Now that the Buffalo Bills have beefed up their offense and defense, making it clear that they are shooting for playoff contention, I cannot help but think of the Bills; Golden years, from 1989 to 1995. In those years, making the playoffs was expected.
Season 2012 will make it 13 years since the Bills made the playoffs and lost. I refrained from dancing as I watched the “Music City Miracle” crush our Super Bowl hopes in 1999. However, this year is different. We are going to make it. Before it starts, I want to a have a little bit of fun and design my ultimate Bills Fantasy Dream Team. As my head hits the pillow, here is what my subconscious is revealing.
QB: Okay, the starter is no brainer. . .
Starter: Jim Kelly, of course. Four Super Bowl appearances.
2nd Stringer: Ryan Fitzpatrick. Smart and runs a great quick, short-passing offense.
3rd Stringer: Joe Ferguson. Consistent, steady, down-to-earth. QB for “Hail Mary” win over Patriots.
Honorable Mention: Frank Reich, responsible for the greatest comeback ever against the Houston Oilers. Bills won the 1993 AFC Wildcard Game, 41-38, coming back from a 32-point deficit.
Andre Reed: 2nd all-time in receptions behind Jerry Rice. Incredible up-the-middle and yardage after the catch.
Stevie Johnson: Only Bills receiver to have two back-to back 1,000 plus reception yards.
Don Beebe: Ran at Cheetah speed! How many guys can attest to having a letter “E” torn from their jersey by a defender trying to catch him?
Eric Moulds: Great in double coverage and under pressure. Versatile guy.
Jerry Butler: The guy could leap, run, snag the ball. He ended his career with a touchdown against the Dolphins in 1985, injuring his right ankle.
Kent Hull: The best center Bills ever had. Gave his all ever game. Passed away last year. He is missed! Sorry, I can’t put anybody else there.
Joe DeLamielleure: O.J Simpson ran 2,003 yards with DeLamielleure’s protection.
Jim Richter: Played for 14 seasons with the Bills. Played 218 total games.
Ruben Brown: Played hard and enjoyed 9 seasons with the Bills.
Wil Wolford: Started in 102 games. Great blocker.
Howard Ballard: Solid tacklers. Helped Thomas get 2,000 rushing yards.
Pete Metzelaars: One of Jim Kelly’s favorite, in-a-pinch targets. Almost 3,000 total yards and 302 receptions.
Scott Chandler: A young Pete in the making. Finished 2011 season with 38 catches and 6 TD’s.
Thurman Thomas: Hall of Famer. Best running back the Bills ever had with
Joe Cribbs: 4,445 yards in only 64 games. This guy was the Bills offense during the early 1980s.
Fred Jackson: Close to 4,000 yards in 5 seasons. Not too shabby!
Kenneth Davis: He was a great back-up for Thurman Thomas and came through when needed.
Fred Smerlas: Great nose tackle, wrote kid’s books. A fan favorite and mine.
Marcell Dareus: With 70 tackles and 20 sacks for Alabama, I am excited to see him play.
Bruce Smith: The guys has 200 career sacks, the most in the NFL.
Mario Williams: With 53 total career sacks, his future looks good as Buffalo Bill.
Darryl Talley: Most tackles in Bills history at 1,137. Friendly guy. My aunt can attest to that.
Ray Bentley: 443 tackles. Also an artist who wore awesome face paint during games.
Kelvin Sheppard: Great first season with Bills last year with 70 total tackles.
Nate Odomes: 26 Interceptions and 360 tackles.
Stephon Gilmore: Fast and smart. The Bills 2012 draft pick is going to turn some heads.
Terrence McGee: 512 tackles, 92 tackles in his 2003 season with the Bills.
Henry Jones: 18 interceptions with the Bills at crucial moments.
Jairus Byrd: 232 total tackles in 3 seasons.
Steve Tasker: There is nobody better. 204 tackles and 800 total yards. He sprinted down the field to make great plays.
Leodis McKelvin: A great punt returned, key guy on special teams.
Brian Moorman: This pro-bowler is one of the best punters in the league. Played with Bills since 2001.
Chris Mohr: Played with Bills from 1991 to 2000, averaged 40.4 yards per punt.
Steve Christie: One of the best all-time kickers, longest at 59 yards. 9 overtime wins.
Scott Norwood: Besides “Wide Right,” the guy won a lot of games for the Bills. As far as missing that 47-yard Super Bowl kick, the guy was never a long-distance kicker. Anything over 40 yards was a crap shoot.
NATIONAL ANTHEM SUPER BOWL SINGER :
Whitney Houston. The end of Super Bowl XXV hurt, but the beginning, beautiful. Whitney Houston, my favorite singer, was singing “The Star Spangled Banner” for the Buffalo Bills, making their first Super Bowl appearance. I will never forget the emotion of that moment, jet planes flying overhead, her voice strong and heartfelt. With America in the midst of the Persian Gulf War, Whitney moved people to tears, the same ones I am feeling now. You will always be my “Princess of Pop.” Thank you for singing for my team.