Larry Little, unlike many highly touted Miami Dolphins stars of the
1970s, began his career in 1967 as an unheralded free agent with the
San Diego Chargers. Larry, who had been a two-way tackle, team
captain, and an All-Conference choice at Bethune-Cookman College,
enjoyed only moderate success during his two years in San Diego.
Just before the 1969 campaign, however, he was traded to the Dolphins
and it wasn’t long before the 6-1, 265-pound guard was being praised
as one of the National Football League’s premier offensive linemen. A
fixture at right guard during the 1970s when the Dolphins were a
dominant team in pro football Little was the embodiment of the
intimidating force of the famed Miami rushing attack.
A superb pass blocker, awesome on the scrimmage line and especially
effective as the lead man on the powerful Dolphin sweeps, Little was
named first-team All-NFL from 1971 through 1975 and again in 1977. He
was also named second-team All-NFL in 1978, and All-AFC five times.
Larry was selected to play in five Pro Bowls (1970, 1972, 1973, 1974,
and 1975). He was named the NFL Players Association’s AFC Lineman of
the Year in 1970,1971 and 1972.
When Miami rushed for a then-record 2,960 yards in its perfect 1972
season, Little was tabbed by one prestigious selection panel as the
NFL’s outstanding blocker. Little displayed versatility, durability
and dedication throughout his career.
Coach Don Shula called him “a real inspiration, not just for the way
he performs but also for his influence on our younger players.” In one
emergency situation, brought about by injuries, Little shifted to the
unfamiliar right tackle spot with little effect on his quality of
play. Even though he was plagued by knee, ankle, and leg injuries
through much of his career, he sat out only four games because of
injuries in his first 11 seasons with the Dolphins.