Current Bills have dues to pay to make 60th team

By Anthony Bialy  |   Friday, May 08, 2009  |  Comments( 71 )

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The biggest knock on the Buffalo Bills is that their best player this decade has been a punter. Now, it’s a historical problem: Brian Moorman, who kicks for a living, is tellingly the only active member who made the franchise's 50th season team. On the plus side, the stories of some careers are still being written. There are a handful of present Bills who might only need time to get voted to the next all-time roster. The biggest obstacle for today’s candidates who wish to be included on the 60th year’s all-time lineup is the dearth of huge moments.

Lee Evans could be fairly considered one of the three best receivers in team history at present, even though he wasn’t included on the final list. With two 1,000-yard seasons among his first five, it may be just a matter of a decade passing before he’s considered a certain top three Bills receiver; the best news for Evans is that he merely has to keep it up.

The path looks rockier for the rusher. Set aside that he’d have to keep himself out of trouble, Marshawn Lynch has a lot of work to do. With only one running back selected, he’s got to reach best-ever Bill status. Even though voters stuck it to O.J. Simpson for the 50th team, Lynch would still have to top consensus non-felon choice Thurman Thomas.

That said, the California man -- who has rushed for nearly 77 yards per game in his two-year career -- is off to a promising opening. By comparison, Thomas rushed for 66.3 yards per contest as a pro (that includes his treacherous final year with the Miami Dolphins). To be fair, he rarely started over his last three seasons, too.

Thomas was also of course a fantastic receiver, which is a role to which the incumbent is still adjusting. If Lynch never reaches the same heights, it’s only because Thomas set the bar so high. It’ll either be that or missing time every season after a misdemeanor plea.

As for defenders, a few are limited by the rule mandating that all all-timers must have been a Bill for four seasons or have been on the team’s 25th anniversary squad. That’s one of the obstacles Paul Posluszny faced. More subjectively, he has shined at times, but would still have to grow into dominance to crack an all-time group that includes some healthily psychotic linebackers.

Donte Whitner is in a similar spot; he’s too young to be considered now, not to mention that he’d have to increase his big-play rate as he ages. He’d also have to avoid something else, namely police Tasers and possible Lynch-type missed time.

On the other hand, Terrence McGee has served his time as a Bill, but he’s had more of an honorable mention career; the same robust play for perhaps five more seasons would at least get him listed as a defensive candidate in 2019.

Meanwhile, Trent Edwards doesn’t appear to be approaching transcendence; in fact, success for him could mean playing as a competent manager and not as a Jim Kelly-type passing dominator. But he’ll be remembered fondly if that style translates to team success. Plus, like most of his non-punting prominent teammates, Edwards should have numerous games ahead to prove he belongs among the franchise’s best.

Above all, current players battling to make the next inventory would make the upcoming seasons worth watching. On top of that, the excessively naïve can look forward to hoping that Terrell Owens will play/behave well enough in one season to make the register that’s to be released 10 years from now.
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About Anthony Bialy

I'm just here to submit columns.
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CommentsComments: 71  |  Sign Up  View all comments
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No.1
06:11 AM
05/08/2009
Good morning to all. The snow already melted bflobob8 and I slept like a baby. Everything you guys suggested worked, but for some...
No.2
Alan
08:21 AM
05/08/2009
lee evans has a shot, i doubt lynch will unseat thurman, but it is way too early to tell at this point in his career. the only...
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No.3
bILZrok
08:26 AM
05/08/2009
garyg - Glad to hear that you're feeling better. Stay away from the heavy machinery today!! It's good to know you didn't have...
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