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 35 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. Week six saw the addition of Glenn Blackwood, Vern Den Herder, Keith Jackson, Jim Jensen and John Offerdahl.
On Tuesday the team announced the latest five players. They are Bob Brudzinski, Norm Evans, Mike Pouncey, Patrick Surtan and Jason Taylor.
Brudzinski played nine seasons at linebacker for the Dolphins during the 1980s and was a member of the famed ‘Killer B’s’ defense that led Miami to Super Bowl XVII and XIX. He started all but three games during his first six seasons with the Dolphins and led the team in tackles and sacks one time each.
“First of all I have to thank a lot of people, starting with my parents, brothers and sisters, along with all the coaches and players I played with. I was lucky enough to have been brought up in a small, middle-class town with an emphasis on family, and we had to work hard for everything. We had a great neighborhood — I grew up with a lot of good people. I played a lot with the older kids, and that helped, too,” Brudzinski said.
“I was lucky enough to play for great coaches and great players in my career, from the back yard all the way through high school and college at Ohio State to the L.A. Rams and then with the Dolphins. I was around a lot of winning. I was lucky enough not to be on really any losing team. Winning really carries over to everything. That’s a big part of it. It’s great to be included with all the guys. A lot of them are former teammates and I’m honored to be on the team with them.”
Evans was a member of the Dolphins inaugural team and remained with Miami for ten total seasons, more than all but one member of the original team in 1966. He started all but six games at tackle during his tenure with the Dolphins, including every game in Miami’s back-to-back Super Bowl winning seasons in 1972 and 1973. Evans was named to two Pro Bowls and is the only original Dolphins player to be named to the all-time team.
“I’m really happy for the guys who helped me improve and learn and get better at my trade. In fact, I was talking to Vern Den Herder recently and I said, ‘You rascal, you’re the one who helped make this happen for me because you wore me out every day in practice.’ The same was true for Jim Riley before him. So the guys I played against at practice were really a big, big part of that. And of course the guys I played next to like Marv Fleming and Larry Little. I felt pretty blessed by that whole deal, too. So the guys that were around me and across from me had a big, big part to do with my development,” Evans said.
“Then of course there were people like Monte Clark. There was nobody like him. He refined all of us on the line. And before that my rookie coach at Houston was Lou Rymkus. He was a famous old offensive lineman. He really helped me refine the basic techniques of an offensive tackle. And Coach Shula, of course. He taught us it’s not about the individual. When you get individual stuff that’s great, but when the team gets honored, that’s the point. That’s what we’re all about. It’s what we do together, not what we do as individuals. That was the basic philosophy of all of those guys and it started with Coach Shula. I owe all my success to the guys who helped me grow and develop and learn how to play.”
Pouncey is currently playing in his fifth season with the Dolphins at center, having been a starter since being selected by Miami in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Pouncey was named as a Pro Bowl starter in 2013 and despite moving to guard in 2014 due to injuries on the Dolphins offensive line, was again named to the Pro Bowl that season. He is the only offensive player in team history to be selected to the Pro Bowl at two different positions.
“The Dolphins are a tremendous organization and have been a big part of my development as a player. They have believed and supported me through my career, and I’m grateful to the organization,” Pouncey said. “It’s an honor to be name to the Top 50 among some legendary names.”
Surtain played seven seasons with the Dolphins at cornerback and his 29 interceptions are tied for fourth on Miami’s all-time list. He led Miami in interceptions with six in 2002 and seven in 2003. Surtain was named to three Pro Bowls, which is tied for the third highest total by any Dolphins defensive back.
“It’s an unbelievable honor considering the great tradition that the Dolphins have. To be considered as one of the 50 greatest is a true blessing and something that I will cherish the rest of my life,” Surtain said.
Taylor played 13 seasons for the Dolphins at linebacker and defensive end, appearing in 204 games while making 186 starts. The only player with more starts in Dolphins history is legendary quarterback Dan Marino. Taylor holds the Dolphins all-time sack record with 131 and is tied with Bill Stanfill for most sacks in a single season with 18.5. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 and was selected to six Pro Bowls. Taylor was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll in 2012.
“People ask me all of the time if I miss football, and without question, what I miss the most is the locker room. I miss the guys who I bled with and battled with day in and day out for a common cause in the ultimate team sport. So, to be named to the Dolphins all-time team alongside so many guys who I was fortunate enough to call my teammates, and so many others who I have the utmost respect for, it is not only a tremendous honor, but it’s like being put right back in the locker room again with the best of the best,” Taylor said.
“The caliber of players who have worn that Dolphin on the side of their helmet — from Dan (Marino) to Timbo (Tim Bowens), to Zach (Thomas), Sam (Madison), OJ McDuffie, Richmond Webb; the Hall of Famers in (Paul) Warfield, (Dwight) Stephenson, (Jim) Langer — the list goes on and on and it is absolutely incredible. I just wish we could lace ’em up one more time and run out of that tunnel in front of the greatest fans in the world.”
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