WAYNE, N.J. – Dan Marino knows a thing or two about franchise quarterbacks, having been one himself. And Marino didn't hesitate when asked who his franchise quarterback would be in today's NFL.
“To me, and I love Tom and I've known Tom before he started playing and Peyton and all those guys, but Aaron Rodgers makes all the throws and plays you can make,” Marino told Yahoo Sports at an opening of a new Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza location, of which Marino is an equity partner, in New Jersey last month. “He's a guy if I was starting a franchise, he'd be the one I'd want to start with.
"He can do so much and he brings so much to the table as a quarterback. He's a good leader. To me, he's the best in the league right now; the guy I want to build my team with.”
Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers take on the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night to open the NFL's 2014 regular season.
During his career, Marino was the epitome of a franchise quarterback. Taken No. 27 overall in the 1983 NFL Draft, he never won a Super Bowl with the Miami Dolphins but took his team to the playoff in 10 of the 17 NFL seasons he played in. Nine Pro Bowl selections and an induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are a testament to his individual ability.
What impresses Marino is that Rodgers isn't just that he is a classic pocket passer but boasts good mobility.
Rodgers can pass and he can make plays with his running ability, and Marino values that.
“Aaron Rodgers can do both.,” Marino said. “He can move around and make any of the throws you want him to make on any day.”
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Kristian R. Dyer writes for Metro New York and is a contributor to Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KristianRDyer