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Friday, February 10, 2012
ManningWatch: Marino should help recruit

By James Walker

MIAMI -- I know from personal experience that Miami has great selling points. There's great weather, sandy beaches and unlimited entertainment.

That was more than enough to convince your AFC East blogger to jettison out of Cleveland last year. But that alone won't be enough to snag future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning from Indianapolis this upcoming season.

The Dolphins need football-related selling points. They need to convince Manning why Miami is the best place for him, as opposed to New York, Arizona, Seattle, Washington or San Francisco.

That is why the Dolphins would be wise to ask Dan Marino to play a chief role in the recruiting. Manning is a football historian, particularly when it comes to quarterbacks. He grew up watching Marino and has tremendous respect for one of the greatest quarterbacks ever.

Marino can relate to Manning in ways Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and general manager Jeff Ireland cannot. Ross can tell Manning how much money he could make in Miami. Ireland can boast about the talent Manning would have around him. But recently the pair tried that approach with St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher and it failed.

Marino is the only person with Dolphins ties who has a firm grasp on what makes Manning tick. Marino knows what Manning is thinking at this stage of his career. At one point, Marino was Manning -- an aging, future Hall of Famer chasing a championship late in his career. Marino never reached that goal. Manning is trying to do it for a second time.

If Manning joined the Dolphins this offseason, he would be the greatest quarterback in Miami since Marino. That alone is enough for the Dolphins to try to use Marino as a resource in pursuing Manning.