Born and raised in East St. Louis, Ill., Bryan Cox attended Western Illinois University where he was named as a first-team All-America selection by the Football Gazette as a senior. Cox was drafted in the fifth round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins and made an immediate impact, starting 13 games as a rookie and making a name for himself with his toughness and physical, aggressive style of play. In his second year, Cox recorded 14 sacks and earned the first of three Pro Bowl selections over the course of his five seasons in Miami, during which time he was a team leader and mentor to many of his teammates, ultimately being selected as one of the Top 50 players in franchise history. In The Tank, Bryan fondly recalls his hometown of East St. Louis, shares his deep admiration and respect for former Dolphins Head Coach Don Shula, and explains his departure from South Florida prior to the 1996 season. Bryan also recants his epic rivalry with the Buffalo Bills, candidly explains why he feels he should be a member of the team’s Honor Roll, and takes an introspective look at his coaching career.
Olindo Mare was born in South Florida and attended Cooper City High School, less than five miles away from the Miami Dolphins Training Facility in Davie, where he would spend a decade rewriting the team’s record books. Mare’s journey to reach his destiny was not a traditional one, however. The son of Italian immigrants, Mare’s first love was soccer and it wasn’t until he and a friend witnessed an uninspired performance by their high school kicker that they decided to try out for the football team during his junior season. Mare did not immediately receive a scholarship, and played for MacMurray College in Illinois before he and his father made their own kicking video that compelled the Syracuse Orange to give Olindo a shot. Mare went undrafted in 1995, but was signed to the New York Giants practice squad, where he would spend an entire season before Jimmy Johnson gave him a chance to compete for a starting role prior to the Dolphins 1996 training camp, and opportunity that would lead to a decorated 16-year NFL career. In The Tank, “Lindo” recalls kicking in an overgrown field at light posts, being inspired by a Pete Stoyanovich poster years before ultimately meeting the former Dolphins kicker, his unique relationship with Fins Special Teams Coach, Mike Westhoff, and what he refers to the most special time of his career in which he teamed with Dolphins legends including Dan Marino, Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas, Sam Madison, Patrick Surtain, and others.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jordan found a home with the street gang, The Bloods, around the same time he found football. Despite being shot, spending time in jail, and playing less than one season at Long Beach City College, he worked his way on to the Los Angeles Raiders roster in 1993 and enjoyed an eight-year professional career. Prior to the 1996 season, Jimmy Johnson signed Charles to a three-year contract, during which time he teamed with Dan Marino and our very own O.J. McDuffie. In The Tank, Charles candidly shares details from his early gang life, explains how Hall of Famers James Lofton and Howie Long helped him earn opportunities with the Raiders and then the Dolphins, and reflects on life lessons he wished he had learned sooner.
While working as an artist in the Miami Herald newsroom in the early 1970s, Dave Cross took up photography as a hobby and began shooting Miami Dolphins games. Dave’s hobby developed into a passion, which ultimately led to a job offer from the NFL franchise. In 1984, Cross accepted and became the Dolphins’ official team photographer, a position he would hold for the next 30 years. Charged with preserving the team’s visual history, Cross has photographed every Dolphin from Bob Griese to Dan Marino; Larry Csonka to Ricky Williams; Bill Stanfill to Jason Taylor. While in The Tank, Dave explains how he made the transition from newspaper man to team photographer, reluctantly recalls a time where he forgot to put film in his camera before photographing Jimmy Johnson and his coaching staff, and details his journey with the 1972 Dolphins on their trip to the White House. Dave was also married on the team charter returning from Don Shula’s 325 th coaching victory, gave Harley Davidson riding lessons the Dave Wannstedt, and is a dead ringer for former Notre Dame head coach, Lou Holtz.