Over the past 20 years, the NFL has rapidly evolved. Scoring is up, offenses are more fast-paced, and quarterbacks have become better than ever.
Quarterbacks from previous eras have taken note of this, and have often wondered how they would fare in the modern NFL.
Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino was on the This is Football with Kevin Clark podcast and the subject came up. The Miami Dolphins legend gave a bold answer.
I asked Dan Marino if he’d put up 6,000 yards if he played in this era 👀. pic.twitter.com/zuOQhyVxiV
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) September 14, 2023
“The best part about this is I’m retired and I don’t have to prove it. Yes, we’d throw for 6,000 yards,” Marino said. “It would be a lot of fun. I wish I could.”
Marino became the first NFL quarterback to ever throw for 5,000-plus yards when he set the new single-season record with 5,084 yards in 1984, landing him his lone NFL MVP award. In the time since, the 5,000-yard mark has been passed 14 times, with Peyton Manning currently holding the new record after his 5,477-yard season in 2013.
With the way things are trending, it feels like just a matter of time before Manning’s record falls. Patrick Mahomes, for example, finished the 2022 season with 5,250 yards.
Marino says a key difference between today’s quarterback play and his era is the quarterback is much more protected now, which Marino agrees is a positive.
“You can’t hit the quarterback the way you used to,” Marino said. “You can’t get a shot in the head, they can’t go to your knees. And I think that’s a good thing because when I played you were allowed to do that. Players could take shots at you.”