Buffalo Bills All-Time Pro Bowl Team

The Buffalo Bills have had plenty of all-stars, both in the AFL and NFL. If the team could field an all-time Pro Bowl team, who'd make the list? Here's a look based upon Pro Bowl appearances.

Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams and Mario Williams will all represent the Buffalo Bills tonight at the 2015 Pro Bowl. The trio are the latest in a long line of players to make the Pro Bowl for the Bills.

Pro Football Reference has the entire list of Bills players to make the Pro Bowl, but if the Bills were to field their own all-time Pro Bowl team, who’d make the cut? Here’s a look.

Note: The team is solely based upon Pro Bowl appearances (in parentheses), AFL games included. Tiebreakers will be handled by the author.

Quarterbacks

Starter: Jack Kemp (6)

Reserve: Jim Kelly (5)

It’s hard to argue with Kemp and Kelly. These were the only two QBs to have more than one Pro Bowl appearance with the Bills. Kelly was the MVP of the 1990 Pro Bowl.

Running Backs

Starters: O.J. Simpson (6), Thurman Thomas (5)

Reserve: Joe Cribbs (3)

Buffalo has a tremendous history with running backs and Simpson and Thomas are the certainly the best of the best. Joe Cribbs makes for a terrific backup. Simpson was Buffalo’s first Pro Bowl MVP in 1972.

Fullbacks

Starter: Cookie Gilchrist (3)

Reserve: Sam Gash (2)

Lookie, lookie, here comes Cookie! Cookie Gilchrist is one of the most underappreciated Bills of all-time. Backing up Cookie is Sam Gash, who made back-to-back appearances in 1998 and 1999.

Wide Receivers

Starters: Andre Reed (7), Eric Moulds (3)

Reserve: James Lofton (1) Jerry Butler (1)

Andre Reed and Eric Moulds are the two most productive wide receivers in Buffalo’s history and they also have the most Pro Bowl appearances at the position. Lofton and Butler get the backup nods over a few others who also made one Pro Bowl appearance. Please note that Steve Tasker, while listed as a wide receiver, will be included later as a gunner.

Tight Ends

Starter: Ernie Warlick (4)

Reserve: Paul Costa (2)

Ernie Warlick is the best Bills tight end of all-time. Paul Costa gets the backup nod. Each player made the AFL’s version of the Pro Bowl. Buffalo has never had a tight end appear in the NFL Pro Bowl.

Offensive Tackle

Starters: Stew Barber (5), Will Wolford (2)

Reserves: Howard Ballard (2), Jason Peters (2)

Stew Barber led in appearances and played multiple positions during his time in the AFL. Wolford, Ballard and Peters are all deserving with two appearances as Bills.

Offensive Guard

Starters: Billy Shaw (8), Ruben Brown (8)

Reserves: Joe DeLamielleure (5), Jim Ritcher (2)

Joe DeLamielleure as a backup is a travesty. That’s no offense to Ruben Brown, but Joe D. is one of the best guards of all-time. That said, this is based on appearances and Shaw and Brown led the way with eight appearances apiece. Jim Ritcher takes the last reserve spot.

Center

Starter: Kent Hull (3)

Reserve: Al Bemiller (1)

Kent Hull was such an important part of Buffalo’s high scoring offense. He is the greatest center that Buffalo has ever had and hopefully someday he’ll be added to the Pro Football Hall of Fame by the Senior Committee. Al Bemiller backs Hull up.

Defensive End

Starters: Bruce Smith (11), Mario Williams (2)

Reserves: Ron McDole (2), Aaron Schobel (2)

Bruce Smith, the 1987 Pro Bowl MVP, is one of the greatest NFL players of all-time, so seeing him with 11 Pro Bowl appearances is not a surprise. He and Mario Williams would create nightmares for opposing teams. Ron McDole and Aaron Schobel back the duo up.

Defensive Tackle/Nose Tackle

Starters: Fred Smerlas (5), Kyle Williams (4)

Reserves: Tom Sestak (4), Jim Dunaway (4)

Smerlas and Williams would also be a tremendous starting unit. Sestak is another one of Buffalo’s greatest interior linemen and Dunaway’s four appearances get him the last spot. Ted Washington just misses out with three appearances. Marcell Dareus could take over a starting spot in a few seasons if he remains with the Bills.

Linebacker

Starters: Mike Stratton (6), Cornelius Bennett (5), Bryce Paup (3)

Reserves: Shane Conlan (3), Darryl Talley (2), Harry Jacobs (2)

Stratton, Bennett and Paup make a great starting unit at linebacker. Conlan, Talley and Jacobs aren’t slouches either. Stratton was Buffalo’s best linebacker during the AFL days and Jacobs joins him on the team. It’s no surprise that three of the others selected came from the Super Bowl era and Paup was a dominate player during his time with the Bills.

Cornerback

Starters: Butch Byrd (5), Robert James (3)

Reserve: Nate Odomes (2)

Butch Byrd was Buffalo’s best cornerback from the AFL days and Robert James’ appearances came early in the early 70’s, shortly after the team joined the NFL. Odomes was the best cornerback on Buffalo’s Super Bowl teams.

Safety

Starters: George Saimes (5), Jairus Byrd (3)

Reserve: Tom Janik (2)

George Saimes was another AFL All-Star and he and Butch Byrd were tremendous together in the secondary. Another Byrd makes the Pro Bowl list with Jairus Byrd’s three appearances. Tom Janik backs up the safeties.

Special Teams

Gunner/Specialist: Steve Tasker (7)

Long Snapper: Mike Schneck (1)

Kicker: Scott Norwood (1)

Punter: Brian Moorman (2)

Steve Tasker is may be the best special teams player of all time. The NFL recognized this during his career and he made seven Pro Bowl appearances. Tasker won the MVP of the 1992 Pro Bowl game.

Mike Schneck and Scott Norwood each have one appearance with the Bills and make up the team’s long snapper and kicker. Brian Moorman made two appearances in the Pro Bowl and was the only Bills punter to ever be selected to the game.


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