Contrary to the product they put on the field in 2010, the Dolphins have actually produced some of the greatest interior lineman to ever play the game. Richmond Webb and Jake Long highlighted our tackles on Monday, but the real star power resides inside.
Let’s inch a little closer to finishing up the offense by ranking the top four guards in team history. Feel free to disagree or comment below.
1. Larry Little (1969-1980): While we’re on the topic of undrafted free agent success stories with our Davone Bess interview still fresh in our minds, let’s recognize one of the greatest undrafted players in league history. Larry Little went undrafted in 1967 before signing with the San Diego Chargers. The Dolphins came calling two years later, offering cornerback Mack Lamb for his services. The Chargers regrettably accepted and the rest is history.
Little was a dominant run blocker as he had the strength to provide excellent push and the athletic ability to get out and pull. Little played an enormous role in enabling Csonka, Kiick, and Morris to be the unstoppable three-headed monster they were. His career accolades include selection to the 1969 AFL All-Star game, 5 Pro Bowl appearances, being named to the 1970’s All-Decade Team, and most prestigiously, induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
2. Bob Kuechenberg (1970-1984): The greatest Dolphin not in the Hall of Fame, Kuechenberg played in all five of Miami’s Super Bowl appearances. Just like Larry Little, Kuechenberg also lays claim to playing a critical role in producing one of the most dominant rushing trios in league history.
In arguably the most legendary performance by an offensive lineman in Super Bowl history, Kuechenberg shut down the game’s most feared defensive tackle, Alan Page, with a broken arm in the Dolphins’ 24-7 win over the Vikings in Super Bowl VIII. Kuechenberg accompanied his toughness with versatility, as he also spent time at tackle and center with the Dolphins. His six Pro Bowl appearances and two All-Pro selections certainly make a strong case for the Hall.
3. Ed Newman (1973-1984): The Dolphins’ sixth-round pick in 1973, Newman patiently waited in the wings behind Larry Little for eight seasons. When Newman finally got the chance to be a starter along the Dolphins’ interior line, he didn’t look back, making the Pro Bowl from 1981-1984. Newman was an outstanding run blocker and probably would’ve had an even larger imprint on this franchise if it weren’t for the caliber of talent in front of him.
4. Keith Sims (1990-1997): After investing their first selection on Dan Marino’s blindside, the Dolphins continued to bolster their O-line by drafting Keith Sims in the second round of the 1990 NFL Draft. That selection panned out quite nicely as well as Sims became a force along the Dolphins’ interior offensive line for eight seasons. Sims was recognized with three Pro Bowl selections from 1993-95.