Jeff Dellenbach was a 6'6" offensive lineman out of the University of Wisconsin. The Dolphins selected him in the fourth round of the 1985 NFL Entry Draft with the 111th overall pick.
As a rookie, Dellenbach was used sparingly, appearing in a total of 11 games for the Dolphins. He made his first career start at left tackle in a week 12 victory over the Buffalo Bills, 23-14 as the Dolphins gained 172 yards on the ground and Dan Marino threw for two touchdowns. Miami finished the season 12-4, advancing to the AFC Championship game.
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In 1986, Dellenbach started six of 13 games for Miami at left tackle and at right guard, wherever he was needed to fill in. The team finished 8-8, as the offensive line allowed only 17 sacks of quarterback Dan Marino. The offense scored an NFL high 430 points as Marino threw for 44 touchdowns.
1987 was marked by the players second strike in six years and the replacement player debaucle. Dellenbach started six of 11 games for Miami, three at left tackle, closing the season as the starting center after Hall-of-Famer Dwight Stephenson suffered what would prove to be a career ending injury. Miami closed the season at 8-7, leading the NFL with 3,876 passing yards. Marino was only sacked nine times over 12 games.
1988 would see Dellenbach remain as Miami's starting center for all 16 games. The team finished 6-10 as Marino was sacked an incredible six times while leading the NFL with 4,434 passing yards.
Dellenbach was moved to left tackle in 1989, where he started all 16 games. Miami finished 8-8 as Marino threw for 3,997 yards and was sacked 10 times.
In 1990, Dellenbach was limited to 15 games off the bench for Miami as the team returned to power with a 12-4 record, advancing to the second round of the playoffs. Miami reverted to an 8-8 record in 1991 as Dellenbach made two starts in 15 games for Miami.
In 1992, Dellenbach was moved again, this time to right tackle, starting eight of 16 games. Miami went 11-5, making it all the way to the AFC title game. The passing offense finished with an NFL second-best 3,975 yards.
Dellenbach started 16 games for Miami in 1993, 11 at center and five at right guard, as needed. The Dolphins failed to qualify for the playoffs despite a respectable 9-7 record. Due to an injury to incumbent quarterback Dan Marino, three different starters led Miami to an NFL high 4,353 passing yards.
Dellenbach returned to the center position in 1994, starting every game for Miami as the team finished 10-6 and made it to the second round of the playoffs. Dellenbach left after the season and played for five more years as a member of the New England Patriots, the Green Bay Packers, and the Philadelphia Eagles. According to wikipedia, he is currently head varsity football coach for the American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida.
The Miami Dolphins have featured two Hall-of-Fame centers. We'll poll them later. Who was the best non-HOF center for Miami?
Tom Goode (10 votes)
Jeff Dellenbach (164 votes)
Tim Ruddy (468 votes)
Jeff Uhlenhake (108 votes)
750 total votes