I think the 1984 team would have beat most super bowl entrants, but that 49er team was one of the better super bowl champs. The way the 1985 season ended was very disappointing. Miami should have been able to beat New England to face the Bears in the super bowl. There were two other chances in 1992 and 1994.
But to answer your question, I just don't think Miami drafted well in the 1980's. There were some years when the talent looked like 4-5 wins, but the team challenged for the playoffs. Yes, I'd say Don Shula is partly to blame. He had a chance to make some coaching changing that could have helped the team. Remember Pete Carroll interviewed for the DC position. And I still don't understand how they couldn't get a running game going during that time frame.
Long time Dolphin fan,since 1970,been through the good times and bad,those Super Bowls and the undefeated season I loved and long for again.
Some of you have some great points,but some of you are way,way off !!! Marino faced alot better talent in the play-off's with inferior talented teams,the Bills went to 4 Superbowls themselves and lost them all and had some great talent on offense and defense as well with Bruce Smith and all those guys. Marino could only do so much with what he had,and believe me,he never had much !!!
Shula could still coach,he knew Marino was the only way the Dolphins could win and even had a chance,the problem was simply though that we never assembled a team around Dan,and that is the bottom line.
I saw some say it was Dans fault for wanting to throw the football all the time,thats a load of horse **** !! Yeah he wanted to throw it all the time,only because we COULD'nt RUN IT !! Many,Many,MANY,games I watched running backs through the years get stuffed,play after play,game after game,years after years, Dan had ,had to throw the ball ! 1 running back in 1 year had over a 1,000 yards in the Marino era if Im correct,and I think I am or very close. Our offensive line was terrible at run blocking,our running backs were never that good and our defense was AWFUL and to win it was usually in a shoot-out 38-35, 40-37,.....
The year I think we finally have a legit shot,Dan goes down with the achilles and is done for the year. No it was'nt Marino,put him on those 49er teams and he's got handfuls of rings,the Dolphins never could put a team around him and that again is the bottom line.
As has been pointed out, ultimately I think one of Shula's great virtues, his loyalty,
was ultimately responsible. Too many incompetent staff members, the main one being
that worthless idiot Olividoti.
All good posts. That 1984 season cemented me as a Phins fan. Looking back, we can't compare today's NFL to Marino's time. I would put my pulse on about 5 items:
1. As an organization, after Marino, we were a subpar drafting team. Richmond Webb in 1989-1990 was the only All-Pro. We weren't lucky to give Marino weapons, instead Marino made the most of what he had.
2. Awful defense, year in and year out. When Jimmy came in 1996, he changed that, but by that time, Danny was declining and had the ball taken away
3. Multiple tries failed at getting a running back. In those days, it was defense and run games that helped win titles.
4. Not daring enough of a team. We did get Keith Jackson in those "Plan B" years, however, no major trade ups in the draft and we didn't suck enough to draft high. Also, we just didn't draft high risk/high reward players. I think passing on Moss was the perfect example.
5. Failure to make adjustments - how many times did the Thurman Screen kill us? How desperate did we need a true pass rusher like Bruce Smith was to counter a horrible secondary?
there is enough blame to go around. Marino and Shula have their fair share, however, those years were still fun.
Unfortunately, Shula has to bear most of the blame: he did not put together any semblance of a defense between 1985 and 1990, thus wasting four seasons in the prime of Marino's career; he hired incompetent assistants on the defensive side of the ball and proved incapable of fixing the defensive problems himself; he could not develop a running game (and if Marino was the one standing in the way, he was certainly responsible for telling Marino where he could stick it); and he utterly, utterly failed at personnel from the mid to late 80s-- not only were there frequent busts, but even the non-bust players didn't amount to a whole lot.
By the time some of these problems had begun to get corrected in 1990, the Bills had become a powerhouse and nobody in the AFC was going to lay a glove on them for the next several years. Miami had its chances to knock Buffalo off in the playoffs twice in the early 90s, including at home in the AFC championship. Both times Buffalo stepped up and Miami didn't. Shula, Marino, and the rest of the early 90s team are all responsible for that.
So, basically, I think Shula bears the most blame, but you have to throw in some bad luck as well, and Marino certainly bears responsibility for bad performances in certain games.
so in conclusion, since 1984, the entire team has been terrible. that's a long time to wait
walrus has got it right...shula is most to blame...
hoops scoops 2012 season ..."in 2014 ryan tannehill etches his name in stone amongst the games elite qbs"..."ryan tannehill and andrew luck will carry the afc for the next decade plus the way peyton manning and tom brady have this last decade plus"
The 1994 playoff matchup with the Chargers stands out for me wuite a bit because both Marino and Shula were terrible at managing the end of that game. Had Finheaven existed back then they would have and should have been ripped as hard as Wanny and Fiedler were for some of there late game blunders. The playcalling was horrendous and Marinos decision making was equally as bad. That was on of the beter chanceshe had since 1984 but they probably would have gotten demolished by the 49ers again anyway if they got past the Steelers.