(Bobby Beathard photos courtesy of the Washington Redskins)
Talk of Fame Network
There were two teams in the first round of the 1983 draft that didn’t pass on quarterback Dan Marino. One, of course, was Miami. The Dolphins chose Marino with the 27th draft pick. But the other was Washington, which had beaten Miami in Super Bowl XVII and sat at the 28th position.
So, the logical question: Would the Redskins have passed on Dan Marino like everyone but Miami?
“No, we wouldn’t have,” former general manager Bobby Beathard said on the latest Talk of Fame Network broadcast. “You’d have to ask Dan, but I think we tried and tried to trade up to get up higher to take him, and nobody would trade with us. So we didn’t, and he was our top guy on the board that year.”
As we know, the Redskins did just fine without Marino. Beathard used the 28th pick to choose cornerback Darrell Green who, like Marino, went on to have a Hall-of-Fame career.
“Thank God that wasn’t the year of Ryan Leaf,” said Beathard, laughing. “We thought if we didn’t get (Marino), we did have a backup in Darrell. And Darrell surprised everybody. He didn’t surprise us with how good he was, but he surprised everybody in how many years the guy played.”
So much so that Beathard called him his best choice ever.
Nevertheless, you have to wonder what Washington would have been like had Miami had passed on Marino, and Washington did not. Moreover, you have to wonder what everyone else was thinking to let Marino get by – especially with five other quarterbacks drafted before him.
“I don’t know what they didn’t like about him,” said Beathard. “I went up to see him in college (at the University of Pittsburgh). He just had a great feel of the game, but he had that release … where everybody started talking about quick releases after Dan Marino.
“But Dan Marino was a guy who really showed how important that really is, and he could make such quick decisions. As soon as he took his drop from the center … just drop back … man, the ball was gone. And he made those decisions so quickly.”