While the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos are getting ready for the big game Sunday, Marino is hoping the Dolphins can one day find themselves in that spotlight and he’s confident they’re headed in the right direction following their moves early in the offseason.
“I’m going to be very positive about it because I think we have a lot of pieces where the team can continue to grow and get better,” Marino told the Finsiders. “I know last year was disappointing for everybody. You could look at it and look at a lot of negative stuff, but I try to be positive instead. There were a lot of good things that we have that we can grow with. Having a new coach is going to be exciting for our fans and for our players. We’ll just see where it takes us.”
Marino said all the feedback he’s gotten on new Head Coach Adam Gase has been positive.
“The guys I’ve talked to, just the energy and the whole thing about getting the team going in the right direction, a lot of guys are very positive about it,” Marino said. “So it’ll be exciting.
“I think the fact he came very highly recommended by a lot of guys that I respect in the league that played the quarterback position and also have played the game at a very high level, I think it’s going to help. It’s not only going to help Ryan (Tannehill), I think our offense in general. He’s going to be calling plays. That’s a positive all the way through and through.”
Marino officially rejoined the Dolphins in August 2014 when he was hired as special advisor to the president and CEO.
He was part of the Dolphins contingent at the Senior Bowl last week, an experience that brought back memories for the Hall of Fame quarterback.
“I played in it years ago,” said Marino, who played at the University of Pittsburgh before the Dolphins made him a first-round pick in the 1983 NFL draft. “It was a little cold (last week), but it was a good experience. I enjoyed being down there looking at some of the players and went through some of the interview process for some of the players and that was interesting. It was pretty good overall. I enjoyed it.”
Marino said his role with the Dolphins hasn’t changed much over the past 18 months.
“I’m just kind of there when I’m needed and really enjoyed being around the players and then our new head coach, Adam Gase, been around him a little bit the last couple of weeks and seeing our new staff, that’s been exciting,” Marino said. “Just trying to be positive going in the right direction and start to win some football games.”
Marino has reason to pull for both the Panthers and Broncos on Sunday because of his friendship with Denver quarterback Peyton Manning and his long-standing relationship with Carolina offensive coordinator Mike Shula, who coached Marino when he was part of his Hall of Fame father’s staff in 1991-92.
“At the end of the day I want to see a really good football team,” Marino said. “You’d like to wish the best for Peyton because he’s had such a great career in this league. It’s kind of probably coming to an end. I don’t know if it’s this game, it might be his last game. You’d like to see him go out in style. But Mike has been a friend, too, for a long time. I just want to see a good football game.”
Marino, who is in the Bay Area making the rounds as a men’s lifestyle ambassador for the AARP, will be featured in the game as well, thanks to his role in a television commercial for Amazon.
“You know the more you can do, man,” Marino joked. “I’m in an Amazon commercial with Alec Baldwin and Missy Elliott and Jason Schwartzman and it’s for a product that they’re introducing and they’re going to introduce it during the Super Bowl. So it’s going to be a lot of fun. Actually, I think it’s pretty funny.”