told, through thoughtful discussion and voting of team personnel, alumni and some fans. And generally, this seems to be a good list.
(Me, I would have added Ronnie Brown somehow because the guy is the club's third-leading rusher of all time, he was the triggerman for Wildcat that fateful 2008 playoff season, and he averaged 4.3 yards per carry with Miami just as all-time leading rusher Ricky Williams did. I also might have found a way to squeeze Tim Ruddy onto the list. I will not tell you who I would exclude (there's a handful) because that's not what this is about. Perhaps another time.)
Anyway, the affair should be extraordinary. Employees who have worked for the organization 25 years or more are invited. Obviously Dolphins royalty -- Don Shula, Dan Marino -- are invited.
It should be fun.
Here's the Dolphins list of their top 50:
All-Time 50th Anniversary Team:
1) Bob Griese -- Griese was one only three Dolphins to have his jersey retired. Griese played 14 seasons with the Dolphins (1967-80) and was a key component of the great Dolphins teams in the 1970s. He was the starting quarterback on the Dolphins’ two Super Bowl wins (1972, 1973) and threw for over 25,000 yards and 192 touchdowns in his Dolphin career. He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 1990, while his # 12 jersey was retired by the Dolphins in 1982.
2) Earl Morrall -- Morrall played five seasons with the Dolphins (1972-76) and had a solid career as a starter in the NFL before joining Miami in 1972. Morrall became Miami’s starter when Bob Griese got hurt in the fifth game that year and started the next 11 games and the Dolphins won every one of them en route to their 17-0 perfect season. As a result of that performance he was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year that year.
3) Dan Marino -- Marino played 17 years with the Dolphins (1983-99) and is one of only three Dolphins to have his jersey retired. He threw for 61,361 yards and 420 touchdowns in his career and when he retired he held the NFL all-time record for most passing attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns. He rewrote the NFL passing records in 1984 season when he threw for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns (the first over 40 TDs and 5,000 yards passing). Marino was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005 and was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2000. His # 13 jersey was retired by the Dolphins in 2000.
1) Paul Warfield -- Warfield played five seasons with the Dolphins (1970-74), where he was an explosive threat from his wideout position on Miami’s great Super Bowl teams in the 1970s. When he left the Dolphins he ranked first on Miami’s all-time list in receiving yards and touchdowns, and his 21.5 yards per reception is still the highest average in Dolphins history. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 1990.
2) Nat Moore -- Moore played 13 seasons for the Dolphins (1974-86) and had 510 catches for 7,547 yards and 74 touchdowns. He was the Dolphins’ all-time leader in receptions, reception yardage, and touchdown catches when he retired. Moore still ranks first in touchdowns and third in receptions and receiving yardage in team history. He also led the AFC in scoring in 1977. Moore was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 1999 and the team’s’ annual community service award is named in his honor.
3) Mark Clayton -- Clayton played ten seasons with the Dolphins (1983-92). He combined with Mark Duper to form the “Marks Brothers” receiving duo. He finished with 550 catches for 8,643 yards and 81 touchdowns and ranks first in career receptions and touchdowns and second in receiving yards in Dolphin history. Clayton had 18 touchdown catches in 1984, then an NFL single-season record and still the Dolphin team record. He was inducted into the Dolphin Honor Roll in 2003.
4) Mark Duper -- Duper played 11 seasons with the Dolphins (1982-92). He combined with Mark Clayton to form the “Marks Brothers” receiving duo. He finished with 511 catches for 8,869 yards and 59 touchdowns. Duper ranks first in career reception yardage, second in receptions, and third in touchdowns in Dolphin history while his average of 17.4 yards per catch is the second highest in team history (minimum 100 receptions). He was inducted into the Dolphin Honor Roll in 2003.
5) O.J. McDuffie -- McDuffie played nine years (1993-01) with the Dolphins. He ranks fourth on the team’s all-time reception list with 415 receptions and is fifth with 5,074 receiving yards and led the team in catches for three straight seasons. His 90 catches in 1998 remains Miami’s single season reception record and is also the only time a Dolphin player ever led the NFL in catches…McDuffie is tied for team record for most punt returns and is one of three Dolphins to have two career punt returns for a touchdown…
1) Norm Evans -- Evans is an original Dolphin who played ten season in Miami (1966-75), more than all but one member of that inaugural team. He started all but six games during those ten years, including every game in Miami’s World Championship seasons of 1972 and 1973…His 91 consecutive starts during that span is the sixth highest in team history, and he was named to two Pro Bowls.
2) Larry Little -- Little played 12 seasons (1969-80) with the Dolphins and was a key ingredient in the powerful running game that led to two Super Bowl titles in 1972 and 1973. He started 152 of the 158 games he played as a Dolphin, the third highest starting total by any lineman in Dolphin history. He was named to four Pro Bowls, including three starts. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and was selected to the Dolphins Honor Roll in 1993.
3) Jim Langer -- Langer played ten years with the Dolphins (1970-79) and was the center of the Dolphins’ offensive line during the team’s championship years in the 1970s. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, including five times as a starter (only Dan Marino was named to more Pro Bowl starts in Dolphin history). He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 and was selected to the Dolphins Honor Roll in 1990.
4) Bob Kuechenberg -- Kuechenberg played 15 seasons in Miami, from 1970-84, more than any Dolphin except Dan Marino and he is third behind Marino and Jason Taylor in team history for most games started and played. He played on every Dolphin Super Bowl team but one (Super Bowl XIX) and had just 15 holding penalties called against him in his career. Kuechenberg was named to six Pro Bowl teams and was inducted into the Dolphin Honor Roll in 1995).
5) Ed Newman -- Newman played 12 seasons (1973-84) with the Dolphins and played more years and more games (167) than any Dolphins offensive lineman except Bob Kuechenberg He made four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1981 through 1984, the fourth highest streak by any Miami offensive lineman.
6) Dwight Stephenson -- Stephenson played eight seasons with the Dolphins (1980-87) before having his career ended prematurely after suffering a serious knee injury late in 1987. He was selected to five straight Pro Bowls, including four starts. He anchored an offensive line that allowed the fewest sacks in the NFL each of his seasons as a starter.Stephenson was in ducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998 and was selected to the Dolphins Honor Roll in 1994.
7) Richmond Webb -- Webb made 162 starts at left tackle during his Dolphins career (1990-2000), the fifth highest in team history, including 118 games in a row from 1991 to 1998. He was named to seven straight Pro Bowls (1990-96), the longest consecutive Pro Bowl selection streak in team history.
8) Keith Sims -- Sims played eight years (1990-97) with the Dolphins. He was a second round draft pick by Miami in 1990 and immediately started alongside offensive tackle Richmond Webb, the club’s first-round selection that year, to anchor the left side of the Dolphins line for the next eight seasons. He was named to three consecutive Pro Bowl teams (1993-95).
9) Mike Pouncey -- Pouncey is in his fifth year (2011-15) with the Dolphins, having been a starter ever since joining the Dolphins as their first round draft pick in in 2011. He started all but two games for Miami at center his first three years in the league. Pouncey was named as a Pro Bowl starter in 2013 and moved to right guard in 2014 due to injuries on the offensive line, where he earned his second Pro Bowl selection.
1) Jim Mandich -- Played eight seasons (1970-77) with the Dolphins and was a valuable contributor to Dolphins’ three Super Bowl teams in the 1970s. His best season was in 1974 when he finished second on the Dolphins with 33 receptions and led team with six touchdown catches. After retirement he became popular member of Miami’s radio broadcast team and was selected to the Dolphins’ Honor Roll in 2011.
2) Bruce Hardy -- Hardy played 12 years with the Dolphins (1978-89). He played more seasons and games (151) than any tight end in Dolphins history and had 256 catches for 3,769 yards as a Dolphin. His receiving yards are the most by any Dolphins tight end, and his reception figure is the second highest TE total. He started all but three games in a three-year stretch (1985-87) and also served as a long snapper during hiscareer in Miami.
3) Keith Jackson -- Jackson played three seasons (1992-94) with the Dolphins. His best season was 1994 when he had 59 catches for 673 yards and seven touchdowns. His reception total was the fifth highest single season total by a Dolphin tight end, his yardage figure was third and his TD total was tied for first. Jackson was named to the Pro Bowl his first two seasons with the Dolphins.
1) Larry Csonka -- Csonka played eight seasons (1968-74, 1979) in Miami and was the team’s all-time leading rusher with 6,737 yards. He had three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons from 1971-73 at Miami advanced to the Super Bowl each year and was the MVP of Super Bowl VIII with 145 yards rushing. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 and was enshrined in the Dolphin Honor Roll in 1990. His # 39 jersey was retired by the Dolphins in 2002.
2) Mercury Morris -- Morris played seven seasons (1969-75) with the Dolphins and rushed for 3,877 yards, which ranks fourth in Dolphins history. He ran for 1,000 yards in 1972 and with Larry Csonka running for 1,117 yards as well that year, they became the first duo in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards each in the same season. Morris followed that with 954 yards rushing in 1973. He is the only Dolphin to return three kickoff returns for a touchdown and ranks first in team history in average kickoff return yardage. He was named to three Pro Bowls.
3) Jim Kiick -- Kiick played seven seasons (1968-74) in Miami and with 3,644 yards rushing ranks he fifth among Dolphins’ all-time rushing leaders…He led Miami in rushing (ahead of Larry Csonka) in 1968 and 1969 and gained at least 500 yards five different seasons. An outstanding receiver as well, Kiick led Miami in receptions in 1970. He was named to the AFL All-Star Game in 1968 and 1969.
4) Tony Nathan -- Nathan played nine seasons (1979-87) with the Dolphins. He accumulated 3,543 career yards rushing along with 383 receptions for 3,592 yards during his tenure in Miami. He remains the only player in Dolphin history to rank among the team’s top ten career leaders in both rushing yards and receptions. He led the Dolphins in both rushing and receiving in 1985 and started in both of Miami’s Super Bowl teams in the 1980s.
5) Ricky Williams -- -- Williams played seven seasons (2002-03, 05, 07-10) with the Dolphins and with 6,436 yards and 48 touchdowns rushing as a Dolphin, he ranks second in team history in rushing yards and touchdowns. He set a Dolphins record in 2002 when he led the NFL in rushing with 1,853 yards and followed that in 2003 with 1,372 yards. No one in Dolphin history has ever come within 100 yards of either of those totals.
1) Manny Fernandez -- Fernandez played eight seasons (1968-75) with the Dolphins. He recorded 35 sacks as a Dolphin, which ranks tenth among Miami’s all-time sack leaders and is second among defensive tackles. He led the Dolphins with eight sacks in 1971, one of only three DTs to lead the Dolphins in sacks in a season. He is probably best remembered for his 17 tackles in Super Bowl VII…A member of the Dolphins’ Honor Roll
2) Bill Stanfill -- Stanfill played eight seasons (1969-76) with the Dolphins. With 67.5 career sacks in Miami, he retired as the Dolphins’ all-time sack leader and still ranks second in team history. His 18.5 sacks in 1973 remains tied for the single season team record, along with Jason Taylors 18.5 sacks in 2002. Stanfill made the AFL All-Star team in 1969 and was named to four Pro Bowls. He was inducted into the Dolphins’ Honor Roll in 2010.
3 ) Vern Den Herder -- Den Herder played 12 years (1971-82) with the Dolphins. He ranks third among Dolphin defenders in games played (159), is fourth in starts (143) and ranks fourth in team history in sacks (64). His five sacks against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 21, 1973 is tied for the most sacks in a game by a Dolphin player.
4) Bob Baumhower -- Baumhower played ten seasons (1977-86) with the Dolphins and was a key member of the “Killer B’s” defense. He notched 39.5 sacks in his career, which is tied for eighth in Dolphins history and is the most ever by a Miami defensive tackle. He led the Dolphins with nine sacks in 1981, one of only three DTs to lead the Dolphins in sacks in a season. He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and was inducted into the Dolphins’ Honor Roll in 2008.
5) Doug Betters -- Betters played ten seasons (1978-87) with the Dolphins and was a member of the “Killer B’s” defense. His 65.5 career sacks ranks third among the Dolphins’ team’s all-time sack leaders while his 16 sacks in 1983 is the fifth highest single season total in team history. He was named as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1983 and was selected to the Pro Bowl. Betters was inducted into the team’s Honor Roll in 2008.
6) Tim Bowens -- Bowens played 11 seasons (1994-04) in Miami. During that time he started 155 games as a Dolphin, the third highest total among the team’s defensive players. Included in that total were 92 consecutive starts from 1994-99, the fifth longest starting streak in team history. He finished second on the team with five sacks in 1997. He was named as the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1994 and was selected to two Pro Bowl teams.
7) Jason Taylor -- Taylor played 13 seasons for the Dolphins (1997-07, 2009, 2011) and played 204 games while making 186 starts, the second highest figures in team history (behind only Dan Marino). He holds the Dolphin record for most all-time sacks (131) and is tied with Bill Stanfill for most sacks in a season (18.5). He was named as the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 and was selected to six Pro Bowl teams. He was inducted into the Dolphins’ Honor Roll in 2012.
8) Cameron Wake -- Wake is in his seventh year (2009-15) with the Dolphins. He has recorded 63 sacks as a member of the Dolphins, which ranks fifth among the team’s all-time sack leaders. He has led the Dolphins in sacks four times and has registered double figure sack totals in three different seasons. His 15 sacks in 2012 is tied for the sixth highest single season total in Dolphin history…Wake has been named to four Pro Bowls.
1) Nick Buoniconti -- Buoniconti played eight seasons (1969-76) with the Dolphins where he was a driving force on the “No-Name Defense” and was a captain of the undefeated 1972 team…He led the Dolphins in tackles every season from 1969 through 1973 and remains the only Dolphins defensive player to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2001). He made one AFL All-Star team and two Pro Bowls and was inducted into the Dolphins’ Honor Roll in 1991.
2) Kim Bokamper -- Bokamper played nine years (1977-85) with the Dolphins and was a member of the “Killer B’s” defense that helped the Dolphins make two Super Bowls in the 1980s. With 39.5 career sacks, he ranks tied for eighth among the Dolphins’ all- time sack leaders and led the Dolphins in sacks in 1980. Bokamper was named to the 1979 Pro Bowl team.
3) Bob Brudzinski -- Brudzinski played nine seasons (1981-89) with the Dolphins. He was a member of the “Killer B’s” defense that helped lead the Dolphins to two Super Bowls in the 1980s. He started all but three games in his first six seasons in Miami. He led the Dolphins in tackles once and in sacks once.
4) A.J. Duhe -- Duhe played eight seasons (1977-84) with the Dolphins and was a member of the “Killer B’s” defense. With 38.5 career sacks he ranks tenth among the Dolphins’ all-time sack leaders. He had one of best playoff games in NFL history in 1983 AFC Championship Game when he recorded three interceptions, including one he returned 35 yards for a touchdown. He was named to the 1984 Pro Bowl team.
5) John Offerdahl -- Offerdahl played eight seasons (1986-93) with the Dolphins. He was named the 1986 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year and led the Dolphins in tackles three seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl his first five years in the league and his five consecutive Pro Bowls is tied for the longest streak by a Dolphin defender. He was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2013.
6) Bryan Cox -- Cox played five seasons (1991-95) with the Dolphins and started all 77 games in which he played for the team. He recorded 31.5 sacks during his career in Miami. He led Miami in tackles in four of his five seasons and led the Dolphins in sacks twice, including 14 sacks in 1992. He made three Pro Bowl teams.
7) Zach Thomas -- Thomas played 12 seasons (1996-2007) with the Dolphins and started all 168 games he played in Miami, the most games played and started by any Dolphin defender except Jason Taylor. He recorded 100 or more tackles 11 times and led Miam in tackles ten times. He was selected to seven Pro Bowls, tied for the second highest total by any Dolphin, trailing only Dan Marino. Thomas was inducted into the team’s Honor Roll in 2012.
1) Dick Anderson -- Anderson played ten seasons (1968-77) in Miami and was one of the key performers on the “No-Name” defense. He started every game from 1969 through 1974 and had 34 interceptions as a Dolphin, the second highest total in Miami history. He made three Pro Bowl teams and in 1973 was named as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, one of only three Dolphins ever to earn that honor. He was selected to the Dolphin Honor Roll in 2006.
2) Jake Scott -- Scott played six years (1970-75) with the Dolphins and was one of the key performers on the “No-Name” defense. He started every game in his Dolphin career and his 35 interceptions remains the Dolphins’ career INT record. Scott made the Pro Bowl five times, the most by any Miami defensive back and was the Most Valuable Player in the Dolphins’ win in Super Bowl VII with two interceptions. He also holds team record for most career punt returns and most punt return yardage. He was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2010.
3) Glenn Blackwood -- Blackwood played nine seasons (1979-87) with the Dolphins and started all but two games from 1980 through 1985. He teamed with his brother, Lyle Blackwood, in the defensive backfield of the “Killer B’s” defense, including the Super Bowl seasons of 1982 and ’84. His total of 29 career interceptions ranks tied for fourth on the Dolphins’ all-time INT list and he led the Dolphins with six interceptions in both 1984 and 1985.
4) Louis Oliver -- Oliver played seven seasons (1989-93, 1995-96) with the Dolphins and started all but three games his first four years with the team. His 24 interceptions ranks tied for sixth in Dolphins history and he led the Dolphins in interceptions four straight seasons (1989-92). On Oct. 4, 1992 at Buffalo he had three interceptions, including a 103-yard TD return, which at the time tied the NFL record for the longest interception return in league history.
5) Sam Madison -- Madison played nine years (1997-05) with the Dolphins. His 31 interceptions ranks third on the team’s all-time INT list. He tied for the team lead with eight interceptions in 1998, which matched the second highest single season INT figure in team history and led Miami with seven picks in 1999. He was selected to four Pro Bowl teams (1999-02), the second highest figure among defensive backs in Dolphin history.
6) Patrick Surtain -- Surtain played seven years (1998-04) with the Dolphins. His 29 interceptions ranks tied for fourth on Miami’s all-time list and is the second highest figure by a cornerback. He led the Dolphins in interceptions with six picks in 2002 and seven in 2003. He was named to three Pro Bowl teams, which is tied for the third highest total by any Dolphin defensive back.
7) Brent Grimes -- Grimes is in his third season (2013-15) with the Dolphins and started all 16 games each of his first two years in Miami. He tied for the team lead in interceptions with four INTs in 2013 and led Miami with five picks in 2014. He was named to the Pro Bowl both seasons as a Dolphin, becoming only the third Miami cornerback to be selected to the Pro Bowl squad.
1) Garo Yepremian -- Yepremian played nine seasons (1970-78) as the Dolphins’ kicker and with 830 points, he ranks second on the Dolphins all-time scoring list. In the AFC Divisional playoff win on Dec. 25, 1971 in Kansas City his 37-yard field goal in double overtime ended the longest game in NFL history. He led the NFL in scoring in 1971 and led the league in field goal accuracy three times. He remains the only Miami kicker named to two Pro Bowl teams.
2) Jim Jensen -- Jensen played 12 seasons (1981-92) for the Dolphins at quarterback/running back/wide receiver. In 1988 won the WIOD Miami Dolphins Outstanding Special Teams Player award. He finished second on the team in receptions three straight years, with 58 catches in 1988, 61 catches in 1989, and 44 catches in 1990.
3) Reggie Roby -- Roby played ten seasons (1983-92) with the Dolphins. His 555 punts is the third highest total in Miami history and his 43.3 yards per kick average ranks third. In 1991 he led the NFL in punting a 45.7 yards per kick average. He is the only punter in Dolphin history to be named to two Pro Bowls. Roby was one of the first to use just two steps to get his kicks off more quickly, a technique that is now used by every punter in the NFL.