Former Colts, Dolphins QB Earl Morrall dies

Earl Morrall (left) and Don Shula in February 2013. (USATSI)
Earl Morrall (left) and Don Shula in February 2013. (USATSI)
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Earl Morrall, who played quarterback for 21 NFL seasons from 1956 to 1976, died Friday morning, according to the Naples News Daily. He was 79.

Hall of Famer Don Shula was Morrall's coach in Baltimore and later Miami, including the 1972 season when Morrall took over for an injured Bob Griese and led the undefeated Dolphins to the playoffs. Griese returned in the AFC Championship and the team would beat the Redskins in the Super Bowl. Still, Morrall was named AFC Player of the Year, as well as the NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

"He's been in a struggle with his health for a while now," Ryan Richeal, who worked in marketing with the Dolphins from 2003-2009, and helped run Morrall's charity golf tournament, said via the Daily. "Everybody has been trying to prepare for this. When you have somebody like Earl Morrall who's a legend on and off the field, it's still very difficult in the end."

Morrall won three Super Bowls -- one with the Colts and two with the Dolphins -- and finished his career with 20,809 passing yards, 161 touchdowns and 148 interceptions.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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