July 8, 2012

MVP Profile: Dick Anderson, 1973

Safety, Miami Dolphins

Age: 27
6th season in pro football & with Dolphins
College: Colorado
Height: 6’2”    Weight: 196

A versatile All-American in college, Anderson was taken by the Dolphins in the third round of the 1968 AFL/NFL draft. He showed off his ability as a rookie, intercepting 8 passes for a league-leading 230 yards, including one for a 96-yard TD. With the addition of Jake Scott in 1970, Anderson was shifted to strong safety and became part of an outstanding tandem. He again had 8 interceptions in ’70 and once more was the leader in return yards with 191. With the team going undefeated and winning the Super Bowl in ’72, Anderson was a consensus first-team All-Pro and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time.

1973 Season Summary
Appeared in all 14 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Sacks – N/A
Interceptions – 8 [1, tied with Mike Wagner]
Most interceptions, game – 4 vs. Pittsburgh 12/3
Int. return yards – 163 [3]
Most int. return yards, game – 121 vs. Pittsburgh 12/3
Int. TDs – 2 [1, tied with Tom Hayes]
Fumble recoveries – 0

Punt Returns
Returns – 6
Yards – 52
Average per return – 8.7
TDs – 0
Longest return – 27 yards

TDs – 2
Points – 12

Postseason: 3 G
Sacks – 0
Interceptions – 1
Int. return yards – 19
TD – 0

Punt Returns – 1
Yards – 2
Kickoff Returns – 1
Yards – 14

Awards & Honors:
NFL Defensive Player of the Year: AP
1st team All-NFL: AP, PFW, NEA, Pro Football Weekly
1st team All-AFC: AP, UPI, Pro Football Weekly, Sporting News
Pro Bowl

Dolphins went 12-2 to win the AFC East with the conference’s best record while leading the NFL in passing defense (1290 yards and 5 TDs allowed). Won AFC Divisional playoff over Cincinnati Bengals (34-16), AFC Championship over Oakland Raiders (27-10), and Super Bowl over Minnesota Vikings (24-7).

Anderson followed up with a third consecutive Pro Bowl year in 1974, although for the first time in his career he failed to intercept more than one pass. A knee injury cost him the entire ’75 season and he was a backup for the last two years of his career in 1976 and ’77. Overall, Anderson intercepted 34 passes which he returned for 792 yards and three touchdowns.


MVP Profiles feature players who were named MVP or Player of the Year in the NFL, AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974), or USFL (1983-85) by a recognized organization (Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, Newspaper Enterprise Association, United Press International, The Sporting News, Maxwell Club – Bert Bell Award, or the league itself). Also includes Associated Press NFL Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year.

[Updated 2/8/14]