TSN Archives: Dan Marino Performs QB (Jan. 22, 1984)

This text, by Larry Dorman, first appeared within the January 22, 1984, difficulty of The Sporting Information underneath the headline “Marino Is Fairly in QB”, after Miami icon Dan Marino turned the primary Dolphin to turn into TSN’s NFL Rookie of the 12 months .

MIAMI – The primary signal of the approaching occasion befell within the spring, when the primary spherical of elections and the quarterback stand aspect by aspect on the stadium. The discharge of rokie made a harbinger.

For those who see younger Muhammad Ali throw a jab to the left, then you possibly can say that you just noticed the hand shortly.

Summer season fever, you suppose then. It is a rookie quarterback. Subsequent yr, maybe, or subsequent yr, it is going to be prepared. Everybody says it takes a very long time for a rookie to search out out the distinction between two areas and a person-to-person absorb income.

Then there may be the actual signal of the time to return. That adopted the fourth recreation of the season, within the locker room of the Miami Dolphins which was surprisingly spectacular. 5 Miami fumbles had been made and two passes had been interrupted, and the Dolphins swept by way of Kansas Metropolis with 110 yards.

Marino’s son stood by the wall urgent his shirt alone. He did not say a phrase about Miami’s offense within the first 4 video games. He performed a sensible rookie. It didn’t wave, it didn’t shake.

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“That ought to change,” he stated in a peaceful voice. Clearly what he means. The change comes subsequent week after the half-time break and subsequent week for good. Every little thing modified with it.

The 1983 Golden Corvette rolled up and stood in entrance of the shop two weeks in the past and was surrounded by a gaggle of younger, younger and middle-aged men and women. The motive force walked simply from the automotive into the group calmly, signing, smiling and infrequently blinking.

The change is now full – Miamarino.

The city he thought he noticed all noticed with new eyes. A spot that has been acquainted to non-public males as an entire for the previous 13 years – Bob Griese and David Woodley – has all of the sudden woken as much as a brand new period.

The subsequent quarter is the quarter proper now, and Miami has by no means seen a greater quarter than this golden-haired human, with a golden hand and a quicker launch than something however his eyes.

Dan Marino, 22, is the primary in these departments, in addition to a number of different divisions. He was the primary participant his team-mates named to begin within the Professional Bowl, the primary rookie quarterback to steer his crew because the reunion, the primary Dolphins rookie quarterback to steer his crew into the sport, and now, the primary Dolphin. ever referred to as The Sporting Information Rookie of the 12 months.

And he was the final quarterback to be chosen within the first spherical of the nationwide soccer draft final yr and began the season on the bench behind Woodley.

Now, behind Corvette’s automotive, a personal automotive within the again, Marino considers all of it. He does so in a multifaceted manner with a mixture of youthful appeal and grownup safety that displays all of his statements. He by no means stated the 26 groups in entrance of the Dolphins made the error of ignoring him. Most likely by no means.

Advise him, counsel that the Colts can get him, the Chiefs, the Payments, the Patriots, the Jets – all of the groups that take the remainder of the quarterback – and have a look at you smiling. He blinked.

“Yeah,” he stated. “Yeah, I am fortunate. Look the place I’m.”

See the place he’s, in sports activities, Professional Bowl. See the place he has been since beginning as a quarterback in his sixth recreation of the season: Finishing 173 of 296 passes for two,210 yards and 20 touchdowns. He threw simply six.

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There are some fascinating knowledge for statistics. All however 240 yards got here throughout his ninth recreation as a starter, and Marino has been sidelined for the final two video games of the season with a knee damage. His common entry is the bottom within the AFC.

All of the groups which have handed Marino have squandered for info, all with the same old ring – dangerous yr (Pitt “slipped” to 9-3), massive head, dangerous character. The New York Jets, to which the Dolphins will all the time be credited for taking California-Davis Ken O’Brien and leaving Marino to Miami, just lately unveiled one thing new. A author who coated the Jets stated an government instructed him that the Jets had been apprehensive about Marino’s knee damage whereas he was in highschool in Pitt. That was the yr earlier than Marino had his finest yr at Pitt.

“Nothing is extra essential proper now,” Marino stated. The place I used to be actually fortunate was to land with an excellent crew. See. Three of our gamers (middle Dwight Stephenson and guards Ed Newman and Bob Kuechenberg) are within the Professional Bowl. (Speech) Eric Laakso is on the All-Professional Sports activities crew. Mark Duper did the Professional Bowl.

“And the defenders, Doug Betters, Bob Baumbower, are All-Income. You’ve got by no means achieved something by yourself. I’ve a variety of assist.”

Most of them got here from Coach Don Shula, who didn’t rush Marino into the queue earlier than he was prepared. And even Shula, who stated he would not be stunned, admits he did not count on that.

“Dan has achieved greater than anybody anticipated,” Shula stated. “The true shock about what he has achieved is that he did it within the flawed manner. You’ll be able to’t take him as an fool for those who have a look at how he obtained into the scenario and corrected his errors earlier than you probably did it to him. .

And you may’t think about him as an actor for those who see him in a social setting, wandering round with a crowd originally of Burt Reynolds film, sitting subsequent to a restaurant ingesting beer with buddies his job, throwing that million {dollars}. smiles for autograph seekers and representatives from clothes firms looking for his approval.

Marino shortly demonstrated his understanding of social grace. Hank Goldberg. a Miami radio and TV host, was sitting in a neighborhood restaurant when an worker introduced him a drink with out asking permission. Goldberg turned to see Marino delivering a day by day assertion.

“That is the primary time I can bear in mind an athlete ever doing that in Miami,” Goldberg stated.

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The boy from the Oakland space of ​​Pittsburgh discovered shortly. It was there that he noticed either side turn into the focal point. It was right here that his father, Dan Sr., and his mom, Veronica, taught him to not overlook his roots and to not let his ft get too removed from the bottom.

Marino’s character ensures most cockiness however doesn’t cross the road. It has a large hair this aspect of delight, a situation that each quarterly winner has. He dismissed the comparisons with Joe Namath, and eliminated them. “I look higher than Joe,” he stated with a twinkle in his eye.

Who is aware of? At some point, it might be higher. whereas. For now. Marino is making an attempt to maintain every little thing in perspective.

“Success is an effective feeling,” he stated. “However you all the time must look forward and preserve working. Along with being with an incredible crew and an incredible coach, I feel a variety of success has been achieved by being underneath a variety of stress at Pitt, throwing loads. Passing into the large. many video games.

“Everybody right here has helped loads. (Reserve quarterback Don) Strock has helped me loads.

“I by no means thought issues can be as they’re, it’s wild, isn’t it? Thanks.

“And I perceive that on a regular basis issues can change and go the opposite manner. That is why you must preserve working.”

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