Dan Marino Says He’d Throw For 6K Yards Under Today’s NFL Rules

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Dan Marino was the first quarterback ever to throw for 5,000 yards in a single season. If he played in the NFL now, though, the Miami Dolphins legend says he could have thrown for 6,000.

“Yes, we’d throw for 6,000 yards,” Marino said on Thursday’s episode of the This is Football podcast. “Defenses in the middle of my career and then towards the end, they got a little more complex and guys do a lot more things now as far as blitzing and changing personnel and all that than I did earlier in my career; later in my career, I had to deal with it.

“It would be a lot of fun, so that’s why we’re trying to un-retire here, so I can come back and throw for 6,000 yards.”

Now 62 years old, don’t expect him to pull a Tom Brady and un-retire. But the man might have a point.

A nine-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro and the 1984 NFL MVP, Marino led the sport in passing yards five times, and in passing touchdowns three times across his 17-year NFL career. When he retired in 2000, Marino held more than 40 NFL single-season and career passing records.

Of course, several of those have since been broken β€” thanks, in part, to new rules designed to protect the quarterback and enhance safety in the game.

Dan Marino Says QB Position Has Changed

“You can’t hit the quarterback the way you used to. You can’t get a shot in the head, you can’t go under your knees, and that’s a good thing, I think. Because when I played, you were allowed to do that, and players could take shots at you,” the Hall of Famer said.

“That and then the fact that as far as down the field, the PIs, they’ll get more calls now. They used to be able to touch you down the field even after five yards even though that was the rule, they (were) more physical, and there’s a lot of guys that could tell you that same thing that it changed in that way.”

Dan Marino Says He'd Throw For 6K Yards Under Today's NFL Rules
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Even with the modern rules in place, only nine quarterbacks have ever thrown for 5,000 yards in a single season.

Marino was the first to do it in 1984. And that record of 5,084 yards stood for 27 years until Drew Brees took the title with 5,476 yards as a New Orleans Saint. Peyton Manning currently holds the single-season passing yard record with 5,477.

Currently, four active quarterbacks have hit the 5,000-yard benchmark: Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Matthew Stafford and Jameis Winston.

Would they have fared differently in the olden days of Dan Marino? Hard to say.

But even with an emphasis on protecting the QB and an extra regular season game, we likely won’t see anyone hitting 6,000 yards anytime soon.

Written by Amber Harding

Amber is a Midwestern transplant living in Murfreesboro, TN. She spends most of her time taking pictures of her dog, explaining why real-life situations are exactly like "this one time on South Park," and being disappointed by the Tennessee Volunteers.

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