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9. Larry Csonka

Larry Csonka was the first Back drafted in 1968, but the first two seasons were a struggle due to poor play and injuries.  While the start would not be great, the arrival of Don Shula in 1970 changed all of that.

Csonka got healthy, and he improved his fundamentals, and with a powerful lead forearm, he hurt people before they could hurt him.  His rushes in the first half of the 70s were the stuff of NFL Films legend, and from 1970 to 1974, he would be named to the Pro Bowl, with two of those years earning a place as a First Team All-Pro.  From 1971 to 1973, he rushed for over 1,000 Yards, and he was a beast long before Marshawn Lynch and “Beast Mode” existed. 

Csonka helped the Dolphins reach three Super Bowls, winning the latter two.  In the undefeated Super Bowl VII season, Csonka rushed for 112 Yards.  In the Super Bowl VIII win, Csonka set a then-record of 145 Yards in the Super Bowl, and he would be named the MVP of the game.

Like many players, Csonka would leave the NFL for the upstart World Football League, but after that folded, he went to the New York Giants.  Csonka returned to Miami in 1979, where he had a comeback year, winning the PFWA Comeback Player of the Year in an 837-yard year, where he had a career-high 12 Touchdowns.  The Fullback decided to retire after that, and he would later enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.  Csonka earned the ultimate honor in Miami, when his #39 was retired in 2002.  This happened 12 years after his name was added as part of the first Honor Roll.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Fullback
  • Acquired: Selected in the 1st Round, 8th Overall in the NFL Draft 1/30/68.
  • Departed:

    Signed with the Memphis Southmen of the World Football League before the 1975 Season.

    Acquired (2): Signed as a Free Agent before the 1979 Season.

    Departed (2): Retired after the 1979 Season.
  • Games Played: 106
  • Notable Statistics:

    105 Games Started
    1,506 Rushing Attempts
    6,737 Rushing Yards
    53 Rushing Touchdowns
    91 Receptions
    688 Receiving Yards
    4 Receiving Touchdowns
    80 Approximate Value

    12 Playoff Games
    225 Rushing Attempts
    891 Rushing Yards
    9 Rushing Touchdowns
    4 Receptions
    26 Receiving Yards
    1 Receiving Touchdown

  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    Super Bowl Champion (VII & VIII)
    First Team All-Pro (1971 & 1973)
    Second Team All-Pro (1972)
    Pro Bowl (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 & 1974)
    Super Bowl MVP (VIII)
    PFWA Comeback Player of the Year (1979)
    Most Yards per Rushing Attempt (1971)

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 September 2022 15:51

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