Buffalo Bills' 50th Anniversary Team: Second String
As part of their 50th Anniversary festivities, the Buffalo Bills let fans vote for who they thought should be on the all time team. Many sure names made the list, such as Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith, Billy Shaw, and Marv Levy, but some others were left off.
Who would be the second string? What about third?
To answer the burning question, here's the Buffalo Bills 50th Anniversary All Time Team: Second String. The third string will be for players who played admirably in backup roles.
Quarterback: Jack Kemp
$100. That was the price that head coach Lou Saban had to pay in waivers to the San Diego Chargers to land Jack Kemp.
Jack Kemp's recent passing was a tragedy to all Bills fans. This pick is not only to honor him, but to also remind Bills fans of his incredible ability.
His statistics won't say much: a 57.3 passer rating, 114 TD's and 184 INT's, but two AFL Championships beg to differ. Under Saban, Kemp led the Bills with the help of Cookie Gilchrist and Elbert Dubenion to back to back Championships in 1964 and 65.
A vocal leader, he also was a mentor to the "Mad Bomber" Daryle Lamonica.
Third String: Frank Reich
Running Back: Cookie Gilchrist
In honor of the AFL, you have to honor the first thousand yard rusher the league had. When Ernie Davis left the Bills to join the NFL and sadly die of leukemia, the Bills picked up former Grey Cup winner Cookie Gilchrist.
Carlton Gilchrist was picked up by the Bills in 1962, and became AFL MVP along with Len Dawson the same year.
He went on to be a four-year AFL All Star (only three spent with the Bills), and previously held the record for most yards in a game with 243 against the New York Jets.
Third String: Kenneth Davis
Wide Receiver: Elbert Dubenion, Don Beebe, Lee Evans
Some may think it too early to consider Lee Evans on the all time team, but as of now, he's the face of the franchise.
Evans holds the Buffalo Bills records for most yards in one quarter and most in one game, 205 and 265 respectively, which occurred during a 2006 game against the Houston Texans.
Elbert Dubenion was a statistical phenom for the AFL. The Golden Wheels put up a whopping 18.3 yards per reception throughout his eight year tenure with the Buffalo Bills, and holds the AFL record for the longest playoff touchdown reception.
Don Beebe was a dark horse for the all time team, but his role in the comeback and his general toughness reminds me of the people of Buffalo.
A hard nosed, speedy guy, Beebe is most remembered for his Super Bowl heroics of knocking the ball out of Leon Lett's hands in the fourth quarter, preventing the Cowboys from scoring yet another touchdown.
Fourth string: Jerry Butler
Tight End: Ernie Warlick
For a twenty one year old writer, I know I'm throwing a lot of old Bills in to the mix, but how can you leave out the Big Hoss? Ernest, a CFL All Star and AFL phenom, was a staple in Jack Kemp's passing offense.
If Lou Saban knew one thing, it was who could make the transition from the CFL to the AFL/NFL. Ernie was not only a great receiver, but an excellent blocker in space. A generally sound all around player, Hoss deserves the respect of any Bills fan.
Third String: Jay Reimersma
Offensive Line: House and the Electric Company
It puzzles me to this day as to why Howard Ballard didn't make the Anniversary team. The man was HUGE, and also a lifesaver for Jim Kelly and the early '90s gang.
The entirety of the Electric Company, besides Delamielleure who already made the first string, is most certainly worthy of an all time team. Consisting of Dave Foley, Reggie McKenzie, Mike Montler, Delamielleure, and Donnie Green, they set "The Juice" loose for numerous years.
They also solidified O.J. Simpson's place as the first player to rush for 2,000 yards in one season.
With these beefy backups, there is no need for a third string, but for fun, I'll toss in Mike Williams. Any Bills fan will get a kick out of that one, or find where I live.
Defensive Line: Aaron Schobel, Tom Day, Ted Washington, Pat Williams
I will admit, Tom Day is a shout out to the Bills defense that didn't allow a rushing touchdown in 17 straight games.
He also has one of the best quotes of a Buffalo Bills player, saying that winning the AFL Championship "is like making love to the most beautiful woman in the world."
Ted "Mount" Washington and Pat Williams were beasts for the Buffalo Bills in their limited time with them. Any Bills fan remembers the look on Pat Williams face as he "raced" to the end zone after recovering a fumble.
Ted Washington was a solid staple in a struggling Buffalo defense in the late '90s, Teddy made his first three Pro Bowls with the Bills, amassing huge tackle numbers as a run stuffer.
Schobel, in his career with the Bills, has amassed great sack numbers. The Bills struggled mightily last year without Aaron manning the the right end spot. Undersized, he has an amazing first step even at the age of 31.
Another now-Bill for the second string, his career statistics make him worthy of lining up next to the all time greats.
Third String: Don Smith
Linebacker: Takeo Spikes, Marty Schottenheimer, Shane Nelson
Many of the jerseys you will see around Ralph Wilson Stadium bear the No. 51.
Although most are now Paul Posluszny, some still bear the name "Spikes." In his limited tenure with the Bills, Takeo made his impact by being the vocal, hard hitting tackle machine that he will always be remembered as.
Many remember when he was injured against the Falcons, throwing his helmet so hard to the ground it bounced to the sidelines.
Marty Schottenheimer, another early Bill, may not have let his game do the talking, but his contributions to the league through coaching should be recognized. Although he never won a Super Bowl, his best years at head coach were with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Shane Nelson is a great story. Much like the movie "Invincible," Nelson was a tryout player who eventually made it in the big leagues. His play in the defensive passing game was very impressive, and he had a knack for finding the ball when it was on the ground.
Third String: Josh Stamer
Cornerback: Mario Clark, Terrence McGee
With the cornerback carousel that is the Buffalo Bills, it's tough to choose an all time second string team when Nate Odomes has already made the list. The Bills have let go of great prospects Antoine Winfield, Nate Clements, and most recently Jabari Greer in free agency.
Twenty-six interceptions through a Bills career, that should be enough to get you on the all time team, and that's what Mario Clark did.
A quiet mannered guy out of Oregon, he let his play on the field speak volumes for himself. Clark would serve a great nickel role in the all time team.
Terrence McGee is the third present Bill to make the second string. He has not only been a stand out corner, he has also electrified the Bills with his kick return abilities.
I believe he earned the right to make the squad as being the only player in NFL history to score touchdowns on a kick return and an interception return in the same game. He did so against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2005.
Third String: Kirby Jackson
Safety: Mark Kelso, Tony Greene
Mark Kelso was an interesting choice. At 5'11", 177, he just didn't fit the mold of a safety. His 30 career interceptions beg to differ. Kelso, who was one of the few players in NFL history to wear the "safety cap" on his helmet, made plenty of marks on it in his years with the Bills.
Kelso was the free safety for the four time AFC Champion Buffalo Bills.
Another free safety, Tony Greene left his stamp on the Buffalo Bills franchise with 37 interceptions throughout the '70s.
Although part of a struggling Bills team, Greene spent his entire NFL career with the Buffalo Bills, and filled the free safety spot admirably.
Third String: Troy Vincent
Special Teams: Scott Norwood, Chris Mohr, Roscoe Parrish
Bills fans made the correct choices with Steve Christie, Brian Moorman, and Steve Tasker to the all time team, but there were close calls left out.
Scott Norwood gets the nod for leading the Bills to so many victories, yet is overshadowed by the "Wide Right." Bills fans will forever remember it, but from 47 yards out, it wasn't a chip shot by any means.
They also participated in or remember after the Super Bowl when thousands of fans chanted "Scott" as he came to address the fans.
Chris Mohr is the second string punter, due to the fact he was part of the Super Bowl teams. Great numbers, solid stats, and knew how to pin the other teams deep.
Roscoe Parrish is as slippery of a returner as you can get. Bobby April has solidified the Bills recent special teams corps with the likes of Rian Lindell, Brian Moorman, Roscoe Parrish, Terrence McGee, and Leodis McKelvin.
Roscoe, who leads the NFL all time with yards per return in punts, will surely not disappoint in the upcoming years for the Bills.
Honorable Mention: Paul Maguire
Coach: Lou Saban
Last, but not least by any means, the genius Lou Saban. Head coach of two AFL Championship teams, he was truly outnumbered by Marv Levy in the voting, but deserves a place in the 50th Anniversary celebration.
Saban gave his heart and soul to the fledgling AFL, making quick moves on stand out players, such as aforementioned Dubenion, Warlick, and Gilchrist.
His coaching prowess and strong vocal coaching led the Bills to the promised land, and he will forever be heralded as the only coach in the past to lead any Buffalo major league team to a national championship.
Assistant coach: Chuck Knox