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 40 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 for week six the team named Bob Baumhower, Sam Madison, Dwight Stephenson, Zach Thomas and Garo Yepremian to the roster.
For week seven the team announced that Glenn Blackwood, Vern Den Herder, Keith Jackson, Jim Jensen and John Offerdahl were added to the prestigious list and last week saw the addition of Bob Brudzinski, Norm Evans, Mike Pouncey, Patrick Surtan and Jason Taylor.
On Tuesday the Dolphins announced the latest five players. They are A.J. Duhe, Bruce Hardy, Jim Kiick, Nat Moore and Ed Newman.
Duhe played eight seasons at linebacker for the Dolphins and was a member of the ‘Killer B’s’ defense. He accumulated 38.5 career sacks with Miami which ranks him tenth among all Dolphins players. In the 1983 AFC Championship Game Duhe had one of the best playoff games in NFL history when he intercepted three passes, one of which he returned 35 yards for a touchdown. He was named to the 1984 Pro Bowl as well.
“It’s a great honor to be recognized as one of the top 50 Dolphins of all time. The history of the franchise is filled with a lot of accomplishments during the period before I came, the period when I was here, and some of the continued success the franchise has had after that. Playing for a legendary coach like Don Shula was unbelievable. Everybody who ever played for him probably has a lot of great memories. And Bill Arnsparger had a big impact on what I did playing for the Dolphins. He basically resurrected my career when I transitioned from defensive end to linebacker,” Duhe said.
“Some of the great players I played with — when I came in I was still around some of the 17-0 guys, so I got to learn a little bit about their history. Then the generation I came in with, which was full of a whole new breed of players — Bob Baumhower, Kim Bokamper, Bob Brudzinski, the Blackwood Brothers and all the rest of the ‘Killer B’s.’ I caught a little bit of Dan Marino on the tail end of my career, which was exciting, so I got to play with him for a couple of years and ended up watching him achieve some great accomplishments. I learned so much from Coach Shula and the guys I was around for so many years that it was an honor. It also is an honor to know the fans, the alumni, the media and the select panel that made the decision on picking the final 50 included me in that group. I feel that I’m blessed and I’m glad to know that I will be a part of Dolphins history for a long time.”
Hardy played with the Dolphins for 12 years in the late 70s and 80s. He played more seasons and games (151) than any tight end in Dolphins history, making 256 catches for 3,769 yards while with the team. He leads all Dolphins tight ends in receiving yards and has the second most receptions. In addition to playing tight end, Hardy also handled the long snapping duties for the Dolphins.
Kiick played seven seasons for the Dolphins at running back. His 3,644 rushing yards rank him fifth on Miami’s all-time rushing list. Kiick led the Dolphins in rushing in 1968 and 1969, both years gaining more yards than Hall of Famer Larry Csonka. He was named to the AFL All-Star Game in 1968 and 1969 and showed his versatility by leading Miami in receptions in 1970.
“Being honored as one of the 50 members of the Miami Dolphins all-time team is quite an honor. It’s a great organization, great coaches, great players, and still has the only undefeated team in the history of football. It’s certainly quite an honor to be part of that special organization and to be one of the 50 best who ever played for the team,” Kiick said.
Moore played 13 seasons with the Dolphins at wide receiver, accumulating 510 receptions for 7,547 yards and 74 touchdowns. When he retired Moore was the Dolphins all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. He still ranks first in touchdowns and is third in both receptions and receiving yards. Moore led the AFC in scoring in 1977. He was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 1999 and the team’s annual community service award is named in his honor.
“It’s truly an honor to be one of the 50 greatest players. When I reflect back and think about my days with the Dolphins and the great players I played with, a lot of great players didn’t get the same accolades but made the sacrifices for the team and I would not be here without their sacrifices. There’s very little that top players accomplish by themselves, so on behalf of all the guys I played with in my 13 years in Miami that did not make the top 50, I accept this honor,” Moore said.
“In addition to the players, the coaches were a part of those great teams and great years. Everything was about the team and wasn’t about the individual, and even though this is an honor that goes to the individual it doesn’t happen without the support of their teammates and their coaches that sacrificed to make the team better.”
Newman played 12 seasons at guard for Miami, playing more years and more games (167) than any Dolphins offensive lineman except Bob Kuechenberg. Newman was selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1981 to 1984.
“I know when I played I could not have given more to the Dolphins. But effort alone does not entitle one to top credits. I cannot express my appreciation enough with a favorable appraisal of those who made this decision. Truth be known I wish I could have done more. I am quite sure that Coach Shula feels the same way,” Newman said.
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 New York Jets this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. on CBS4, your official Dolphins station!
Follow David on Twitter (@DavidDwork)