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Number 78 and the Three Dolphins Who Wore It Best

We're now 78 days away from the start of the NFL regular season, so we honor the best players who have worn that number for the Miami Dolphins

The countdown to the start of the 2022 regular season has begun now that we're under 100 days away, so we'll honor every day the best players to wear the corresponding number for the Dolphins.

Today, we're at number 78.

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 78 for at least one regular season game for the Dolphins:

G/T Maxie Williams (1966-70), T Wayne Mass (1971), DT Jim Dunaway (1972), G/T Tom Drougas (1975-76), DT Carl Barisich (1977-80), DE Ken Poole (1981), DE Charles Benson (1983-84), DE/DT Jerome Foster (1986), DE Derek Wimberly (1987), OL Doug Marrone (1987), G Alvin Powell (1989), T Richmond Webb (1990-2000), G Jeno James (2004-06), DT Tony McDaniel (2009-12), T Bryant McKinnie (2013), DE Terrence Fede (2014-17), T Laremy Tunsil (2018), T Andrew Donnal (2019), T Adam Pankey (2019-21)

The breakdown of 78 with the Dolphins

Let's say it right away: There is no debate here. In fact, this will be one of the biggest slam dunks for any number because tackle Richmond Webb is the one and only chance for 78. Webb is a borderline Hall of Famer who made an impact immediately after being the ninth overall selection in 1990 and was selected to the Pro Bowl each of his first seven seasons with the Dolphins. Now, when it comes to rounding out a top three for number 78, it gets tough because no one really jumps out. Maxxie Williams started 63 of 69 games in his five seasons with the Dolphins, including nine in 1970 when the franchise earned its first playoff berth. Carl Barisich played 45 games for the Dolphins over four seasons, but never started a game. Jeno James started all 39 games he played for the Dolphins, including nine in 2006 in his final season in the NFL. Tony McDaniel was a solid backup for four seasons, though he started only twice, before he became a three-year starter for the Seattle Seahawks. Terrence Fede played 51 games in four years with the Dolphins and his biggest highlight came in 2014 when his punt block produced a last-minute safety that gave Miami a 37-35 victory against the Minnesota Vikings. Laremy Tunsil wore 78 only for the third of his three seasons with the Dolphins after wearing 67 as a rookie first-round pick in 2016 and in 2017. His play was Pro Bowl-caliber in 2018, but just one season isn't enough to earn him a top three ranking for the number 78.

Worth noting

Jim Dunaway started the first six games of the 1972 season before being injured and never played another down in the NFL. ... Charles Benson was a third-round pick in 1983, the year the Dolphins took Dan Marino in the first round. ... Yes, the Doug Marrone who appeared in four games for the Dolphins in 1987 and one with the Saints in 1989 was the same person who later became head coach of the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars. ... Bryant McKinnie, the former UM great and 2002 Vikings first-round pick, started 10 games for the Dolphins in 2013 after being acquired in a trade.

The top three Dolphins players with number 78

1. T Richmond Webb

2. G Jeno James

3. G/T Maxxie Williams

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Alain Poupart has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989. You can follow him on Twitter at @PoupartNFL.

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