When you hear the name Dan Marino you often hear folks use the expression that the leg quarterback was before his time. And, most would agree that the former Miami Dolphins legend was doing things from the QB position that just hadn’t been seen in 1980s and 1990s. With no consistent running game ever Marino still lit the league up yearly. In his 17-year career Marino averaged 3,600 yards passing and 25 touchdowns passes per season in a one-dimensional offense, and in an era where teams ran it much more than passed it.
The rules also allowed defenders to literally kill quarterbacks and receivers with very little repercussions, other than the occasional 15-yard personal foul penalty. That and a host of other rules that favored the defense made it difficult for offenses to have sustained success. But somehow Marino had continual success down in South Florida. Which makes him believe he could do the same and more in this era of flag football with pads on.
Marino Could Throw For 6,000 Yards Passing In This NFL?
During a recent appearance on the “This Is Football” podcast, the former Pitt Panthers legend says he believes he could slang the pill for 6,000-yards in a season in this version of the NFL.
“Yes we’d throw for 6,000 yards. Defenses in the middle of my career, and then towards the end, they got a little more complex and guys do a lot more things now as far as blitzing and changing personnel and all that than I did earlier in my career, later in my career, I had to deal with it. It would be a lot of fun, so that why we’re trying to unretire here, so I can come back and throw for 6,000 yards.”
If anybody could do it probably be Marino, who in 1984 became the first QB to pass for 5,000 yards in a season along with 48 touchdown passes, leading the Fins to a 14-2 record and Super Bowl berth, the only one of his illustrious NFL career.
QB Rule Changes Would Help Marino's Cause
Something else that’d be on Marino’s side other than his elite arm talent would be how re game is officiated now as it pertains to QBs. That’s something Marino took into consideration when he made these remarks.
“You can’t hit the quarterback the way you used to. You can’t get a shot in the head, you can’t go under your knees, and that’s a good thing I think because when I played you were allowed to do that, and players could take shots at you,” Marino said. “That and the fact that as far as down the field, the PIs, they’ll get more calls now. They use to be able to touch you down the field even after five yards, even though that was the rule, they were more physical, and there’s a lot of guys that could tell you that same thing, that it changed in that way.”
Marino is speaking nothing but the truth, in today’s football you can’t breathe on QBs or WRs without the yellow laundry hitting the ground. In Marino’s day they mugged offensive players without the fear of being penalized.
That brings even more validity to what Marino is saying, it’s plausible he could pass for 6K yards in a season if he played today.