By Mike Cugno

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NASSAU (CBSMiami) – Former Miami Dolphins receivers Mark Clayton and Mark Duper were an electric duo on the football field.

The pair is still widely considered as one of the best receiver tandems in NFL history.

It may be a quarter century since they left the NFL but that doesn’t stop them from still being dynamic as ever.

Sitting down with Mark Clayton and Mark Duper is like jumping in a time machine.

While they are a little older, the jokes are all the same…like when asked who the greatest Dolphins athlete of all is.

“Mark Duper. Don’t hesitate, Clayton just say ok,” said Mark Duper.

They may not see eye to eye on everything but they do agree on this: they were one of the original premier wide-out duos that helped the NFL evolve into a passing league in the 80s and early 90s.

“When [Dan] Marino came in, Clayton and I was there already,” Duper said. “And then when we hooked up together it was like from a running game to a passing game. Then we turned around and the Dolphins invented this four-wide. Three-wide then four wide. We were the ones that started that bar.

“Everybody is doing it now.”

They combined for more than 17,000 yards but while they helped change the game, a changing of the guard in Miami could’ve slowed these two down.

“Jimmy Johnson said he didn’t want to go to the candy store as Dan as his quarterback as much as coach Shula was relying on Dan and going to that candy store,” Clayton said. “I’m so glad coach Johnson wasn’t around when we were around because we sure liked Dan going to the candy store.”

That led to an interesting exchange between the wideouts.

Duper: “If we was there when Dan and Jimmy was playing, we would’ve changed the plays.”

Clayton: “No [Jimmy] told Dan he could not audible!”

Duper: “We was going to audible anyway. You know that. As long as you audible and you make the play [work], what can they say?”

Back in March the NFL said it was going to relax its rules against touchdown celebrations and you better believe the Marks Brothers were pioneers in that department as well.

“I never scored without doing something,” Clayton said. “I did dancing. I spiked the ball almost every time. Or I spiked the cross bar, the goal post, I did something all the time. Duper didn’t.”

Oh yeah?

“I did one time,” Duper admitted.

While only one of them may have been the celebration trend setter, there is no denying that Clayton and Duper are the standard for Dolphins receivers.

Fans are now hoping this current crop of can show flashes of those Miami’s glory days.

“Everybody wants to compare that receiving corp to the marks brothers in addition of our best friend Nat Moore,” Duper said. “Let me explain. When they get a few more years under their belt together, playing great together, doing things, winning games, making touchdowns, then you can come back and ask me that question. Right now they’re in a working process. They’ve got all the talent in the world as the receiving corps, but they’re going to have to gel together. I see it. Last year we’ve seen it gel a little bit. So they’ve got to go all the way.”


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