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Dan Marino Biography

Dan Marino Biography

By Loot, NFL Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

Dan Marino is one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. He may have not ever won the Super Bowl, but count that against his team or perhaps upper management, as it was no fault of Dan’s. He did everything he could do and then some to make his team the best it could be. As time continues to pass, Marino will likely be looked upon as the forerunner of the super QB, a passing marvel who put up staggering statistics year after year. He wasn’t the first quarterback to put up glossy throwing numbers, but he redefined expectations for his position.

Marino attended college at Pittsburgh. In his junior year, he established himself as one of the nation’s top quarterbacks and looked to solidify his status as a top NFL prospect in his senior season. It would be a bit of a disappointment, however, as Marino floundered a bit in his final season at Pitt. In 1983, there were a lot of good quarterbacks in the draft. Marino was dogged with rumors of drug use--a grave injustice, which led to him being picked all the way down at number-27, behind 5 other quarterbacks. Other than John Elway, who was picked first, Marino did more than the other 4 guys combined.

It didn’t take long for Marino to serve notice that he was “the goods.” Despite not taking over for David Woodley until the sixth game of the year, Marino went on to make the Pro Bowl with 20 touchdowns and only 6 picks. It would get a lot better. His second season would be one of the more remarkable campaigns in NFL history.

Picture of Dan Marino

In 1984, the 6’4” field general won 14 regular season games as a starter, leading Miami to the Super Bowl. They were unfortunate to run smack-dab into the heyday of the 49ers, but Marino established himself as one of the best in the business. He threw for a record 5084 yards and an amazing 48 touchdowns. The previous record for passing touchdowns was 36. His yardage record would stand for 27 years.

Marino stayed on his game and led the league in yards and touchdown passes for the next two seasons, including 44 in 1986. At this point, he was considered the most prolific passing QB in the NFL, despite not always having the best team around him. Nevertheless, Marino would remain an attraction for years to come, with his high-flying passing attack always exciting to watch.

Marino’s arm was truly special. There have been other quarterbacks who could air it out, but Marino’s arm always seemed to have a special extra gear. Pure and simple, Marino’s arm was a cannon. And he had all the passes in his repertoire, not just the long strike. He could thread a needle from close and put the ball where only the ball-catcher could get it. In the pocket, Marino seemed to possess an almost Jedi-like awareness of the pass rush. He was the total package and the most feared pocket presence of his time.

During Marino’s tenure, the Dolphins were consistent playoff contenders. They didn’t always have the greatest defense and unlike many top quarterbacks, Marino never had that great running back to work with to help balance the offensive attack. With Shula and Marino, it was strong coaching and a tremendous QB that enabled the Dolphins to stay on top for so long.

Miami looked to have a great team in 1993, but Marino suffered a season-ending achilles injury in week 5. Despite not being all the way back, Marino came back strongly in 1994, with a heartfelt 10-6 campaign where he posted 4453 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. He would remain a premier QB for the duration of the 90’s, even as injuries mounted.

In the 1999-2000 season, the Dolphins made the playoffs once again. Marino’s last win was a comeback playoff win against Seattle. It ended badly for Marino, as his Dolphins were bounced out of the playoffs after a 62-7 drubbing by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Marino retired prior to the next season, despite being courted by several teams.

Many of Marino’s passing records stand to this day. One can only imagine the kind of numbers he would have posted in today’s era, where even mediocre quarterbacks regularly post 300-yard games. In 2005, he was a first-ballot inductee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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