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Manny Fernandez
Position(s)
DT / DE
Jersey #(s)
75
Born July 3, 1946 (1946-07-03) (age 63)
Oakland, California
Career information
Year(s) 19681975
College Utah
Professional teams
Career stats
Sacks 35
Seasons 8
Games 103
Stats at NFL.com
Career highlights and awards
  • 2x Super Bowl champion (VII, VIII)
  • Member of the 1972 Miami Dolphins team that went 17-0
  • NFL's Unsung Player of the Year in 1973
  • 2nd team All-Pro in 1970 and 1973
  • All-AFC in 1971
  • 2nd team All-AFC in 1972 and 1973

Manuel Jose Fernandez (born July 3, 1946 in Oakland, California) is a former American football player who played eight seasons for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. He played in three Super Bowls for the Dolphins.

Contents

High school career

At San Lorenzo High School in San Lorenzo, California, he played football, wrestled, and threw the discus.

College career

Next came Chabot Junior College before enrolling at Utah under head coach Mike Giddings. Fernandez wore number 65 at the Utah and was a 3-year letterman.[1]

He went undrafted and signed with the Dolphins who, according to Fernandez in an interview in NFL America's Game: Miami Dolphins, had hoped he would be a draw for the South Florida Spanish-speaking audience;alas, he didn't speak Spanish..[2]

NFL career

Manny Fernandez was a strong contender for MVP of Super Bowl VII. Wrote Nick Buoniconti, "It was the game of his life–in fact, it was the most dominant game by a defensive lineman in the history of the game, and he would never be given much credit for it. They should have given out two game balls and made Manny Fernandez the co-MVP with Jake Scott." Larry Csonka also said he thought Fernandez should have been the MVP. The MVP was selected by Dick Schaap, the editor of SPORT magazine. Schaap admitted later that he had been out late the previous night, struggled to watch the defense-dominated game, and was not aware that Fernandez had 17 tackles. Fernandez also recorded a sack against the Washington Redskins' QB Billy Kilmer.

"Winning the car never entered my mind until I heard that Jake won it," Fernandez said in the January 1974 issue of SPORT magazine. "I was happy for Jake, he played a helluva game for a guy who was healthy but he had two bad shoulders."

The following year, Fernandez recorded 5 tackles and 1 sack in Super Bowl VIII against the Minnesota Vikings. Two years earlier, Fernandez recorded 6 tackles, 1 sack and recovered a fumble in the Dolphins loss to the Dallas Cowboys. In his three Super Bowls Fernandez recorded three sacks and 28 tackles.

For his career Fernandez had 35 career sacks, a high number for a nose tackle, with a career-high of 8 in 1971, which led the Dolphins. [2] In Dolphin history only one nose tackle (Bob Baumhower - 39.5) recorded more sacks. Fernandez recorded 5.5 sacks in post-season play which is currently 3rd in Dolphins history behind defensive ends Kim Bokamper (8) and Trace Armstrong (6).

Fernandez was 2nd team All-Pro in 1970 and 1973, and an All-AFC selection in 1971 and a second-team All-AFC choice in 1972 and 1973, marking four consecutive season with post-season honors. Fernandez is also credited with being one of the first nose tackles in the NFL, since the Dolphins played the famed "53" defense (which was a 3-4 defense) in 1972 through 1974, which put Manny over the center. Likely, no team played the 3-4 defense more until the New England Patriots when went to the 3-4 full-time in 1974.

In 2007 was voted to the Dolphins All-Time team.[3][4] Fernandez had previously been voted to the 1990 Dolphins Silver Anniversary Team that celebrated the Dolphins' 25 years in the NFL. From 1968 through 1973 Fernandez was voted as the Dolphins "Outstanding Defensive Lineman" even though Pro Bowlers like Bill Stanfill and Vern Den Herder were on the same line.

In January, 2001, was named to Pro Football Weekly 's All-Time Super Bowl team.[5] In 2006, USA Today named Manny to their All-time Super Bowl team. [6]

External links

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