Throughout the 45 years since the Miami Dolphins were established in 1966, many talented players have come and gone. Pro Bowlers, All Pro Players and Hall of Farmers have had no problem finding their success in South Florida. Players at a variety of positions have excelled in the Miami Dolphins jersey. One position however that has lacked elite star power has been the Tight End position.
Tight End is one of the more difficult positions to evaluate in the NFL due to its responsibilities on the field. Some people value a Tight End who can stretch the field and is a head ache to cover due to their pass catching abilities. While others prefer a Tight End that can effectively block and open up lanes for running backs. Personally for me, I prefer watching a Tight End that makes a difference in the passing game, someone like Antonio Gates or Dallas Clark or Kellen Winslow. Those type of players are blessed with remarkable size and skill, and when mashed together create one heck of a football player.
Miami has never really had a top tier elite tight end in its history, so this wasn’t as easy as some would think to come up with. Miami is still currently searching for that special player at Tight End to help stretch the field. While Anthony Fasano is a nice player who does a great job in the blocking game, he hasn’t really done a great job at stretching the field for the Miami offence. Miami needs that Tight End that can be Henne’s BFF.
All that being said lets look at the latest instalment of The All Time Miami Dolphins: Tight Ends
- 1) James Michael ("Mad Dog") Mandich – (1970–1977)
If you live in Miami or if your a Dolphins fan this choice was a no brainer. There is a famous quote “respect should be given when respect is deserved”, and this certainly is a good time to pay some respect to the recently passed away Mad Dog. A side from the fact that he is a two time super bowl winner, a claim which no other Dolphins tight end can make, Mad Dog has meant more to this franchise then perhaps any other player excluding Marino. Mad Dog was not only the starting tight end for many seasons but was also the voice of the people. Mad Dog was loved by all fans and kept the Miami fan based entertained whether on the field or on the air.
"When you think about Jim Mandich," said teammate Kim Bokamper, "you think Miami Dolphins."
His stats were 121 catches for 1,406 yards and 23 touchdowns at a time when tight ends weren't prolific receiving threats. In 1974, he finished with more receptions and three times as many touchdowns as Warfield, who went to the Pro Bowl that year. Mad Dog will always be remembered as a heroic member of the Miami Dolphins community. My only hope is that he is honoured on the ring of Honour in Sun Life Stadium some time soon.
All Right Miami!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2) TE Keith Jackson (1992-1994)
This was tough! After Mad Dog there is a huge drop off at the Tight End position for this franchise. Keith Jackson was a 6 time pro bowler at the tight end position, and one best of in his era. The problem with putting Jackson this high on the list is not his skill, or his stats, or repertoire but the fact he only sported the Aqua and Orange for two seasons. That being said both of Jackson’s years in Miami were pro bowl seasons. Jackson might be remembered in his NFL career as an Eagle but his two seasons in Miami were a huge success including a 2nd team All Pro team selection in 92. Jackson might be only known as Boomer Sooner the player that helped lead Oklahoma to a national championship but his play in Miami was certainly top notch.
3) Ferrell Edmunds (1989-1992)
While this name might not mean much to younger Dolphfans, Edmunds spent 5 years as the primary tight end for the phins. Edmunds had the pleasure of having his passes come from one of the greatest QB’s of all time Dan Marino, which certainly made his job easier. Edmunds career highlights include 2 Pro Bowl appearances and 117 receptions, 1612 yards and 12 touchdowns in the Aqua and Orange. Edmunds had the size (6-7) to really be a match up nightmare for most defenders.
Other memorable Dolphins Tight Ends’: Randy McMichael, Anthony Fasano
On a side note: While McMichael did not make this list, he did have probably nicest catch and score by a tight end in Dolphins history.
Stayed tuned for the next instalment of The All Time Miami Dolphins, we get down and dirty into the trenches next and start breaking down the O-Line!