Miami Dolphins

A recap of all 21 Miami Dolphins starting QBs since Dan Marino retired 20 years ago

It has been 20 years since Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino retired, and Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the 20th starting quarterback since Marino’s departure. Ryan Tannehill started 88 games. Tyler Thigpen started one. Here’s a look at the 20 starters in the post-Marino era.

huard.JPG
Miami Dolphins backup quarterback Damon Huard (11) looks for a way around New England Patriots saftey Chris Carter (42) on a quarterback keeper during first quarter action of their AFC Eastgame at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., Sunday afternoon Oct. 17, 1999. Huard replaced Dan Marino after Marino threw two first quarter interceptions for touchdowns. Miami Herald file

Damon Huard (1997-2000)

Games started: 6.

Record: 5-1.

Huard began the 1999 season as the Dolphins’ holder on the field goal unit, but following an injury to Dan Marino, he started his first game at quarterback in late October. He won his first three games as a starter, tying a team record set by Earl Morrall in 1972. Huard went 4–1 before Marino returned.

Despite Huard’s success, Jay Fiedler became the Dolphins’ starter in 2000. Huard started one game in Fiedler’s place, a 17–14 win over the Colts, and made NFL history that day, as he and his brother Brock became the first set of brothers to start at QB on the same weekend.

Huard went on to win two Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots and retired from the NFL in 2010. In 2013, he went to work at his alma mater, the University of Washington, as director of community and external relations. He also has been the Huskies’ color analyst since 2010, but is leaving the booth after the 2019 season to spend more time with his family. His son, Sam, a high school junior quarterback, is a Class of 2021 Huskies commit.

Huard and Marino co-own the “Passing Time” winery in Woodinville, Washington. They released their first Cabernet Sauvignon in 2015 to much acclaim and are producing 2,000 cases a year.

Fiedler.JPG
The Miami Dolphins host the Oakland Raiders at Pro Player Stadium in Miami on Sept. 23, 2001. Jay Fiedler raises his fist after scoring the winning TD on a 2 yard run. Miami Herald file

Jay Fiedler (2000-2004)

Games started: 59.

Record: 36-23.

Undrafted out of Dartmouth, where he earned a mechanical engineering degree, Fiedler bounced from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Minnesota Vikings to the Jacksonville Jaguars before signing with Miami, where he beat out Huard to become Marino’s replacement. He led the Fins to 11-5 seasons in 2000 and 2001, an AFC East title and is the last Miami quarterback to win a playoff game – an overtime win in the 2000 AFC Wild Card game.

Fiedler went on to play for the Jets and Tampa Bay and retired in 2008.

His career stats — 76 games, 60 starts, 11,844 yards, 69 touchdowns, 66 interceptions.

He runs summer camps and sports camps with his brother; and was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Lucas.JPG
The Miami Dolphins visit the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay Wisconsin on Nov. 4, 2002. In third quarter Ray Lucas scrambles to the 14 for 1st down. Miami Herald file

Ray Lucas (2002)

Games started: 6.

Record: 2-4.

Lucas played for four teams during his seven-year NFL career. He stepped in and started six games after Fiedler broke his thumb. He has the dubious distinction of recording the worst game stats ever by a Dolphins quarterback. On Oct. 20, 2002, against the Buffalo Bills, Lucas turned the ball over six times — four interceptions and two fumbles.

In 2014, he co-wrote a book called “Under Pressure: How Playing Football Almost Cost Me Everything and Why I’d Do It All Again.” In 2018, he was named executive director of the Harrison (New Jersey) Housing Authority, a job his father held for nearly three decades. Lucas also is the studio analyst on Jets Nation and is a radio commentator for Rutgers, his alma mater.

griese.JPG
Dolphins’ quarterback Brian Griese passes during a preseason game against the Buccaneers at the Pro Player in Miami on Friday, August 8, 2003. Miami Herald file

Brian Griese (2003)

Games started: 5.

Record: 3-2.

Griese, a Miami native and son of Dolphins legend/Pro Football Hall of Famer Bob Griese, signed with the Dolphins after five seasons with the Denver Broncos. He earned a Super Bowl ring with Denver as John Elway’s backup during his 1998 rookie season and replaced Elway as starter in 1999.

He stepped in for injured Fiedler for five games in 2003. Griese passed for 813 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions. Miami released him after the season, and he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He has spent the past 10 years as a college football analyst for ESPN. He is also a philanthropist. Among his charities is Judi’s House, a children’s grief counseling center in Denver he founded with his father in memory of his mother, Judi, who died of breast cancer when Brian was 12.

feeley.JPG
The Miami Dolphins host the Jacksonville Jaguars at Pro Player Stadium in Miami on Aug. 14, 2004 .A.J.Feeley throws for a 1st down in the second quarter. Miami Herald file

AJ Feeley (2004)

Games started: 8.

Record: 3-5.

Feeley’s lone season with the Dolphins was one to forget – except for one game. The team started 1-9, running back Ricky Williams retired and coach Dave Wannstedt resigned. Feeley traded starts with Jay Fiedler. His most memorable game was Dec. 20, 2004, when the 2-11 Dolphins upset the 12-1 Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Monday Night Football. Miami trailed by 11 with four minutes to go, and Feeley led the Dolphins to victory.

In 11 games with Miami, Feeley had 11 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Midway through the 2005 season, Feeley was traded to the San Diego Chargers for Cleo Lemon. Feeley, who began his career with the Philadelphia Eagles, has worked as a brand ambassador for the team. He is married to former U.S. Women’s World Cup player Heather Mitts and they have two children.

Rosenfels.JPG
The Miami Dolphins host The Jacksonville Jaguars at Pro Player Stadium in Miami on Aug. 14, 2004 .Sage Rosenfels throws complete to the 20 for 1st down in the fourth quarter. Miami Herald file

Sage Rosenfels (2004-05)

Games started: 2.

Record: 0-2.

Rosenfels’ first play of his pro career, in 2004, was a 76-yard touchdown pass, which tied for the eighth-longest NFL pass that season.

A year later, against the Buffalo Bills in Week 13 of the 2005 season, Rosenfels led Miami’s biggest comeback since 1974. He replaced Gus Frerotte with the Dolphins trailing 23–3 and led the Dolphins to three fourth-quarter scoring drives and a 24-23 victory. He threw for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

After leaving Miami, he played for Houston, Minnesota and the New York Giants.

Rosenfels is now a color analyst for Iowa State football, a radio host for ESPN 1500 in Minnesota and writes for The Athletic Minnesota. He also has dabbled in standup comedy.

Frerotte.JPG
Gus Frerotte pitches to Ronnie Brown as the Dolphins play the Denver Broncos at Dolphins Stadium in Miami on Sept. 11, 2005. Miami Herald file

Gus Frerotte (2005)

Games started: 15.

Record: 9-6.

The journeyman Frerotte played for seven teams during his 14-year NFL career, which lasted from his rookie season with the Washington Redskins in 1994 until he retired from the Minnesota Vikings in 2008. He made 15 starts for the Dolphins in 2015, and threw 17 touchdowns and had 13 interceptions.

After he retired, he coached high school football in Missouri and in 2017 he was hired as a vice president at Pennsylvania-based tech company RC21X, which developed brain performance software that employers can use to test their employees.

Culpepper.JPG
The Miami Dolphins vs. The Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sept. 7, 2006. Dolphins Daunte Culpepper throws in the first quarter. Miami Herald file

Daunte Culpepper (2006)

Games started: 4.

Record: 1-3.

Culpepper, an Ocala native who attended University of Central Florida, played 11 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Minnesota Vikings, who drafted him in the first round (No. 11 overall) of the 1999 Draft. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and amassed more than 24,000 yards passing and 149 touchdown passes. In 2004, with the Vikings, he broke Dan Marino’s league record for combined yards in a season with 5,123 yards. That season he threw for 4,717 yards with 39 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions.

He sustained a serious knee injury during the 2005 season, and was traded to the Dolphins for a second-round pick. He went 1-3 to start the 2006 season under coach Nick Saban, who benched him. Late in the season, Culpepper had arthroscopic surgery on his knee and was placed on injured reserve.

After the season, Saban left for the University of Alabama and was replaced by Cam Cameron. The Dolphins got Trent Green in an offseason trade and Culpepper was released in July. He retired in 2008, but made a comeback with the Detroit Lions. He ended his career in 2011 with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League. He is active with the African-American Adoption Agency and does public speaking.

Harrington.JPG
Miami Dophins host the New England Patriots on Dec. 10, 2006. Dolphins QB Joey Harrington throws pass in 1st quarter. Miami Herald file

Joey Harrington (2006)

Games started: 11.

Record: 5-6.

The Detroit Lions picked Harrington with the third pick overall in the 2002 draft, but he didn’t work out, and was traded to the Dolphins after the 2005 season.

Harrington stepped into the starting job after Daunte Culpepper injured his shoulder in Week 5. He lost his first three games, but then led Miami to a 31-13 win over the Chicago Bears. That win sparked four more, including a 27-10 Thanksgiving Day win in Detroit against his former team. In that game, he passed for 213 yards and three touchdowns.

But he struggled during the next few weeks and was replaced by Cleo Lemon during the Christmas day loss to the New York Jets. He left for Atlanta the following season and retired in 2008 after a brief stint with New Orleans.

A talented jazz pianist, Harrington has performed with Jason Mraz and Blues Traveler. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and has worked as an NFL and college football commentator.

Lemon.JPG
Dolphins quarterback Cleo Lemon throws under pressure from Jets defensive tackle Dewayne Robertson during the third quarter in a game on Dec. 25, 2006. Miami Herald file

Cleo Lemon (2006-07)

Games started: 8.

Record: 1-7.

Lemon, undrafted out of Arkansas State in 2002, joined the Dolphins in 2005, but was inactive for all 11 games. He spent the next two seasons primarily as a backup to Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington and Trent Green. His first regular-season start was in the 2006 season finale against the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts, and he led Miami to a near victory. He also led the Dolphins to their lone victory in 2007.

He left Miami the next season, played for Jacksonville and Baltimore, and finished his career with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. He has lived in Jacksonville for the past decade, coaching college football. He was the offensive coordinator at Pearl River Community College and in 2017 was hired as receivers coach at Jacksonville State, where this season he is coaching quarterbacks.

green.JPG
Dolphins quarterback Trent Green throws a pass over Raiders Terdell Sands (left) and Chris Clemons in the 3rd quarter against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 30, 2007. Miami Herald file

Trent Green (2007)

Games started: 5.

Record: 0-5.

Green joined the Dolphins from St. Louis in June 2007 and was named the starter after the preseason, but he sustained a concussion on Oct. 7, 2007, and landed on injured reserve for the rest of the season. He was released in February 2008.

Green played with six teams during his 15-year career, made two Pro Bowls and won a Super Bowl ring with the Rams. Since retiring in 2009, he has worked as an NFL color analyst on radio and TV. His two sons are college quarterbacks, Trent Jr. at Northwestern and Derek at Southern Methodist University.

Beck.JPG
Dolphins quarterback John Beck steps back to throw as linemen Rex Hadnot (66), Samson Satele (64) and Chris Liwienski (76) block during third quarter against the Bengals on Dec. 30, 2007. Beck threw an incomplete pass on the play. Miami Herald file

John Beck (2007)

Games started: 4.

Record: 0-4.

The Dolphins drafted BYU star Beck in the second round of the 2007 draft, and he replaced Lemon as starter in Week 11. He lost all five games he started, and the Dolphins finished 1-15. Lemon and Green left the team after the season, seemingly leaving the job to Beck. But Miami drafted Chad Henne and signed Chad Pennington, dropping Beck to third on the depth chart.

Beck sat the 2008 season, and was released soon thereafter. He continued his career with Baltimore, Washington and Houston and played in the CFL. He retired in 2015 and works as a professional throwing coach with a quarterback performance program called 3DQB in Huntington Beach, California.

Pennington.JPG
Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington signals a play during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New York Jets at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J in this photo from Dec. 28, 2008. Miami Herald file

Chad Pennington (2008-10)

Games started: 20.

Record: 12-8

Pennington’s 67.4 completion percentage in 2008 led the NFL and broke Dan Marino’s season record (64.2) set in 1984. With 3,653 yards passing, he became the first Miami quarterback since Marino to surpass 3,500 yards in a season. He started all 16 games for Miami and led the Dolphins to an 11-5 record and an AFC East title. They lost in the first round of the playoffs. He won NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

He began the 2009 season as starter, but sustained a season-ending shoulder injury in the third game. He won back the starting job in Week 9 of the 2010 season, but injured the shoulder again and missed the rest of the season. He tried to come back in 2011, but tore knee ligaments during a pickup basketball game. Pennington retired after 11 seasons in the NFL and became a TV analyst. He also coaches high school football in Kentucky.

Henne1.JPG
Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne (7) hands off to Miami Dolphins running back Daniel Thomas (33) in an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, in Cleveland. Miami Herald file

Chad Henne (2009-11)

Games started: 31.

Record: 13-18

Henne was drafted out of Michigan in the second round in 2008, but spent most of his rookie season on the bench behind Pennington. He replaced injured Pennington the third week of the 2009 season and started the rest of the season. Henne passed for 300-plus yards in several late-season games and remained the starter entering the 2010 season.

After a 4-4 start to the 2010 season, Henne was replaced by Pennington. But Pennington got injured and Henne returned to the starting role. Although he was inconsistent, he wound up with 3,301 yards, 15 touchdowns and 19 interceptions for the season.

He retained the starting job in 2011, threw for 400 yards against the Patriots, but injured his shoulder in October and was sidelined the rest of the season and let go in the offseason. He played for Jacksonville from 2012-17, and has been with Kansas City since 2018.

Thigpen.JPG
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tyler Thigpen (16) is sacked in the second quarter by the Chicago Bears’ Henry Melton in NFL action at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, Florida, on Thursday, November 18, 2010. Miami Herald file

Tyler Thigpen (2010)

Games started: 1.

Record: 0-1.

Thigpen spent seven years in the NFL, but his time with Miami was brief. The Dolphins acquired him in a trade with Kansas City on Sept, 29, 2009, after Pennington injured his shoulder. He spent the first 15 weeks inactive as the third QB, and finally played in Week 17 when Henne and Pat White got injured. He remained a backup in 2010, but played sparingly. His lone start came late in the season against the Bears, and he was back to the bench the following week.

Moore.JPG
Miami Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore (8) in the third quarter as they play the New York Jets at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, October 22, 2017. Miami Herald file

Matt Moore (2011, 2016-17)

Games started: 17.

Record: 8-9.

Moore signed with Miami n 2011 and replaced Henne when he dislocated his shoulder during an October loss to the San Diego Chargers. Moore started the rest of the season, threw for 2,497 yards and 16 touchdowns and was voted team MVP.

Moore spent seven seasons with Miami, primarily as a backup. He started a Wild Card postseason game in January 2017 in place of injured Ryan Tannehill, went 29 of 36 for 289 yards but Miami lost to Pittsburgh. His played six games in the 2017 season, the most memorable an exciting comeback win over the New York Jets. He entered the game in the third quarter in place of injured Jay Cutler with Miami down by two touchdowns and led the team to 17 points in the final 15 minutes.

Now with the Kansas City Chiefs, history repeated itself. Henne fractured his ankle against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 of the preseason, and Moore was signed to replace him as the likely No. 2 quarterback behind Patrick Mahomes.

Tannehill.JPG
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) is sacked by Malik Jackson (97) of the Jaguars in a game on December 23, 2018 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Miami Herald file

Ryan Tannehill (2012-16, 2018)

Games started: 88.

Record: 42-46.

Tannehill was drafted by Miami eighth overall in 2012 and arrived with much hype. He was the first Dolphins quarterback taken in the first round since Dan Marino in 1983, and the third first-round Miami quarterback in history along with Marino and Hall of Famer Bob Griese.

He started from Day One, set franchise rookie records and became the fourth quarterback in league history to pass for 3,000 yards in each of his first four years. He started every game in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 13 games in 2016 before missing the 2017 season with a knee injury.

In 2015, the Dolphins signed Tannehill to a six-year, $96 million contract extension through the 2020 season. In 2018, after coming back from knee surgery, he started 11 games and passed for 1,979 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His late-game heroics led to Miami’s 34-33 miracle win over New England in Week 14. He struggled through three losses to end the season, and in March 2019 was traded to the Tennessee Titans.

During his seven seasons with the Dolphins, Tannehill passed for 20,434 yards with 123 touchdowns and 75 interceptions.

Cutler.JPG
Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws an interception late in the second quarter as they play the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, October 15, 2017. Miami Herald file

Jay Cutler (2017)

Games started: 14.

Record: 6-8.

Cutler came out of retirement and signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Dolphins in August 2017, when Ryan Tannehill sustained a season-ending knee injury. He was reunited with coach Adam Gase, who was the Chicago Bears offensive coordinator when Cutler played there. He started 14 games for Miami and passed for 2,666 yards with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He went 6-8 and went back into retirement after the season.

Osweiler.JPG
Miami Dolphins quarterback Brock Osweiler (8) sets up to pass in the second quarter as the Miami Dolphins host the Detroit Lions at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, October 21, 2018. Miami Herald file

Brock Osweiler (2018)

Games started: 5.

Record: 2-3.

Osweiler, drafted by Denver in the second round in 2012, joined Miami in March 2018. He replaced injured Ryan Tannehill in Week 4 and got his first start in Week 6. He played seven games and started five, and finished the season with 1,247 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions.

Fitzpatrick.JPG
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) looks to pass in the first quarter as the Miami Dolphins host the Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium on Thursday, August 22, 2019. Miami Herald file

Ryan Fitzpatrick (2019)

The 36-year-old Harvard graduate has played for eight teams since being drafted in the seventh round in 2005 by the St. Louis Rams. The Dolphins signed Fitzpatrick in March 2019, and he won the starting job over Josh Rosen.

Games started: 2.

Record: 0-2.

Rosen.JPG
Miami Dolphins quarterback Josh Rosen (3) as they play the Atlanta Falcons at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Thursday, August, 8, 2019. Miami Herald file

Josh Rosen (2019)

The former first-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, who was acquired in a draft day trade by the Dolphins in 2019, will make his first start for the Dolphins in a Week 3 visit to the Dallas Cowboys. Rosen was named starter after Ryan Fitzpatrick went 0-2 and the Dolphins were outscored 102-10 in their first two games of the season.

  Comments