One of the most hotly contested debates in the present day NFL concerns the league’s passing rules and whether or not they have made it easier to both play as and amass career-bolstering stats as a quarterback than in past eras; of course, said debate has spurred subsequent arguments of how much better elite quarterbacks from the past would have fared with today’s rules in effect.
The quarterback rules debate came up during an interview with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino on Thursday. Marino, who led the NFL in passing yards for five seasons during his 17-year stint with the Miami Dolphins, became the first quarterback to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a single season (5,084) and the first to complete more than 40 touchdown passes (48) in 1984, believes that he would’ve broken quarterback records if he had played with today’s rules during his tenure.
“Yes, [I’d] throw for 6,000 yards,” Marino said on 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 unretire here, so I can come back and throw for 6,000 yards.”
Marino added, “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,” Marino 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.”
Marino also shared his thoughts on Aaron Rodger’s injury, an Achilles tendon tear that will see him sidelined for the rest of the 2023 season.
“You can come back and you can be very good,” Marino said. “Aaron, if he wants to, will work very hard to come back and play again. He’s been a special player, it’s a shame because there was a lot of buildup for him this year… [I just want] to let him know that it’s possible to come back and continue a great career.”
“The rehab is the biggest part,” Marino added. “It’s very tedious… a slow process.”
As of this writing, Marino is eighth on the all-time passing yards list (61,361), seventh in passing TDS (420) and ninth in total completed passes (967).
What do you think of the fact that Dan Marino believes he’d throw for 6,000 yards in a season under today’s NFL quarterback rules? Let us know in the comments.