Dan Marino Still Supports Chad Henne, Picks Packers in Super Bowl
Marino, looking fit and like he could still strap on a helmet and zip a few passes down the field, was back inside the home team's locker room at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday morning to address the media before the first annual Dan Marino Foundation WalkAbout Autism. After talking about the event, expected to raise more than $500,000 to benefit numerous autism organizations, Marino gave his opinion on current Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne, who struggled in his third NFL season.
"I think that, obviously at that position, it's tough, and if you're not putting up numbers and winning games as much as you like, you're always going to have criticism," said Marino, whose 5,084 passing yards in 1984 still stands as an NFL single-season record. "I think the kid's worked hard. He's had to deal with a lot, and I think he's going to grow from that and continue to grow. He has the potential to be a starter and win in this league and he's showed that already, so why not? Why can't he be really good?"
Ever since he retired following the 1999 seasons, Marino has seen 15 different quarterbacks start at least one game for his former team, and only two (Jay Fiedler in 2001 and Chad Pennington in 2008) have made it through the regular season without missing a start. These days, the Pittsburgh native keeps busy on the set of "NFL Today" on CBS as one of the pregame show's regular hosts -- and he is getting ready to watch his hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, shoot for their seventh Vince Lombardi Trophy next Sunday.
Pittsburgh will take on the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium and Marino, while rooting for the Steelers with his heart, is picking the Packers to win the game. He expects it to be close.
"I'm from Pittsburgh, so because of that, I want to see the Steelers win," Marino said. "But Green Bay, just the way they're playing offensively, they're like the hot team right now, so I'm going to pick them, but I want to see Pittsburgh win. For me, when you look at Green Bay, they've played real well through the playoffs but they only scored 14 points against Chicago because they scored on defense, too.
"So everybody's fired up about how good they are on offense, but they didn't put up a lot of points in the NFC championship game, so it'll be fun. It'll be a good game. They're very similar teams. Defensively, they both kind of run the same defenses, both have big-play capability with their wide receivers, so it'll be fun."