Each Monday on Buffalobills.com we’ll be presenting the Bills 50th All-Time team selections of one Buffalo celebrity. We could think of no better way to begin this series than with Bills Hall of Fame broadcaster Van Miller, who has seen every season of Bills football.
Be sure to check back every Monday to see who other celebrities with ties to Buffalo choose for their Bills 50th All-Time team.
You can make your picks too by registering at the Bills 50th Season website presented by Tops. But here now are Van’s offensive and special teams selections for his All-Time Bills squad. His defensive unit and head coach will be announced at a later date.
Van’s take – “I think it’s almost a tie between Jim Kelly and Jack Kemp because Jack won the two AFL championship games. Joe Ferguson was a great quarterback too, but between Kelly and Kemp I’d give Kelly a slight edge from the way he ran the K-Gun so he gets the nod.”
Running back (1)
Van’s take – “I think it’s Thurman because he could do more. If Cookie had played longer for the Bills I would have probably given it to him. Cookie may have been the finest running back I’ve ever known. He was every bit as versatile as Thurman. He could kick off, he could play tailback and fullback. Nobody dominated a game like Cookie Gilchrist could. That’s a close one. O.J. was a great player too no question. This might be the toughest position in this whole thing.”
Wide receiver (3)
Van’s take – “He was just a great player with great hands and speed. He was particularly good around the goal line. He was an outstanding receiver. He could separate from any defensive back.”
Van’s take – “I’m going with Lofton. He didn’t play here very long, but he was a difference maker that really took that K-Gun offense to the next level, and he’s a Hall of Famer.”
Van’s take – “Andre is on my team. Just his longevity and production throughout his career. The all-time leading receiver. How can he not be on this team.”
Tight end (1)
Van’s take – “He wasn’t the best receiver in the world, but he was Kelly’s safety valve and he was a great blocker. Metzelaars was the best all-around guy at the position.”
Offensive line (5)
Van’s take – “He was very, very consistent and steady. He wasn’t as big as some of the centers are today, but he was a heck of a player. He was a good pass protector that could pick up those blitzers that came up the middle. A good all-around player that was durable.”
Van’s take – “Joe D. is definitely on my team. Without question.”
Van’s take – “Kent helped Kelly make that offense hum with all those line call adjustments he made. A real sharp player that always had the right answer.”
Van’s take – “Billy Shaw was a great, great player. He was a great leader to up front for those teams.”
Van’s take – “Kelly’s blind side protector, which wasn’t an easy job as much as the Bills threw the ball at that time.”
Van’s take – “He was a clutch kicker. Just unbelievable. Ice in his veins.”
Van’s take – “Moorman is as fine a punter as I’ve ever seen. He was on a par with Ray Guy in a lot of ways.”
Van’s take – “It’s hard to argue with a seven-time Pro Bowl player.”