Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino is a legend, but thanks to some aggressive schematics drawn up by then-defensive coordinator Pete Carroll, Marvin Washington managed to sack the Pro Football Hall of Famer for a safety.
Washington spoke to Sportsnaut’s Rich “Big Daddy” Salgado about the amazing achievement, which occurred in 1992 when he was a member of the New York Jets.
Pete Carroll dials up the pressure vs. Dan Marino in October 1992
Now a Super Bowl-winning coach with the Seattle Seahawks, Carroll knew he had Marino in a tough spot deep in Miami territory during the game in question. Washington recalled how the Jets’ personnel package and defensive call aligned perfectly.
“The offense, they had four wides…and we brought seven,” Washington said. “The running back to my side picked up the safety coming up the middle, and that left me as a free runner…and I get Danny for a sack.”
Despite the rivalry that still exists today between these two franchises in the AFC East division, Washington enjoyed playing against Marino and counts him as a friend. Washington implied how he still holds bragging rights over his pal Marino all these years later, even if certain highlights from the gunslinger signal-caller’s career are more celebrated in the annals of NFL history.
“You can talk about what [Marino’s] remembered for against the Jets — I think he’s remembered for the fake spike, but he definitely remembers that he got sacked for a safety by me.”
Marvin Washington: From late-round draft choice to Dan Marino sack artist — and beyond
Washington was a sixth-round pick in the 1989 NFL draft out of Idaho, yet carved out a solid, 11-year career in pro football, appearing in 155 games with 96 starts. He recorded 386 tackles, 10 forced fumbles and 40.5 sacks. Hard to imagine any of those were sweeter for Washington than running free and taking Marino to the turf for two points. That 1992 campaign saw Washington set a career-high with 8.5 sacks.
Born in Denver, Colorado, Washington had a sweet homecoming of sorts during a stint with the Broncos in 1998, when he was part of the team that won Super Bowl XXXIII in John Elway’s final season.