DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The Miami Dolphins are celebrating their 50th season and one of special things they are doing is selecting the top 50 players in team history.
The list is created by four different groups who vote on the composition of the team. The groups are fans, Dolphins alumni, South Florida media and a select blue ribbon panel.
Each group represents 25% of the overall vote.
Every week over a ten week span, five players on the 50th anniversary team will be announced leading up to the Dolphins home game against the New York Giants on Monday, December 14th.
The entire top 50 team will be honored as part of a tribute to the 50 seasons of Miami Dolphins football.
In addition, the Dolphins will be wearing throwback uniforms that night for only the second time in franchise history.
So far there have been 30 players named to the team. Dick Anderson, Mark Clayton, Mark Duper, O.J. McDuffie and Jake Scott were the first five, followed by Nick Buoniconti, Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Jim Mandich and Dan Marino. Week three saw the Dolphins add Doug Betters, Bryan Cox, Bob Kuechenberg, Tony Nathan and Richmond Webb to the prestigious list, and the fourth week Tim Bowens, Manny Fernandez, Larry Little, Mercury Morris and Bill Stanfill were brought on board. Week five added Brent Grimes, Jim Langer, Reggie Roby, Paul Warfield and Ricky Williams while last week the team named Bob Baumhower, Sam Madison, Dwight Stephenson, Zach Thomas and Garo Yepremian to the roster.
On Tuesday the team announced the latest five players. They are Glenn Blackwood, Vern Den Herder, Keith Jackson, Jim Jensen and John Offerdahl.
Blackwood played nine seasons for the Dolphins at safety, starting all but two games from 1980 to 1985. He teamed up with his brother, Lyle Blackwood, in the defensive backfield of the ‘Killer Bs’ defense that led Miami to the Super Bowl in the 1982 and 1984 seasons. His 29 career interceptions is tied for fourth on the Dolphins all-time list and he led the team with six interceptions in both 1984 and 1985.
“I am a bit overwhelmed by this honor. I look at the others included and have a hard time putting myself in any category they hold as football players. It is very humbling but deeply appreciated. I am so thankful that I was blessed to be a part of the Dolphins organization coached by Coach Shula. I will forever be indebted to Bill Arnsparger for what he taught me about the game,” Blackwood said.
“I also greatly appreciate the mentoring that Tim Foley and Steve Towle provided me as a young player. I am thankful for my teammates. The defensive line — Doug Betters, Bob Baumhower, Kim Bokamper and the rest that created such havoc, the linebackers like Bob Brudzinski, A.J. Duhe, Earnie Rhone, Larry Gordon and others, and my fellow defensive backs like Don McNeal, Gerald Small, Paul Lankford, William Judson, Mike Kozlowski, Bud Brown, and last but not least, my brother, Lyle, who made playing the game so fun.” He continued: “Any success I had was because I was surrounded by these great players. Lastly thanks to the Dolphins fans for all the noise you made in the Orange Bowl as you supported us. It will never be forgotten.”
Den Herder played 12 years with the Dolphins at defensive end from 1971 to 1982. He ranks third among Miami defensive players with 159 games played and is fourth with 143 starts. Den Herder also ranks fourth in team history with 64 sacks. He is tied for the team record with five sacks in one game, which came on October 21st against the Buffalo Bills.
“The 12 years I spent with Miami was a great time in my life. I really enjoyed the participation and the results that we had, and to be included in a group of 50 players from the 50 years of this great organization, I’m just thrilled. I’m very happy and very honored to be included,” Den Herder said.
Jackson played three seasons at tight end for the Dolphins in the early 90s. His best season was in 1994 when he caught 59 passes for 673 yards and seven touchdowns. His reception total was the fifth highest single season total by a Dolphins tight end, his yardage total was third and the seven touchdowns are tied for first. Jackson was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons with the Dolphins.
“For me this is a great honor, and not only because it was such a joy playing for the Miami Dolphins, but also because this kind of honor typically happens for a player who had a really long career with a team. And for me to spend just three seasons with the Dolphins — it make me very grateful to have been voted to the team. It’s unbelievable,” Jackson said. “That’s why this is so special to me — I didn’t anticipate this happening because of the short time I was there. You get to be honored when people who know you or who followed you thought enough of your performance to vote for you. So I’m real appreciative that so many people felt I made an impact during my time in Miami and I want to thank them for that.”
Jensen played 12 seasons for the Dolphins, playing quarterback, running back, wide receiver and on special teams. A fan favorite, Jensen finished second on the team in receptions during three consecutive seasons, with 58 catches in 1988, 61 in 1989 and 44 in 1990.
“I’m flattered, honored and humbled to make the team, since there were a lot of great players who were part of the Miami Dolphin organization. To be in the top 50 is just amazing to me. I’m so thankful for the people and the media and everybody for the 12 years I was there who recognized me as one of the top 50,” Jensen said. “When I was told about it, I had goosebumps for the next three days.”
Offerdahl played eight seasons for the Dolphins at linebacker. He was named the1986 Defensive Rookie of the Year. Offerdahl led the Dolphins in tackles three different seasons and was named to the Pro Bowl during his first five years in the league. His streak of five straight Pro Bowls is tied for the longest by a Dolphins defender. Offerdahl was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2013.
“I had pictures of many of those great players on my wall when I was growing up. I’m absolutely honored to be part of the Miami Dolphins’ great 50-year history in the NFL, and to have my selection to their all-time team be part of my legacy is something I will always treasure,” Offerdahl said. “For all the players who played with me and the coaches who coached me, it’s an honor rightfully shared with them.”
Be sure to check out our FinsOn4 Live Dolphins Blog where we will be posting season-long coverage, updates, photos, video, commentary and more throughout the entire 2015 season.
Watch Miami take on the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on CBS4, your official Dolphins station!
Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)