The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s seniors’ committee has made Bob Kuechenberg a Finalist for induction into the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame. Mark Clayton was also on the list of 54 semifinalists with Kuechenberg, but he did not make the cut and is not moving forward in the process.
This list of twelve players who are advancing is NT Joe Klecko, CB Eddie Meador, LB Tommy Nobis, OL Bob Kuechenberg, CB Everson Walls, QB Ken Anderson, LB Maxie Baughan, LB Randy Gradishar, LB Chuck Howley, RB/DB Cecil Isbell, CB Ken Riley, and WR Sterling Sharpe.
Kuechenberg was drafted in 1969 by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round. He quit the Eagles after training camp started and played the 1969 season in the Continental Football League for the Chicago Owls. Following the 69′ season, Kuechenberg signed with the Miami Dolphins, became a starter on the 1970 team, and was a mainstay on the offensive line for the next decade-plus. He was a starting lineman on the 1972 Dolphins that had the Perfect Season, was a two-time Super Bowl Champion, two-time first-team all-pro, was once named second-team all-pro, and was voted into six pro bowls.
His last full season with the Dolphins was in 1983, and he is the only player to have played both with the 72′ ‘Dolphins and Dan Marino. He is the link between those two eras of Dolphins’ football. Kuechenberg retired after the 1984 season, a season where he was injured in training camp and never played a game for the team. Kuechenberg was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame between 2002 and 2009, but the sports writers did not induct him at the time. Bob passed away in January of 2019.
The next step in the process is the 12-person seniors committee will now meet on August 16th, and each committee member will discuss one finalist and present them to the group. The committee will then vote, and their final vote will send three players from the group of 12 to the full 49-person selection committee for consideration at its annual meeting in early 2023.
Each of those three that move forward in the process after August 16th could be elected to the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame at that meeting in early 2023.
To qualify and be considered by the senior committee, the players had to play their last game in professional football no later than the 1996 season.