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Miami Dolphins All-Time Top 100 Players: 35. Ronnie Lee

Ronnie Lee was another in a long line of powerful offensive lineman in the Miami Dolphins canon. For 10 seasons he provided pass protection from Bob Griese to Dan Marino.

Ronnie Lee was a 6'3" offensive lineman out of Baylor. Miami picked him up in the third round of the 1979 NFL Entry Draft with the 65th overall pick.

Lee wore number 86 for the Dolphins out of college, and appeared in every game for Miami during his rookie season, starting two at tackle. He caught two passes for 14 yards in a week 15 victory over the Detroit Lions, 28-10. Miami finished 10-6, winning the AFC East title.

In 1980, Lee started 13 of 16 games for Miami at blocking tight end. He finished the season with seven catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns as Miami settled for an 8-8 record.

1981 would see Lee catch a career high 14 catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. He started all 16 games for the Dolphins at tight end as Miami finished with an 11-4-1 record, winning the AFC East.

In 1982, Lee started five of nine games for the Dolphins at tight end. He only caught two passes during the 7-2 regular season for a grand total of six yards. He also caught a six yard touchdown pass in the Dolphins 34-13 Conference Semifinal win over the San Diego Chargers on Miami's way to Super Bowl XVII. Miami plowed through the strike-expanded AFC field, winning the three games by scores of 28-13 over the New England Patriots, 34-13, and 14-0 against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship. Miami led the NFL with 333 rushing plays for an NFL third-best 1,344 yards, and also allowed an NFL low 11 sacks.

Lee spent the 1983 season as an Atlanta Falcon, appearing in 14 games but not really having much impact on the offense. He returned to Miami in 1984, and wore the number 72 jersey, appearing in all 16 games off the bench. Miami featured the Dan Marino high-octane express on offense, as many records were set that season. The Dolphins led the NFL with 513 points scored, 6,936 yards gained, 6.5 average yards per play, 387 first downs, 5,018 passing yards, 49 passing touchdowns, only 23 sacks allowed, and an 8.6 yard average per pass attempt. Miami posted a glittering 14-2 record that season, beating the Seattle Seahawks, 31-10 and the Pittsburgh Steelers 45-28 on their way to Super Bowl XIX.

1985 would see Lee moved to right guard, where he started 13 of 15 games. Miami won the AFC East with a 12-4 record, advancing to the AFC Championship. Miami's passing offense ranked second in the NFL with 4,114 yards and 31 touchdowns as the offensive line allowed an NFL low 19 sacks of quarterback Dan Marino.

In 1986, Lee started nine of 10 games at right guard as Miami posted an 8-8 record, missing the playoffs. The offense scored an NFL high 430 points and gained an NFL high 6.3 yards per offensive play. The passing offense was again the class of the League, leading with 46 passing touchdowns and 4,779 yards. The offensive line again led the NFL by allowing only 17 sacks.

Lee was limited by the owner's lockout and by injury to nine starts at right tackle in 1987. Miami posted an 8-7 record (including a 7-5 record for non-replacement games), but did not qualify for the postseason. The passing offense was again the NFL's most prolific, gaining 3,876 yards while allowing only 13 sacks.

In 1988, Lee started every game at right tackle as Miami staggered to a 6-10 finish. In spite of the telling win-loss record, Miami still managed to lead the NFL in passing yards, with 4,516 while allowing an incredible seven sacks all season (the Patriots were second in the category, with 23).

Lee went on to start 15 games in 1989, as Miami led the AFC with 4,216 passing yards and again leading the NFL by allowing only 10 sacks. The Dolphins missed the playoffs by posting an 8-8 record.

Lee left Miami after the season to play for the Seattle Seahawks for the final three seasons of his pro football career. For Miami, he totalled 98 starts at tight end, right guard, and right tackle in 138 games over 10 seasons.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.