Number 43 and the Three Dolphins Who Wore It Best
The countdown to the start of the 2020 regular season has begun now that we're under 100 days away, so we'll honor every day the best players to wear the correspondent number for the Dolphins.
Today, we're at number 43.
The top players at each number so far have been:
99. DE/LB Jason Taylor; 98. DL Jared Odrick; 97. DT Jordan Phillips; 96. DT Paul Soliai; 95. DT Tim Bowens; 94. DT Randy Starks; 93. DE Trace Armstrong; 92. LS John Denney; 91. DE/LB Cameron Wake; 90. DE/LB Marco Coleman
89. WR Nat Moore; 88. TE Keith Jackson; 87. TE Andre Tillman; 86. WR Oronde Gadsden; 85. LB Nick Buoniconti; 84. DE Bill Stanfill; 83. WR Mark Clayton; 82. WR Brian Hartline; 81. WR O.J. McDuffie; 80. WR Irving Fryar
79. T Jon Giesler; 78. T Richmond Webb; 77. DE/LB A.J. Duhe; 76. T Branden Albert; 75. DT Manny Fernandez; 74. T Mark Dennis; 73. DT Bob Baumhower; 72. DT Bob Heinz; 71. T Todd Wade; 70. DE Kendall Langford
69. G Keith Sims; 68. T Eric Laakso; 67. G/T Bob Kuechenberg; 66. G Larry Little; 65. OL Jeff Dellenbach; 64. G Ed Newman; 63. G/T Mark Dixon; 62. C Jim Langer; 61. C Tim Ruddy; 60. G Bert Weidner
59. LB Doug Swift; 58. DE-LB Kim Bokamper; 57. C Dwight Stephenson; 56. LB John Offerdahl; 55. LB Earnest Rhone; 54. LB Zach Thomas; 53. LB Bob Matheson; 52. LB Channing Crowder; 51. LB Bryan Cox; 50. LB Larry Gordon
49. CB William Judson; 48. CB Gerald Small; 47. S Glenn Blackwood; 46. S Don Bessillieu; 45. CB Curtis Johnson; 44. CB Paul Lankford
As a reminder about the ground rules, the top three will be determined only by what the players did while wearing that uniform for the Dolphins.
Players who wore 43 for at least one regular season game:
DB Bob Neff (1966-68), DB Mike Howell (1972), WR Mike Holmes (1976), DB Jeff Allen (1980), DB Ricky Ray (1981), RB Larry Cowan (1982), S Bud Brown (1984-88), RB Terry Kirby (1993-94), S Scott McGarrahan (2002), RB Brock Forsey (2004, S Jack Hunt (2006), LB Andrew Van Ginkel (2019)
The Dolphins haven't had many players wear the number 43, so it's difficult to come up with a top three. Bob Neff was a defensive back who also returned punts and kickoffs during his time in Miami. His best season came in 1967 when he started 10 games on defense and had an interception and two fumble recoveries. He had kickoff returns of 90 yards in 1966 and 95 yards in 1968, though he didn't score on either play. Safety Bud Brown is the one who the had the longest tenure, with a five-year stint after he arrived as an 11th-round draft pick out of Southern Miss. One of the members of the Killer's B defense, though its best days were prior to his arrival, Brown started 43 games for the Dolphins, including during the 1985 season, which ended with an AFC Championship Game loss against New England. Brown had five career interceptions and eight fumble recoveries, including five in that 1985 season. Running back Terry Kirby came as a third-round pick out of Virginia, where he had set a school career rushing record (since broken). While he never developed into an elite ball carrier in the NFL, Kirby was a productive receiver out of the backfield from the start, setting a Dolphins rookie record (since broken) with 75 receptions. He had 66 catches in 1995 after playing only four games in 1994 because of injuries, though he wore 42 during that 1995 season. Kirby started 16 games for the Dolphins and went on to play seven more years in the NFL.
Mike Howell was a long-time starter for the Browns before he joined the Dolphins in October of 1972, but he played only one game for Miami. ... Mike Holmes was a 1973 first-round pick of the 49ers whose NFL career ended with a three-game stint with the Dolphins in 1976. ... Jeff Allen played 16 games as a backup for the Dolphins in 1980, was out of football in 1981 and returned in 1982 to start all nine games for San Diego in the strike-shortened season. ... Van Ginkel showed promise late in his rookie season last year after he was activated from IR and it would be a disappointment if he didn't move his way into the top three at 43.
The top three:
1. S Bud Brown
2. RB Terry Kirby
3. DB Bob Neff