Remembering The Late David Woodley

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The late David Woodley had the distinction of replacing one hall of fame quarterback (Bob Griese) and preceding another (Dan Marino). An 8th round draft pick out of LSU in 1980, Woodley was not a gifted passer, but was an athletic running QB who often threw while rolling out.

Although blessed with a strong arm, Woodley preferred to scramble and use his running ability rather than throw from the pocket. Don Shula often used Woodley and Don Strock as a starting pitcher/relief pitcher tandem known as “Woodstrock”. He played four seasons with the Dolphins from 1980 to 1983 and helped lead the team to Super Bowl XVII in January 1983. At the age of 24, he was the youngest quarterback to start a Super Bowl game at the time. During the game, he connected with receiver Jimmy Cefalo for a 76 yard TD–a Super Bowl record at the time. But he struggled terribly for most of the game and the Dolphins eventually fell to the Redskins 27-17. Despite leading Miami to the Super Bowl, the Dolphins chose University of Pittsburgh quarterback Dan Marino with its first pick in the 1983 draft. Woodley eventually surrendered his starting job to Marino and was later traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he finished his career as a backup in 1984 and 1985.

Off the field, Woodley was not comfortable with the spotlight of being an NFL quarterback. He began drinking heavily which led to various health problems and eventually underwent a liver transplant in his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana in 1992. On May 4, 2003 Woodley died from complications due to kidney and liver failure. He was 44 years old. To read more stories about the Orange Bowl, visit us on Facebook at

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