Bob Brudzinski was a 6'4" linebacker for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He was twice selected to the All-Big 10 team, was also a consensus All-American in his senior year, 1976. The Los Angeles Rams selected him in the first round of the 1977 NFL Entry Draft with the 23rd overall pick.
Brudzinski played four seasons with the Rams, appearing in 55 games, including 41 starts at left and right linebacker. The Rams compiled a 42-20 record with him on the roster, making the playoffs all four seasons and an NFC Championship in 1979. He walked out on the Rams part of the way through the 1980 season due to a contract dispute, and they were forced to trade him to the Dolphins.
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In 1981, Brudzinski started all 16 games for Miami at left outside linebacker, a position he would start at for most of the next seven seasons. He collected approximately 90 tackles, and in a week 10 road victory over the New England Patriots (30-27) would pick off quarterback Steve Grogan twice. Miami finished out the season 11-4-1, losing to the San Diego Chargers in the divisional round of the playoffs.
Brudzinski would net 55 tackles and 4.5 sacks for the Dolphins in the nine game strike shortened 1982 regular season as Miami wound up at 7-2. Miami breezed through the expanded 16 team playoff field, winning their three games by a combined score of 76-26. The "Killer B's" terrorized opposing offenses by allowing an NFL low 2,312 yards and an AFC low 131 points. Brudzinski picked off one of Miami's NFL leading 19 interceptions on the season.
Miami continued to field the class of the AFC in 1983, finishing 12-4 as Brudzinski again started every game, collecting 105 tackles. In a two week span he collected 31 tackles in a 38-35 loss to Buffalo and a 32-14 win over the New York Jets. The defense ranked number one in the NFL by allowing only 250 points.
Brudzinski made approximately 70 tackles for the 14-2 1984 Dolphins, starting every game for Miami. The team advanced to Super Bowl XIX, where they were stopped by the San Francisco 49ers, 38-16.
In 1985, Brudzinski made 13 starts at his spot on the left side, appearing in one game in relief after missing the first two weeks of the season with an injury. He would collect his only Dolphin touchdown in a week eight 31-21 loss to the Detroit Lions, returning a fumble seven yards in the third quarter. Miami finished 12-4 on the season, missing out on a chance of their third Super Bowl in four seasons when the New England Patriots sent them home, 31-18 in the AFC Championship game.
Brudzinski started every game in 1986, collecting approximately 80 tackles and two sacks. The Dolphins missed the playoffs with an 8-8 record, the first time in Brudzinski's then 10 season career that his team did not play in the postseason.
Over the next three seasons, Brudzinski started eight of his final 38 NFL games for Miami, as the team compiled a 22-25 record and did not again make the playoffs. In his nine seasons with Miami, he started 94 of 125 games, making 14.5 sacks and somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 tackles. He is considered by some to be the answer to the question: "Who is the best linebacker never to play in a Pro Bowl?"
He currently runs "Bru's Room Sports Bar" with Eddie Hauck, a 10 restaurant chain.
Miami has a long history of game changing linebackers. Who was the most dominant linebacker in Dolphins history?
Nick Buoniconti (661 votes)
Larry Gordon (14 votes)
AJ Duhe (269 votes)
Zach Thomas (2855 votes)
Mike Kolen (11 votes)
John Offerdahl (403 votes)
Doug Swift (22 votes)
Brian Cox (158 votes)
Bob Brudzinski (23 votes)
4416 total votes