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Former Dolphins Players & Coaches On The Passing Of Bob Kuechenberg

Bob Kuechenberg 5

Don Shula: "I am saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Kuechenberg, who was not only one of the best players I ever coached, but one of the toughest as well. He was one of the key performers on our championship teams, leading by example every time he stepped on the field. That was especially true in Super Bowl VIII, when he dominated Alan Page the entire game despite playing with a broken arm, a performance that was one of the keys to our victory over the Vikings.

You could count on Kooch to play well and to play hard. He performed at a Pro Bowl level throughout his 14 years playing for the Dolphins and mastered the game so well he was called for holding only 15 times over that span. He gave you everything he had every single snap, and that dependability extended throughout his career, missing only a few games during that time.

I've coached a lot of Hall of Fame players, including a number of offensive linemen, and Kooch was as good as any of them. I hope one day he gets that ultimate recognition by being enshrined in Canton—it's an honor long overdue and one he certainly deserves."

Dick Anderson: "I've got plenty of memories of Bob. The best was how he, Jim Langer and Larry Little just dominated defenses from the interior of our offensive line. I look back at Super Bowl VIII and how they neutralized the Vikings' famed 'Purple People Eaters' defense. You could always count on him to be in the lineup. He played in that Super Bowl with a broken arm and dominated a Hall of Famer in Alan Page. Larry Csonka rushed for a Super Bowl record in yards and it started up front with those guys. They just ate people up. Their teamwork was remarkable. We had two 1,000-yards rushers and a third back gain more than 500 yards in a 14-game season. It was because of Kooch and the rest of the line. He was a so versatile and played well at three positions on the line, one of the few offensive linemen who made the Pro Bowl at multiple positions. I know it bothered him to not be in the Hall of Fame. He was an important part of the offense that helped us have the best one-, two-, three-, four- and five-year records in NFL history. He will be missed."

Bob Baumhower: "Kooch, along with Larry Little and Jim Langer, were the three biggest reasons for my development and many others as better players. They were absolutely the best interior offensive line in the NFL. Kooch was a tough, talented and smart leader playing offensive guard. After practicing against Kooch everyday, playing in the games was a picnic. He made all of us better through his passion and ability to play the game AND HUMOR. We will miss him, I hope the Hall of Fame recognizes his greatness soon."

Larry Csonka: "Kooch was the ultimate team player. He lives on in MY Hall of Fame."

Ray Foster: "Kooch was my mentor, experienced and trusted adviser. He was tough as nails, A true pro. Our lockers were next to each other. I watched him everyday at practice and I learn a lot. He loved the game and more importantly he LOVED the MIAMI DOLPHINS. RIP Kooch!"

Bob Griese: "Kooch came to us as a free agent, played left guard for us for a long time and played it very well. He was a guy who could play any position on the offensive line. He played left tackle for us in one of the Super Bowl games and was also the backup center. He was probably the most underrated guy on our team. He did more things to let us win than anybody on the team. He was underrated because of that. There is no question he deserves to be on the Hall of Fame. I think down the road he will be and I'm just sorry that he won't be around when they finally let him in."

Jim Langer: "Bob was my roommate for ten years. He was like a brother. You always hear about what kind of man you want to have next to you in the foxhole and it was Kooch. Kooch and I spent hours watching film on who we were going to play. When we were going to play the [Minnesota] Vikings in Super Bowl VIII we studied Alan Page for hours to get some edge on him. Monte [Clark], Larry Little, the whole offensive line, we were pretty intense guys. There was no one more intense on what that team was about than Kooch. We thought a lot alike. We got along great. He worked really hard. No one worked harder than Kooch. He was absolutely committed to our line and Monte Clark and what we were trying to do. I have no doubt he should be in the Hall of Fame. Kooch was as good a guard as there was and was instrumental in making the center of that line what it was."

Nat Moore: "My thoughts and prayers go out to Bob Kuechenberg's family during this very difficult time. Bob was one of the toughest guys I ever played with or against. He was a real warrior and was willing to sacrifice and play wherever the team needed him to help us win! It is truly a shame that he is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his numbers are as good as most guards already enshrined in Canton."

Judge Ed Newman: "Bob, known to us in the locker room as Kooch, lived large and he was very witty. As I recall, he coined the phrase "mushrooms" when referring to the offensive line. (You know, they kept in the dark and fed us...). He had a strong mind and was an independent thinker. There was not a better guy to be in the trenches with. He knew how to win. He was a good friend. Sad that he passed. He'll be missed."

Dwight Stephenson: "Kooch was a great teammate as well as a true professional. He was a tough, smart and crafty offensive lineman. He taught us how to approach the game as an offensive lineman and to be successful. Our thoughts and prayer go out to his family."

Paul Warfield: "First and foremost, I want to express my condolences to Bob Kuechenberg's family. He was an important part of the tremendous success we had as a team during the championship years of the early 1970s. Kooch was a gritty player and was determined in everything he did. His performance and that of the rest of the line was instrumental to the overall success of the team."