That’s the harsh reality for the Dolphins since Dan Marino’s retirement following the 1999 season. Jay Cutler will be the latest name added to the list when he gets the nod in Sunday’s season-opener against the Chargers. Cutler was coaxed out of retirement by Dolphins coach Adam Gase early in training camp when Ryan Tannehill reinjured his left knee.
The 17 quarterbacks who have succeeded Marino have combined for one �� that’s right, one �� playoff victory in the past 17 seasons. Here is my ranking of those passers from both a personal and professional standpoint as a South Florida native and NFL reporter, including eight seasons as a Dolphins beat writer (1999 to 2006) for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The nerve injury gave Smith a drop foot, which essentially means that he could not pick up his left foot on his own. Smith still wears a brace on the foot, and it’s unclear how long he’ll need it. During training camp, Sports Illustrated reported that his nerve was 80 percent regenerated.
But Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus said he doesn’t mess around with percentages. He just said he expects Smith to keep getting better as he gets healthier and learns more on the job.
His attitude is positive, and it’s very contagious, Eberflus said. Guys, I think, are drawn to him because of that.
In some ways, things have worked out. Rod and Jaylon Smith are playing together. They never had the chance to do that in high school or college. As kids in Fort Wayne, Indiana, their dad, Roger, whom Rod calls Pops, had them run for five miles around a development called Village Woods. They were 6 or maybe 7 years old. Sometimes, Rod said, they couldn’t have supper until they had run.