Jensen was one of Hall of Famer Dan Marino’s backup quarterbacks from 1984-92 and also took snaps at running back, fullback, tight end, wide receiver, holder on extra points and field goals,and punt snapper.From 1984 to ‘91, he turned 229 receptions into 132 first downs, and from 1984 to ‘88 he recorded a reception in 55 of 63 games, ending his career with 229 receptions for 2,171 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Jensen’s best statistical season came in 1989 when he caught 65 passes for 557 yards and six touchdowns, carried the ball eight times for 50 yards,and completed one pass for 19 yards and a touchdown. In 1988 he was named the NFL’s Special Teams Player of the Year and also was the Dolphins’ special teams MVP. His number 11 jersey was one of the most recognizable on the field at the Orange Bowl and what is currently known as Sun Life Stadium.
The South Florida resident most recently was a project manager for an underground utilities company in Plantation and is now coaching, mentoring and tutoring special education kids with Child Provider Services.
But football is never far from his mind.
“I would love to coach again, but I haven’t really actively pursued it,”said Jensen,who was head coach of the af2’s Florida Firecats in 2001 and the AFL’s Florida Bobcats in 1996.“I did a football camp recently with one of my former Firecats players (quarterback Ken Mastrole) and I was running around out there like I was 20 years old again. It’s one speed only for me and it was great.I loved it.”
When Jensen was in playing shape, he was one of the hardest guys to get off the field. Shula started running out of ways to utilize the player who quarterbacked Boston University to a combined 17-3-1 record over his college career.He wasn’t afraid to make a tackle or lay down a crushing block on an opposing defensive lineman and never looked to avoid contact or go over the middle to catch a pass,hence his nickname.
Jensen was in his 20s both times the Dolphins reached the Super Bowl — after the 1982 and 1984 seasons — and he vividly remembers both experiences. The Super Bowl XVII loss to the Washington Redskins came with David Woodley at starting quarterback and the Killer B’s defense in its prime, while the loss to the San Francisco 49ers and Hall of Famer Joe Montana in Super Bowl XIX put a damper on Marino’s record-setting second season and Miami’s 14-2 record.
“To be honest with you,the first Super Bowl that I was in I was happy to be there,” Jensen said. “I was young and obviously we wanted to win but we didn’t win, and then we get back two years later and you know what it feels like to lose.That second one was a lot harder than the first one, although I do remember recovering a fumble in that game.But with a coach like Don Shula you always believe that you can get back there and win it. It just didn’t happen for us.”
Jensen and the Dolphins came real close a few more times,losing to New England the very next year in the AFC Championship Game and to the Buffalo Bills in the 1990 AFC Divisional Round and 1992 AFC Championship Game.He surmised that the longer Marino was in the league,the easier it became for opposing teams to figure out to defend him and the Dolphins, and the Patriots and Bills came up with some good schemes.
One thing Jensen still takes a lot of pride in is how his type of role has diminished with more specialists being signed. “It’s amazing that today you have a position for a punt snapper,”he said. “Now when I work with kids, especially tight ends, I try to teach them how to snap the ball for punts.”