Don Shula: “I was sorry 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.”
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!”
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.”