As we progress through the doldrums of the 2012 NFL offseason, it's a perfect time to build the all time Miami Dolphins depth chart. Basically, we will look to build a 53-man roster, using the greatest Miami Dolphins players of all time.
We will work our way through all of the positions, voting for each slot in the depth chart. At the end of the process (which will take a while), we can have a debate to see if someone who doesn't make it in one position should bump someone from another position.
In doing this, we will use the following position slots to establish our primary depth chart:
QB - 3
WR - 6
TE - 3
FB - 1
OT - 4
G - 4
C - 2
DE - 4
DT - 4
LB - 6
CB - 6
S - 4
K - 1
P - 1
So, let's get to the first poll. This one is probably already decided, and I could slot in the winner, but we will do the vote just to make sure. Up first in our poll is the top quarterback position.
The nominees (who had to start a minimum of 10 games for the Dolphins) for the position are:
Rick Norton - Selected with the second overall pick by the Dolphins in the 1966 AFL draft (also drafted in the second round of the NFL draft). Norton would start games over all four years he would be with the Dolphins, serving primarily as a backup to Bob Griese during that span. He would finish his Miami career with 11 starts (31 appearances), a 1-10 record as a starter, with a 156-for-377 completions rate (41.4%), six touchdowns, 30 interceptions, and a 28.1 passer rating. Norton would play one additional year with the Green Bacy Packers in 1970, only appearing in one game.
Bob Griese - A year after selecting Norton with the second overall pick, the Dolphins would take Griese with the fourth overall selection in 1967. Griese would immediately establish himself as the starter, a position he would hold for fourteen years. During his time with the Dolphins, Griese would start 151 games, appearing in an additional 10, with a record of 92-56-3 over his career. He would complete 1926 of 3429 passes, for a 56.2% completion rate. He threw for 25,092 yards, with 192 touchdowns and 172 interceptions. He had a career passer rating of 77.1. Griese was selected to 8 Pro Bowls, including his rookie year, as well as two First Team All Pro Selections, during his career, and led the Dolphins to seven playoff appearances. He won Super Bowls VII and VIII, after losing Super Bowl VI (Miami became the first team to appear in three straight Super Bowls). Although Earl Morrall started more games during the 1972 Perfect Season, Griese will always be remembered as the quarterback for that team, winning the Super Bowl that year after returning from injury in the AFC Championship game. Griese was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
Earl Morrall - Morrall joined the Dolphins in 1972, having already played in the league for 16 years. Morrall had the talent to serve as the Miami starting quarterback, but the Dolphins had Griese already on the roster. Morrall may have been the greatest backup the Dolphins ever had, and he was the right guy to have in the 1972 Perfect Season. Stepping in for an injured Griese, Morrall would start nine games that year, winning all nine, and leading the team to the AFC Championship game. When he struggled in the first half of the game, Miami head coach Don Shula would pull Morrall and put Griese back into the lineup, and it is Griese, who won that game and Super Bowl VII, completing the only undefeated Super Bowl championship team,that is remembered as the quarterback for the team. Over his five years with the Dolphins, Morrall would go 11-1 as a starter, completing 53.9% of his passes (153-for-284), with 2335 yards, 17 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a 76.2 passer rating. He was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year and to the First Team All Pro roster for his performance in 1972.
Don Strock - Strock would spend 14-years with the Dolphins (1974-1987), primarily serving as the backup quarterback for Griese and Marino. His presence and mentorship, especially to a young Marino, would be invaluable for the team. During those 14-years with Miami, Strock would start just 20 games, although he did appears in 143 other games. He had a 14-6 record as a starter, with a 388-to-688 completion to attempts ratio (56.4%). He had 4,613 passing yards, with 39 touchdowns and 37 interceptions, with a 73.5 passer rating. He would spend one year with the Cleveland Browns in 1988 before retiring.
David Woodley - Woodley is best known as the bridge between Bob Griese and Dan Marino, filling the starters role from the end of Griese's career in 1980 to the start of Marino's in 1983. During that time, Woodley would go 27-12-1 as a starter, with a 508-for-961 (52.9%) completions-to-attempts rate, with 5,928 passing yards. He had a 34-to-42 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and a passer rating of 65.4.
Dan Marino - During his 17-year career, Marino set nearly ever passing record in the league. was selected to nine Pro Bowls and was named a First Team All-Pro selection three times. He had a 147-93 record as a starter, with a 59.4% completion rate (4967-for-8358), for 61,361 yards, 420 touchdowns, 252 interceptions, and a career 86.4 passer rating. He was the first quarterback to surpass the 5,000 yards passing in a season in 1984, setting an NFL record (5,084 yards) that would stand until last season. Marino led the Dolphins to the playoffs in 12 of his 17 seasons, including one Super Bowl appearance, a 38-16 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XIX. Marino still holds nine NFL records, including most 400-yard passing games in a season (4) and in a career (13), most game winning 4th quarter/overtime (including playoffs) in a career (51), and the fewest games needed to reach 100 passing touchdowns (44) and 200 passing touchdowns (89). He also holds several Monday Night Football records, including most passing yards (9,654), most touchdown passes (74), and most wins as a starter (20). Marino was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005.
Jay Fiedler - Fiedler had the un-enviable task of being the man who replaced Marino. Fiedler spent five years with the Dolphins, racking up a 36-23 winning record, with 11,040 passing yards on 936-for-1603 completion rate (58.4%). Field would throw for 66 touchdowns with Miami, but would nearly match that with 63 interceptions, a statistic Dolphins fans, used to Marino's precision, could not accept. He finished his Miami career with a 76.8 passer rating, and a winning record in four of his five years as a starter, with the Dolphins making the playoffs in 2000 and 2001.
Gus Frerotte - Frerotte was next in line to find a replacement for Dan Marino, and would start a long line of veterans brought in to serve as a quick fix for the Dolphins obvious need at quarterback. During his one year with the Dolphins, Frerotte would compile a 9-6 record, with 2,996 yards passing. He had a 59.1% completion percentage (257-for494), with 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, a 71.9 passer rating.
Joey Harrington - The Dolphins traded for the Detroit Lions' Joey Harrington before the 2006 season, having him sit behind free agent quarterback Daunte Culpepper. Harrington would be thrust into the starters role in Week 4, when Culpepper was injured, only to struggle through an 0-4 start. Harrington would turn it around over the last six games of the season, going 5-2 to compile a Dolphins career record of 5-6, with 223-for-388 passing (57.5%), 12 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, and a 68.2 passer rating. Harrington would spend one more year in the league, with the Atlanta Falcons, then signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2008, but did not make the team before retiring.
Chad Pennington - Miami was handed a gift before the 2008 season when the New York Jets released Chad Pennington, only to have them sign with their AFC East rival Dolphins. Miami quickly placed Pennington in the starters role, and he didn't disappoint. The Dolphins would go 11-5 in 2008, rebounding from the 1-15 season the year before. That season, Pennington would go 321-for-476 in completions, leading the league with a 67.4% completion percentage. He would throw for 3,653 yards, 19 touchdowns, with 7 interceptions. He finished the season with a 97.4 passer rating, leading the Dolphins to the AFC East division title and their first playoff appearance since 2001.. Pennington would be named the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year. His 2009 and 2010 campaigns with Miami would both end fairly quickly due to shoulder injures, starting just four games in two years, including his one start in 2010 when he was injured on just the second play of the game, effectively ending his career. His final Miami stats would be a 12-8 record, 373 completions on 552 attempts (67.6%), 20 touchdowns, nine interceptions, and a 94.5 passer rating.
Chad Henne - Big things were expected out of the Dolphins' 2008 second round pick. After sitting for his rookie year (going 7-for-12 for 58.3% in three appearances), Henne would start 27 of the team's 32 games in 2009 and 2010. He would tally 13 wins and 14 losses during those two seasons, adding 4 losses at the beginning of 2011 before a shoulder injury would sideline him for the year. In his four years with the Dolphins, Henne would go 13-18 as a starter, with a 60.7% completion rate (646-for-1065), 31 touchdowns, 37 interceptions, and a passer rating of 75.7. Henne would be sacked 67 times in just over two years of starting. Afetr the 2011 season, Henne was allowed to leave Miami in free agency, signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Matt Moore - When Henne was lost for the year in Week 4 of the 2011 season, Moore was unexpectedly thrust into the starters role. After Henne's 0-4 start, Moore would continue the losing streak for three more games, before finally getting the Dolphins into the win column against the Kansas City Chief. Moore would finish the year winning six of the team's final nine games, giving him a 6-6 record as the Dolphins' starter. He would have a 60.5% completion rate (210-for-347), with 2,497 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. Moore had an 87.1 passer rating last year, and his performance to end last season has him atop the quarterback competition with free agent signing David Garrard and first round draft pick Ryan Tannehill this year.
Now, it's your turn to vote. Who takes the Miami Dolphins' starter's position in the all time depth chart?