Marino Best Of All Time

Peyton Manning has broke or will break many of Dan Marino’s records, but Marino’s displays with his arm as a quarterback will never be touched. His uncanny quick release and footwork were top notch, and therefore I truly believe Marino is the best quarterback to ever play the game.

Argue all you want, but out of all other great quarterbacks who has had the weakest cast? Without even thinking on that one, it would go to Dan Marino. Instead of Terrell Davis, Marino had Kareem Abdul Jabber, Bernie Parmalee, Irving Spikes, and a list of no name non dependent backs. Literally every year Marino’s running back was one of the bottom five in the league.

Miami was never able to enter the next phase as a franchise, but yet were a consistent playoff team. The whole reason was because of Marino, as often times he could win games just with his arm. Every defensive coordinator knew candidly that Miami’s offense was one dimensional, and yet every week Marino managed to thread throws in areas as unsafe as Iraq.

His body would take a repeated beating, but through it all his arm was as sharp as could be. Sure in the latter part of his career it looked like his velocity and judgment in throws had completely gone disarray, but it was his body that had given out. If you watch any of the highlights in his last season, the bottom half of his body was unable to deliver that needed power from the lower body. It was all arm strength, and that’s when Marino had to make the tough decision to exit from the game.

Marino’s arm could have lasted for another five to six years. It’s almost like Roger Clemens on the mound in baseball. Clemens legs and body are of his true age of 43, but his arm is the cannon of a 20 year old. If an arm was all that you needed to function in football, Marino would not be being inducted into the Hall of Fame this early.

It’s truly sad and disheartening to watch how Marino’s career winded down. He had to watch John Elway win back to back Super Bowl titles and retire on a high note, while he kept giving it his all for nothing. He kept taking a beating every week, and I only could feel bad for the guy. He was so loyal to Miami that he wouldn’t speak up to be traded to a team that would give him a running back.

Every off season there was always the talk of bringing in this back or a wide receiver. The names of Barry Sanders and even Carl Pickens were brought up on occasions, but the closest Marino ever got to having a star receiver was OJ McDuffie, besides the Clayton’s early on in his career.

This went on for his complete seventeen year career without a running back. Deep down in Marino’s heart there is strong animosity towards the Dolphins organization. What makes it worse is as soon as Marino was gone they brought in Lamar Smith, who had a solid season and set a playoff record with 240 yards against Indianapolis. Then they bring in Ricky Williams, and this season draft Ronnie Brown. You talk about a slap in the face. Every time Marino has done a Dolphin highlight for CBS, and they showed a running back touchdown he has to be thinking he is dreaming.

The separation Marino should have had in the record books is an after thought now. He was the Michael Jordan for quarterbacks, and this wasn’t a five man squad. He was able to make an eleven man squad, that was below average most of the time, into a contender every year. He never pouted, but would you could see the disgust in his face often on the field.

When the Dolphins cleared house after they were dismantled by the Jaguars in the 2000 playoffs, there was a lot of question on what Dan Marino would do. Miami had already told him they weren’t interested in retaining him as a starter, so Marino sought out his options. The strongest offer Marino got was to play for Minnesota, and have a chance to play in a prolific offense with Randy Moss and Cris Carter. In fact, talks were very serious but Marino ended up turning it down specifically due to the Vikings turf.

If only that offer could have happened two to three years earlier for Marino. The year of 1998 with the Vikings loss to the Falcons in the conference championship, would have been the other way around. Should of, could of, would of, is the whole story of Marino’s surroundings and environments. In Marino’s hands though, nothing was questionable in his career.


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