The Best Miami Dolphins Not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Defense)

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The Best Miami Dolphins Not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Defense)

When the Miami Dolphins joined the American Football League in 1966, their fans were surely not prepared for this expansion team to become a powerhouse in just five seasons.

Yet, that is exactly what happened.

George Wilson was the first head coach in Dolphins history. He had won four championships as a player and coached the Detroit Lions to their last NFL title to date.

Though his teams went 15-39 in his four years, Wilson's drafts with player personnel director Joe Thomas were crucial in building the Dolphins' dynasty.

Hall of Famers Bob Griese and Larry Csonka, along with Dolphins legends like Dick Anderson, Jim Kiick, Mercury Morris, Bill Stanfill, Bob Heinz, Doug Crusan, Lloyd Mumphord, Howard Twilley and Larry Seiple, were all selected during Wilson's tenure.

Miami also made trades to acquire Hall of Famer Larry Little and Nick Buoniconti during this time, while picking up key free agents like Manny Fernandez and Norm Evans.

But owner Joe Robbie decided to hire Don Shula as his head coach and general manager, even though the future Hall of Famer was still under contract with the Baltimore Colts as their head coach. The move was considered tampering, so Miami was forced to give the Colts a first-round draft pick in 1971 that turned out to be running back Don McCauley.

While the Colts won Super Bowl V in 1970, Miami had their own successes. They began a run of six straight seasons with 10 or more wins and played in their first playoff game that year.

The Dolphins' amazing run had just begun.

They went to the Super Bowl three straight years, starting in 1971, winning in their last two attempts. The 1972 squad went the entire season without a loss, becoming the first perfect team in modern football history. No other team has duplicated this feat since.

Shula directed Miami back to the Super Bowl in 1982 and 1984, but they lost both times. He stayed with the team until 1995, winning 274 of his NFL record 347 victories with the Dolphins. He had just two losing seasons in his 32 years as a head coach.

Since he left, the Dolphins have had seven head coaches and three playoff wins. There is a new ownership since Stephen Ross bought the team in 2008, and there are hopes the team can relive their Super Bowl days again soon.

Nine members of the Dolphins are currently enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Remember: This is a team of legends who are not, and maybe never will be, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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