Players from the 1972 Miami Dolphins team, guard Bob Kuechenberg (67) and defensive tackle Bob Heinz (72) walk off the stage following a ceremony honoring the team at a football game against the Baltimore Ravens at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Bob Kuechenberg, a six-time Pro Bowler and member of the Dolphins’ perfect 1972 season, died Saturday.

He was 71.

Kuechenberg appeared in 196 career games, making 176 starts, and many of them through injury, as Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post outlined:

“‘Kooch,’ as teammates called him, once played an entire game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on a broken ankle. After the game, he was carried off the field and taken to the hospital. He played the 1977 season with a broken back. And he played Super Bowl VIII, lining up against Minnesota Vikings great Alan Page, despite a fractured forearm wrapped in a cast and a foam pad.”

His former head coach, Don Shula, spoke about that toughness and his hope that Kuechenberg is one day elected into the Hall of Fame in a statement released by the Dolphins following Kuechenberg’s death: 

His performance in Super Bowl VIII—and the performance of his offensive line teammates—has become the stuff of legend. The Dolphins so thoroughly dominated Minnesota on the line of scrimmage in the 24-7 victory, running 53 times for 196 yards, that quarterback Bob Griese only had to throw the ball seven times.

Kuechenberg may have been a tough guy on the field, but he kept his sense of humor off it:

In all, Kuechenberg won two titles with the Dolphins and was also a first-team All-Pro selection in 1978.

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