1970s Dolphins Legend Bob Kuechenberg Dead at 71

Bob Kuechenberg, a member of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins, is dead at the age of 71.

Kuechenberg’s NFL career began with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1969. When they cut him, “Kooch,” as he was nicknamed, briefly joined the Atlanta Falcons.

The Dolphins signed Kuechenberg in 1970 as a free agent.

Hall of Fame Dolphins coach Don Shula said, “You could count on Kooch to play well and to play hard.”

Kuechenberg played in six Pro Bowls, although he was not elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Kooch” played a complete game against the Pittsburgh Steelers while dealing with a broken ankle.

He played the entire 1977 season with a broken back.

In addition, he played Super Bowl VIII against the Minnesota Vikings with a fractured forearm that was wrapped in a cast and a foam pad.

He said in 2005, “It was pretty simple. I always believed that the true champions, the truly great players, would lay down limb if not life for the team. It sounds silly, but at my essence I am a warrior.”

In 1984, he went on injured reserve and announced his retirement in May 1985 at age 37.

At the time, he was the only remaining active team member of the undefeated 1972 Dolphins.

Six years ago, Kuechenberg declined former President Barack Obama’s invitation to the White House to be honored with the the 1972 team. He said it was due to his views on the administration.

His surviving family includes older brother and former Bears linebacker Rudy Kuechenberg.

 

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