If anyone knows what it’s like to go through the grind of an NFL season and how to weather the different obstacles that arise it’s Dan Marino. He went through quite a lot in his Hall-of-Fame career as quarterback for the Miami Dolphins for 17 seasons.
Now Marino is an analyst for The NFL Today on CBS and gets to watch his former team and the other 31 teams around the league through a different lens. What he has seen out of this year’s Dolphins through 13 games headed into Sunday’s showdown with the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium has left quite an impression on him.
“”It’s a credit to everybody that’s involved,” said Marino, who was at the team’s practice facility interviewing Head Coach Joe Philbin and players for Sunday’s pregame show, to Dolphins.com. “It’s a credit to Joe Philbin, the coaching staff and the players and sometimes as a team you get that us-against-the-world mentality and it just brings everybody closer together at times. I think that’s what happened and you’ve got to give everybody a lot of credit for that.”
Of course no conversation with Marino is complete without hearing what he has to say about Miami’s current quarterback,
Tannehill has yet to miss a start in 29 games and has his team sitting at 7-6 and in prime position to steal that sixth and final AFC playoff spot. He’s already thrown more touchdown passes (20) and for more yards (3,315) than he did all of last season and Marino sees a young quarterback on the rise.
“You want to have a quarterback and a young guy that is going to be consistently there for you and play at a high level,” Marino said. “I think he’s continued to get better and more aware of the position and how to play it and these are big games for him. This is probably the biggest game of his career so far and if the Dolphins win this one then the next week is going to be the biggest game of his career and that’s just how the position is.”
Since he retired, the Dolphins have only made the postseason three times, most recently in 2008 when they won the AFC East with an 11-5 record. So Marino is happy to be talking about his former team and their playoff chances in December again.
“It’s good because there are a lot of good people with the Dolphins and the organization that have a lot of pride,” he said. “It’ll be great to see if they can come back in the playoffs and start going in the right direction, which I believe they are. So there are a lot of good things happening right now, they’ve just got to take things one game at a time and they’ve got to beat the Patriots now.”