Dwight Stephenson

Dwight Eugene Stephenson (born November 20, 1957) is a former professional American football player. He was a center for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL) from 1980 to 1987. He played college football under coach Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama. Stephenson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.[1][2]

Dwight Stephenson
No. 57
Position:Center
Personal information
Born:November 20, 1957 (age 61)
Murfreesboro, North Carolina
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school:Hampton (Hampton, Virginia)
College:Alabama
NFL Draft:1980 / Round: 2 / Pick: 48
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:114
Games started:87
Player stats at NFL.com

Early life and college

Stephenson was born in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He played college football at the University of Alabama under coach Bear Bryant. Bryant called Stephenson the best center he ever coached, and described him as "a man among children".[3] He was the team's starting center from 1977 to 1979, and was a member of Alabama's back-to-back national championship teams of 1978 and 1979.[4] He was a two-time second-team All-American; in 1978 by United Press International (UPI)[5] and 1979 by the Associated Press (AP) and UPI.[6][7] "His speed, his foot quickness, was off the chart," said Mike Brock, a former Alabama lineman. "You couldn't compare it to other people who played at that time. There was no way for defenses to deal with him."[4]

Professional career

Stephenson was drafted by Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 1980 NFL Draft. He was used on special teams only until late in the 1981 season, when starting center Mark Dennard was injured. A few seasons later, Stephenson was "universally recognized as the premier center in the NFL".[8]

With the exceptionally explosive Stephenson as offensive captain, the Dolphins offensive line gave up the fewest sacks in the NFL for a record six straight seasons, from 1982 to 1987,[8] which doubled the length of the previous record. He retired from pro football in 1987, after sustaining a left knee injury in a play involving New York Jets Marty Lyons and Joe Klecko.

Stephenson was voted as an All-Pro five consecutive times from 1983 to 1987. He was selected to play on five Pro Bowl squads over the same span. He was named AFC Offensive Lineman of the Year by the NFLPA five consecutive times (1983-87) and voted the Seagram's Seven Crowns of Sports Offensive Lineman of the Year three consecutive times (1983-85). He started at center in the AFC Championship Game three times, in 1982, 1984, and 1985. He was the starting center in the Dolphins' two most recent Super Bowl appearances: Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XIX. In 1985, Stephenson was the recipient of the NFL Man of the Year Award for "outstanding community service and playing excellence."[9]

Honors and later life

On December 12, 1994 he was added to Miami Dolphins Honor Roll.

Despite the brevity of his career, in 1999, he was ranked number 84 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players. Also in 1999, he was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2011, he was inducted into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame, for his contributions to sports in southeastern Virginia.

In 1998 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "I know I’m not going to make every block, but I don’t like to ever get beat. That’s what keeps me motivated. There’s always the next play to get ready for.” Read Dwight Stephenson's HOF Bio [10]

In 2005, he was named the Walter Camp Man of the Year.

He is the namesake of Pro Football Focus' annual Dwight Stephenson Award, honoring the player the website considers best in the NFL regardless of position.[11]

After retiring from football, and as of 2013, Stephenson has worked as a construction manager and general contractor in Florida. He remains a strong supporter of the University of Alabama's football team.[12]

References

  1. ^ http://www.profootballhof.com/players/dwight-stephenson/
  2. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/hof/1998-ballot.htm
  3. ^ "Dwight Stephenson Chat Transcript". profootballhof.com. Pro Football Hall of Fame. October 20, 2000. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Johnson, Dave (July 31, 1998). "Dwight Stephenson: From Hampton To Canton: On The Center Stage". Daily Press. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "UPI All-America Team". The Salina Journal. December 5, 1978. p. 13. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  6. ^ "Southern Cal star White repeats as All-America". The Pantagraph. December 5, 1979. p. B4. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  7. ^ "UPI All-America: Trojans Grab 3 Berths". The Daily News (Huntingdon). December 4, 1979. p. 5. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  8. ^ a b "Dwight Stephenson Bio". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  9. ^ Smothers, Jimmy (February 7, 1986). "Just Scribblin' On Sports". Gadsden Times. p. D1. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  10. ^ http://www.profootballhof.com/players/dwight-stephenson/
  11. ^ "The Dwight Stephenson Award". profootballfocus.com. Pro Football Focus. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  12. ^ Hicks, Tommy (March 9, 2013). "Football played huge role in Dwight Stephenson's life (photos & video)". The Birmingham News. Retrieved October 3, 2016.

External links

1977 All-SEC football team

The 1977 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1977 NCAA Division I football season.

1978 All-SEC football team

The 1978 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1978 NCAA Division I-A football season.

1979 All-SEC football team

The 1979 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1979 NCAA Division I-A football season.

1980 Miami Dolphins season

The 1980 Miami Dolphins season was the 15th year of existence for the Miami Dolphins franchise. Quarterback Bob Griese retired after the season, following a 14-year career with the Dolphins. However, in Griese's final season the Dolphins would only play mediocre football finishing in third place with an 8-8 record.

1980 NFL Draft

The 1980 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 29–30, 1980, at the New York Sheraton Hotel in New York City, New York. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season. This draft is notable as the first that the nascent ESPN network (which had first gone on the air seven months earlier) aired in its entirety, and the first to be televised.

1983 All-Pro Team

The 1983 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly, and The Sporting News in 1983. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. The NEA chose two inside linebackers for the first time, as a reflection of the 3-4 which was the common alignment for NFL defenses in the mid-1980s.

1984 Pro Bowl

The 1984 Pro Bowl was the NFL's 34th annual all-star game which featured the outstanding performers from the 1983 season. The game was played on Sunday, January 29, 1984, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii before a crowd of 50,445. The final score was NFC 45, AFC 3.

Chuck Knox of the Seattle Seahawks led the AFC team against an NFC team coached by San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh. The referee was Jerry Seeman.Joe Theismann of the Washington Redskins was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Players on the winning NFC team received $10,000 apiece while the AFC participants each took home $5,000.

1985 All-Pro Team

The 1985 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News in 1985. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the four teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League.

Pro Football Weekly, which suspended operations in 1985, did not choose an All-Pro team.

1986 All-Pro Team

The 1986 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly and The Sporting News in 1986. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1986 the AP chose two defensive tackles (one a nose-tackle) rather than two defensive tackles and one nose tackles as they had done since 1981. The Pro Football Writers Association returned to a 4-3 format for their 1986 defense.

1986 Miami Dolphins season

The 1986 Miami Dolphins season was the team's 21st as a member of the National Football League (NFL). The Dolphins failed to improve upon their previous season's output of 12–4, winning only eight games. This was the first time in six seasons the team did not qualify for the playoffs. This was also the team's final season at the Orange Bowl before moving into their new stadium Joe Robbie Stadium the following season.

1987 All-Pro Team

The 1987 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Newspaper Enterprise Association, Pro Football Writers Association, Pro Football Weekly and The Sporting News in 1987. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the five teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1987 NEA went with a 3-4 format for their All-Pro defense.

1988 Miami Dolphins season

The 1988 Miami Dolphins season was the team's 23rd as a member of the National Football League (NFL). The Dolphins failed to improve upon their previous season's output of 8–7, winning only six games and failing to reach the playoffs for the third straight season.

Even without future Pro Football Hall of Fame center Dwight Stephenson, who was forced to retire prior to this season due to injuries, the Dolphins offensive line set the record for fewest sacks in a single season with 7 during 1988, protecting quarterback Dan Marino. Marino was only sacked on 0.98% of his dropbacks in 1988, also a single-season NFL record.This would be the last time Don Shula recorded a losing record during his tenure as Dolphins coach, and in his coaching career overall.

Bob Kuechenberg

Robert John Kuechenberg (October 14, 1947 – January 12, 2019) was a National Football League guard for the Miami Dolphins for fourteen seasons between 1970 and 1983, spending the 1984 season on injured reserve. He was a mainstay in a line that included Hall of Famers Jim Langer, Larry Little, and Dwight Stephenson and played in six Pro Bowls in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He was selected as one of the top 15 finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame from 2002–2006, and one of the top 17 finalists from 2007–2009, but missed the cut every year. He was inducted into the Miami Dolphin's Honor Roll on December 15, 1995. He was the brother of the retired Chicago Bears linebacker Rudy Kuechenberg.

Joe Klecko

Joe Klecko (born October 15, 1953 in Chester, Pennsylvania) is a former American football player, of Polish descent, best remembered for his days as Defensive Lineman; a member of the New York Jets' famed "New York Sack Exchange."

Lyle Blackwood

Lyle Vernon Blackwood (born May 24, 1951) played safety position in the National Football League. Blackwood's best season was in 1977, when he intercepted 10 passes for the Baltimore Colts, helping them win their 3rd consecutive AFC East division title. He later became known for teaming alongside his brother, Glenn Blackwood with the Miami Dolphins as part of the notorious "Killer B's" defense. The two Blackwoods referred to themselves as "The Bruise Brothers."While a Dolphin, Blackwood played alongside greats such as hall of famer Dwight Stephenson, Bob Baumhower, Bob Brudzinski, A. J. Duhe and his brother Glenn. This formidable team won several division titles (1981, 1983, 1984, 1985) and made two Super Bowl appearances (1982, 1984).

A similar Dolphin team with the "Killer B's" and company upset the 1985 Chicago Bears (15-1) and kept them from an undefeated season.

With Blackwood on defense, the "Killer B's" complemented Miami's strong offensive unit guided by hall of fame quarterback Dan Marino, wide receivers Mark Duper and Mark Clayton: "The Marks Brothers" along with coach Don Shula.

Blackwood played a total of 14 seasons in the NFL. He was born in San Antonio, Texas and attended Texas Christian University. He finished his career with 35 interceptions and 9 defensive fumble recoveries. In 1977, he led the NFL interceptions with 10.

Blackwood was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during their inaugural season.

Marty Lyons

Martin Anthony Lyons (born January 15, 1957) is a former American college and professional football player who was a defensive tackle in the National Football League for eleven seasons during the 1970s and 1980s. Lyons played college football for the University of Alabama, and earned All-American honors. Selected in the first round of the 1979 NFL Draft, he played his entire professional career for the NFL's New York Jets. He was a member of the Jets' famed "New York Sack Exchange," the team's dominant front four in 1981 and 1982 that also featured Mark Gastineau, Abdul Salaam and Joe Klecko.

Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are a professional American football team based in the Miami metropolitan area. The Dolphins compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's American Football Conference (AFC) East division. The Dolphins play their home games at Hard Rock Stadium in the northern suburb of Miami Gardens, Florida, and are headquartered in Davie, Florida. The Dolphins are Florida's oldest professional sports team. Of the four AFC East teams, they are the only team in the division that was not a charter member of the American Football League (AFL).

The Dolphins were founded by attorney-politician Joe Robbie and actor-comedian Danny Thomas. They began play in the AFL in 1966. The region had not had a professional football team since the days of the Miami Seahawks, who played in the All-America Football Conference in 1946, before becoming the first incarnation of the Baltimore Colts. For the first few years, the Dolphins' full-time training camp and practice facilities were at Saint Andrew's School, a private boys boarding prep school in Boca Raton. In the 1970 AFL–NFL merger, the Dolphins joined the NFL.

The team made its first Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl VI, losing to the Dallas Cowboys, 24–3. The following year, the Dolphins completed the NFL's only perfect season, culminating in a Super Bowl win, winning all 14 of their regular season games, and all three of their playoff games, including Super Bowl VII. They were the third NFL team to accomplish a perfect regular season. The next year, the Dolphins won Super Bowl VIII, becoming the first team to appear in three consecutive Super Bowls, and the second team (the first AFL/AFC team) to win back-to-back championships. Miami also appeared in Super Bowl XVII and Super Bowl XIX, losing both games.

For most of their early history, the Dolphins were coached by Don Shula, the most successful head coach in professional football history in terms of total games won. Under Shula, the Dolphins posted losing records in only two of his 26 seasons as the head coach. During the period spanning 1983 to the end of 1999, quarterback Dan Marino became one of the most prolific passers in NFL history, breaking numerous league passing records. Marino led the Dolphins to five division titles, 10 playoff appearances and Super Bowl XIX before retiring following the 1999 season.

In 2008, the Dolphins became the first team in NFL history to win their division and make a playoff appearance following a league-worst 1–15 season. That same season, the Dolphins upset the 16–0 New England Patriots on the road during Week 3, handing the Patriots' their first regular season loss since December 10, 2006, in which coincidentally, they were also beaten by the Dolphins.

Stephenson

Stephenson is a medieval patronymic surname meaning "son of Stephen". The earliest public record is found in the county of Huntingdonshire in 1279. There are variant spellings including Stevenson. People with the surname include:

Benjamin Stephenson (disambiguation), several people

Ben Stephenson, Anglo-American television executive

Charles Bruce Stephenson (1929–2001), American astronomer

D. C. Stephenson (1891–1966), American, Ku Klux Klan leader

Debra Stephenson (born 1972), British actress

Dwight Stephenson, American football player

Earl Stephenson (born 1947), American baseball pitcher

Gene Stephenson, American college baseball coach

George Stephenson (1781–1848), British mechanical engineer who created Stephenson's Rocket

George Robert Stephenson (engineer) (1819–1905), English civil engineer (nephew of George Stephenson)

Gilbert Stephenson (1878–1972), British Vice Admiral

Gordon Stephenson (1908–1997), town planner and architect in Perth, Australia

Helga Stephenson, Canadian media executive

Henry Stephenson (1871–1956), British actor

Isaac Stephenson (1829–1918), U.S. politician from Wisconsin

Jim Stephenson, New Zealand international football (soccer) goalkeeper

John Stephenson (disambiguation), people named John Stephenson

Lance Stephenson (born 1990), American professional basketball player

M. F. Stephenson (1801 – after 1878), U.S. assayer of the Dahlonega, Georgia Mint

Neal Stephenson (born 1959), U.S. author

Nicola Stephenson (born 1971), British actress

Pamela Stephenson (born 1949), New Zealand-Australian comedian, actress and psychologist, also known as Pamela Connolly

Paul Stephenson (footballer), former British footballer.

Paul Stephenson (civil rights campaigner), British civil rights campaigner.

Sir Paul Stephenson, former London Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

Paul Stephenson (rugby league), Australian professional rugby league footballer.

Riggs Stephenson (1898–1985), U.S. baseball player

Robert Stephenson (1803–1859), British civil and railway engineer (son of George Stephenson)

Samuel M. Stephenson (1803–1859), U.S. politician from Michigan

Thomas Alan Stephenson (1898–1961), British zoologist

Tyler Stephenson (b. 1996), American baseball player

William Stephenson (1897–1989), Canadian soldier, airman, businessman, inventor, and spymaster

William Stephenson (psychologist) (1902–1989), psychologist and physicist

Super Bowl XVII

Super Bowl XVII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Miami Dolphins and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Washington Redskins to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1982 season. The Redskins defeated the Dolphins 27–17 to win their first Super Bowl championship. The game was played on January 30, 1983 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

This Super Bowl came at the end of a season that was significantly shortened by a players' strike. Teams ended up only playing nine regular season games, and the league conducted a special 16-team, four-round playoff tournament where divisions were ignored in the seeding. The Redskins had an NFC-best 8–1 regular season record, while the Dolphins finished at 7–2. Both teams advanced through the first three postseason rounds to Super Bowl XVII. The game then became a rematch of Super Bowl VII, also played in the Los Angeles area at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ten years before, where the Dolphins completed their 17–0 perfect season at the Redskins’ expense by a score of 14–7. This was also the second Super Bowl to rematch teams, the first being Super Bowl XIII.

The Redskins scored 17 unanswered points in the second half and gained a Super Bowl record 276 yards on the ground, while holding the Dolphins to just 47 offensive plays for 176 total yards, 76 of which came on a single play.

Nevertheless, Miami built a 17–10 halftime lead with Jimmy Cefalo's 76-yard touchdown catch and Fulton Walker's 98-yard kickoff return.

The turning point in the game came with 10:10 remaining: facing fourth down and 1-yard to go at the Dolphins' 43-yard line, and trailing 17–13, Washington running back John Riggins broke through the Miami defense and ran into the end zone for a touchdown to take the lead. Wide receiver Charlie Brown then added an insurance touchdown with his 6-yard scoring reception.Riggins was named Super Bowl MVP,

finishing the game with 2 Super Bowl records: the most rushing yards in a Super Bowl game (166), and the most rushing attempts (38). He was the first player from an NFC team to rush for 100 yards in a Super Bowl. Riggins also recorded a reception for 15 yards, giving him more total yards than the entire Miami team.

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