My quest to highlight the greatest Dolphins of all-time to wear each uniform number shall continue. You can see all of the previous numbers quickly by clicking here. Today we focus on numbers 61 through 70 - turning our attention primarily to the big guys up front.
Number 61 - Tim Ruddy, C, 1994-2003
Ruddy was a fixture at center for the Dolphins. Following his rookie season, in which he didn't start one game, Ruddy started every game he played in for nine career seasons - 140 in all. He missed just four games in his entire career until chronic knee problems ended his career following his release from the Dolphins in 2003. But he was as consistent as they come during his time in Miami - and even reached the Pro Bowl one time.
Other Candidates: Roy Foster
Number 62 - Jim Langer, C, 1970-1979
Langer is widely considered among the greatest centers of all-time. He's a 6 time Pro-Bowler and 4 time first-team All-Pro. He was the starting center for both of Miami's Super Bowl Champion teams. During a seven year stretch from 1972 to 1978, Langer never missed a game, starting 100 consecutive games. In 1987, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Other Candidates: Harry Galbreath
Number 63 - Jeff Uhlenhake, C, 1989-1993
Uhlenhake was a 5th round pick out of Ohio State - but started almost immediately for the Dolphins. He played in all 32 games during the first two years of his career, starting all but one. All told, he started 59 games for the Dolphins at center. Mark Dixon also garnered some serious consideration here, though. What prevented Dixon from overtaking Uhlenhake here is that he always seemed to miss 4 or 5 games a season with injuries.
Other Candidates: Mark Dixon, Billy Neighbors
Number 64 - Ed Newman, G, 1973-1984
Newman wasn't a full-time starter until the '79 season at the age of 29. But he thrived once he got his shot - earning four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances from '81 to '84. He was also named a first-team All-Pro in 1984 - his final career season - and was part of two AFC Champion teams in Miami. In 1998, Newman was elected as a county court judge in Miami-Dade County - which is what he remains doing today.
Other Candidates: Samson Satele
Number 65 - Jeff Dellenbach, OL, 1985-1994
Yes, that's right. I listed Dellenbach simply as an offensive lineman. How would you list him? After all, Dellenbach started at least one game at every offensive line position other than left guard. That's the definition of versatility. Not bad for a 4th round pick. And while Jeff was never really great at any one thing, he was solid at a number of things - making him the ideal "swing lineman." And to the best of my knowledge, Dellenbach remains in South Florida as the head coach of North Broward Prep's football team.
Other Candidates: Kevin Donnalley, Maulty Moore
Number 66 - Larry Little, G, 1969-1980
Little started 157 games as a Dolphin after coming over from San Diego in 1969. And he instantly became a star - reaching the Pro Bowl in his first year in Miami. All told, Little would reach 5 career Pro Bowls and be named first-team All-Pro 5 times. He was part of Miami's dominant offensive line in the '70s that helped produce two 1,000 yard rushers in one season on the same team - and two Super Bowl Championships. In 1993, Little was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Other Candidates: Jamie Nails, Rex Hadnot
Number 67 - Bob Kuechenberg, G, 1970-1983
It's a shame that Kuechenberg can't seem to find his way into the Hall of Fame so he could forever be next to his great teammates - Larry Little, Jim Langer, and Dwight Stephenson. He's been a finalist for the Hall every year since 2002, but is yet to make the cut. In his outstanding career, Bob started 176 games for the Dolphins. He was named a Pro-Bowler 6 times and a first-team All-Pro once. He started for the Dolphins in four of their five Super Bowl appearances - including their two championship winning teams.
Other Candidates: None
Number 68 - Eric Laakso, T, 1978-1984
Not much to choose from here. But Laakso 61 games for the Dolphins during his career - including starting at right tackle in Super Bowl XVII. That's more than any other player who has worn this number can say for themselves.
Other Candidates: Seth McKinney
Number 69 - Keith Sims, G, 1990-1997
Sims was a solid left guard for the Dolphins in the early and mid '90s. Between '92 and '95, Sims started every game for the Dolphins - reaching the Pro Bowl three consecutive times during that stretch. He, along with long-time teammate Richmond Webb, were fixtures on the left side of Miami's line for years. Oh - and Sims is from Warren, NJ - which scores him some bonus points for me.
Other Candidates: None
Number 70 - Brian Sochia, NT, 1986-1991
It's amazing how much bigger nose tackles are today. Back in his day, Sochia was considered a big guy playing nose tackle - measuring in at 270 pounds. That's defensive end/outside linebacker weight nowadays. But Sochia was good at what he did. In 58 games as a Dolphin, Sochia 15 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries - including one for a touchdown. Between the '88 and '89 seasons, Brian tallied 9.5 sacks and was named a Pro-Bowler in 1988 - the only time he'd earn that honor during his career.
Other Candidates: Jim Riley, Bill Barnett