Dan Marino Commemorates Don Shula

Published 05/05/2020, 1:59 AM EDT


The NFL world is rocked by the tragic demise of Don Shula, the former Quarterback of the Miami Dolphins. 58-year-old Dan Marino posted a series of touching tweets, where he detailed his experience of working with Shula.

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“Thank you for always believing in me. You made me a better player and person,” Dan Marino wrote on his twitter handle.

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The Don Shula-Dan Marino combination

The Marino-Shula Combination is, even today, regarded as one of the best Quarterback-Coach partnerships in NFL history. They have taken the Dolphins from many precarious positions to victorious conclusions. One of the best plays that the two had strategically planned was the infamous fake spike incident.

In 1994, the Dolphins took on Jets. There was a time when they trailed Jets 24-21. However, Marino made a scintillating play by faking a spike prior to throwing a touchdown to Mark Ingram. Though it was Bernie Kosar who brought the fake spike in the game, it was Marino and Shula who perfected it.

 

Dan Marino’s rookie year

Dan Marino started his career with Miami Dolphins after declining an offer from Los Angeles Express. He was the very first draft pick in the history of the US Football League. After getting drafted, he was a young rookie waiting for his debut. He spent his time on several minicamps, but he had slim chances to start for the team. He met Shula for the first time during such a minicamp.

When the two met, Shula told the rookie, “I want you to come in good shape. Prepare yourself this summer as if you’re going to come in and be the starter.”

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Eventually, the duo played 13 seasons together with 8 winning seasons. “He made an impact on me right away that way”, Marino shared in an interview, before adding “He believed in me. … That just gave me a lot of confidence right off the bat.”

 

Marino progressed from a Rookie to league MVP under the guidance of Don Shula. His career would have taken a different path if he was to choose Los Angeles Expres. He retired in 1999 with numerous records, including most passing yards and touchdowns. He owes a lot to Don Shula.

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When Marino learned about the unfortunate demise of Shula, he wrote an emotional statement, which says a lot of their relationship. Don Shula is indeed one of the best head coaches in NFL History. His absence will be truly missed.

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Sooraj Ram

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