Cleo Lemon’s unlikely odyssey from camp casualty to South Florida hero culminated when he forever etched his name on the hearts of Miami fans with a game-winning, overtime TD pass to Greg Camarillo, lifting the Dolphins to their first and only win of the 2007 season. Despite a prolific career at Arkansas State, the Greenwood, Mississippi native went undrafted in 2001 and spent two years out of football before finally landing with the San Diego Chargers. Three seasons in San Diego came to a halt in 2005 when Lemon was traded to Nick Saban’s Miami squad, where he would enjoy the most significant playing time of his NFL career.
In The Tank, Cleo reflects upon his childhood in Greenwood (7:49) and the circumstances that led him to don a Red Wolves jersey (12:44). He then candidly details an incredible two-year journey that would have forced many out of football (15:26) and included stops in the AF2 League (21:54) and a University of Memphis Pro Day before finally landing a workout with the Chargers (22:48). Cleo goes on to share details on a Bolts quarterbacks room featuring Drew Brees, Doug Flutie, and Phillip Rivers (26:27) and makes the team after figuring out in the fourth-team huddle that an undrafted rookie basketball player turned tight end named Antonio Gates should see the ball often (27:32). Lemon discusses his unique connection to Cam Cameron and where things went south for Miami in 2007 (29:14) and opens up about the responsibilities and challenges for Dolphins quarterbacks since Dan Marino retired (35:19). Of course, Cleo recalls that fabled touchdown toss against the Baltimore Ravens to “save” the 2007 season (37:54), explains his transition from playing, to coaching, to the corporate sector (45:24), and steps to the line and executes the perfect Fish Tank Two-Minute Drill (50:19).
Contributors to this episode include Sean Todd aka DJ Prēc, Alex Bitchatchi, and Miami Dolphins Productions. Theme song created and performed by The Honorable SoLo D.
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