Saturday, May 30, 2009

Throwback Saturday: O.J. McDuffie

Twenty five picks into the first round of the 1993 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins stared at the card of a Penn State University Wide Receiver by the name of McDuffie. He came to the Miami Dolphins in an effort to sure up the Wide Receiver unit and expand the passing offense under legendary head coach, Don Shula.

After all, 1992 was the last year that the Mark Brothers (Clayton and Duper) played for the Dolphins. O.J. McDuffie had to live up to their level of play and replace what once was a formidable receiving duo.

He did not disappoint.

O.J. was the first and only Dolphins receiver to catch 90 passes in a season, thanks in part to his great hands and a great Quarterback by the name of Dan Marino. He finished his career in Miami with over 5,000 receiving yards, 415 receptions and 29 touchdowns.

The Fins were his first and only NFL team and he lasted with them from 1993 to 2001 – a long, enjoyable 8-year tenure. It was only a toe injury in the 2000-01 season that ended his otherwise lengthy career, but only after he left his mark in Miami.

Through three coaches (Shula, Johnson and Wannstedt), McDuffie made a lasting impression on Dolphins history and is still known by most of today’s Dolphans. It’s a shame that he never was able to compete for a Super Bowl ring as most of his seasons were stunted by first or second round exits.

Either way, McDuffie is still good ole’ number 81 in the memories of the Miami faithful and will forever be a part of a bitter sweet era of Dolphins history; A team good enough to reach the playoffs, but never great enough to win a title.

To see what O.J. McDuffie has been up to recently, check out his blog at Open Sports, where he’s an active blogger and keeps many of his fans up-to-date with the happenings in his life:

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