Photo Permission to use given to us Courtesy of Todd Wade and the Miami Dolphins
It's a Happy Happy Birthday to Todd Wade today. The former Dolphin tackle turns 37 today. He was drafted in 2000, played four season for the Fins and put in nine total seasons in the NFL. He went on to play for Washington, Houston and Jacksonville. Now retired and living in Oxford, Mississippi, the hometown of his alma mater – Ole Miss – Wade keeps busy with politics, real estate, piloting small planes and scuba diving.
We caught up with Wade to get his viewpoint of the Fins offensive line and his thoughts on life in and out of the NFL.
MD101: What are you up to these days?
Todd Wade: I moved back to Oxford four and half years ago and have been involved in small businesses here. Largely real estate – I invest in single family housing as well as pre-existing and fix them up as well as, multi-family apartments in Tennessee – particularly Nashville – and Florida.
MD101: The Dolphins traded for McKinnie. He reaches back into your era?
TW: He does. He's a little bit younger than me but he's got to be getting up there now. I remember being in Miami and he got a lot of publicity at the University of Miami when he was a first round pick.
MD101: How was your career with the Dolphins?
TW: I really enjoyed it there. I really didn't want to leave. I was a second round pick and at that time (Dan) Marino had just retired. Jimmy Johnson stepped down and Dave Wannestedt was hired as the head coach. They had the same beliefs – a strong defense, a strong running game and maybe a little bit more of a passing game. I fit the piece for what they were wanting. I came in at tackle in the second round – and that was their first pick – I wasn't the nifty left tackle, I was more of a drop blocking right tackle. I had a lot on my plate of what I needed to do when I came in there so if I was going to start my first year, I had to act like a veteran and come in do as much as I could and absorb and learn as much as I could from the veterans around me.
And I was lucky. We had a veteran offensive line – my friend, Kevin Donnalley was our right guard my first year, then the next three years, Toddy Perry was there. We had a good relationship there as well as the tight ends – Jed Weaver, Hunter Goodwin and Randy McMichael. We really had a good, cohesive unit. I thought we just lacked a couple of parts to take it all the way. My first year we made it all the way to the second round of the playoffs. But we lost at Oakland.
We were successful the four years I was there.
MD101: Are you keeping up with the team this year and their "linemen problems" as I would say?
TW: I'm worried about our running game. Having a young quarterback like (Ryan) Tannehill, it is essential to have a supporting run game. I think the problems are glaring. Sherman isn't at fault for the run game necessarily, but they need to cut back on their offense whether they simplify it or something else to get this team run effective. I don't know much about the tackles, but I think (Mike) Pouncey and (John) Jerry are good young players. Too much pressure is being laid on Tannehill.When they had Jake (Long) at left tackle and others, they were playing pretty well.
I went back and looked at their stats and said, gosh, wow – I'm really surprised that more focus was not put on the running game in the offseason.
MD101: What are your thoughts? Tthey moved all the way up to number three in the (2013 NFL) Draft and with so many great offensive linemen available and they went defense – I didn't understand it – I still don't understand it.
TW: I'm with you there, me neither. They had an immediate need but they did that to bolster their defense. But it seemed like a much more a priority to deal with the offensive line. It's always tough for me to say they should have done this or they should have done that. I don't know what they were looking at last year on film. But we both agree that a running game is essential for what Miami needs.
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