In conjunction with the Dolphins 50th season celebration presented by Pepsi, voting took place to select the top 50 players in team history. Four different groups voted on the composition of the team, including fans, Dolphins alumni, South Florida media and a select blue ribbon panel. Each group’s selections counted for 25 percent of the overall vote. Five players on the team will be announced each week leading up to home game vs. the New York Giants on Dec. 14 when the entire 50th team will be honored as part of a tribute to the 50 seasons of Dolphins football. The latest five members of the team introduced today are Bob Brudzinski, Norm Evans, Mike Pouncey, Patrick Surtain and Jason Taylor. Further information about each player as well as quotes are below:
Bob Brudzinski played nine seasons (1981-89) with the Dolphins at linebacker as a member of the “Killer B’s” defense that helped lead the Dolphins to two Super Bowls in the 1980s. He started all but three games in his first six seasons in Miami. He led the Dolphins in tackles once and in sacks once.
“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.”
Norm Evans is an original Dolphins player who saw action in ten seasons in Miami (1966-75), more than all but one member of that inaugural team. He started all but six games at tackle during those ten years, including every game in Miami’s World Championship seasons of 1972 and 1973. His 91 consecutive starts during that span are the sixth highest in team history, and he was named to two Pro Bowls. He 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.”
Mike Pouncey is in his fifth year (2011-15) with the Dolphins, having been a starter since joining the team as the first round draft pick in 2011. He started all but two games for Miami at center his first three years in the league. Pouncey was named as a Pro Bowl starter in 2013 and moved to right guard in 2014 due to injuries on the offensive line, where he earned his second Pro Bowl selection. He is the only offensive player in team history to earn Pro Bowl recognition at two 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.”
Patrick Surtain played seven years (1998-2004) with the Dolphins. His 29 interceptions rank tied for fourth on Miami’s all-time list and are the second-highest figure by a cornerback. He led the Dolphins in interceptions with six picks in 2002 and seven in 2003. He was named to three Pro Bowl teams, 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.
Jason Taylor played 13 seasons for the Dolphins (1997-2007, 2009 and 2011) at defensive end/linebacker. He played 204 games while making 186 starts, the second highest figure in team history behind only Dan Marino. He holds the Dolphins record for most all-time sacks (131) and is tied with Bill Stanfill for most sacks in a season (18.5). He was named as the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2006 and was selected to six Pro Bowl teams. He 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.”
Dick Anderson, Bob Baumhower, Doug Betters, Glenn Blackwood, Tim Bowens, Bob Brudzinski, Nick Buoniconti, Mark Clayton, Bryan Cox, Larry Csonka, Vern Den Herder, Mark Duper, Norm Evans, Manny Fernandez, Bob Griese, Brent Grimes, Keith Jackson, Jim Jensen, Bob Kuechenberg, Jim Langer, Larry Little, Sam Madison , Jim Mandich, Dan Marino, O.J. McDuffie, Mercury Morris, Tony Nathan, John Offerdahl, Mike Pouncey, Reggie Roby, Jake Scott, Patrick Surtain, Bill Stanfill, Dwight Stephenson , Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas, Paul Warfield, Richmond Webb, Ricky Williams, Garo Yepremian