The 300: #2 Larry Little

For today’s instalment of The 300 we go back to the early days of the NFL and a man who was there for almost all of the years before it hit the UK market. 

NFL CAREER

San Diego Chargers (1967-1968)

Miami Dolphins (1968-1980)

 

POSITION

Guard

 

WHY IS HE IMPORTANT?

If there is any position in the NFL which can truly be labelled as ‘underappreciated’, then it is that of offensive guard. Others – kicker and punter, for certain – may be more derided, but the readiness with which teams cut those players shows how crucial they really are to a teams success. Guards, on the other hand, toil in the darkness, in the very inner creases of the offensive line. They don’t snap the ball. They don’t protect the blind side. And yet if you want to have an effective running game, you need great guards.

There will be other guards in this series and most of them will be better known than Larry Little. Yet few of them will have come as far as he did, to become a Hall of Fame member having begun his career as an undrafted free agent from an unfashionable college. Not for the first time, though, legendary coach Tom Landry had unearthed a diamond in the rough.

After a slow start with the Chargers, Little was drafted to the Dolphins, a move which he initially opposed due to the franchise’s mediocre performances to that time. But it was in Miami that his career came to life, opening holes for Larry Csonka, Mercury Morris and Jim Kiick to run through. Without Little, that Dolphins running game would have been nowhere near as effective. And without that running game, there would not have been the NFL’s only perfect season.

Richard O’Hagan

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Richard O'Hagan
Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.
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    For today’s instalment of The 300 we go back to the early days of the NFL and a man who was there for almost all of the years before it hit the UK mar
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