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All-Time Team TE preview

Posted Mar 10, 2009

Visit every Tuesday and Thursday for Bills All-Time Team positional previews and every Monday for Bills All-Time Team celebrity picks.

The tight end position in Bills history doesn’t have quite the star power in terms of name recognition in comparison to some of the other offensive skill positions, but it doesn’t diminish the contributions of some of the more notable men to assume that role for Buffalo over the franchise’s 50-year existence.

Of the five tight end nominees on the ballot only one can be chosen.

Remember you can register to vote for the 50th Season All-Time Team online at Buffalobills.com. The full roster will be announced on April 25.

Here’s a brief preview of the men who did a lot of the dirty work and made some plays as well for Buffalo’s offense through the years.

Keith McKeller (1987-93)
The former ninth-round draft choice played his entire career for the Bills and was the athletic pass catching counter to the brute strength and power of teammate Pete Metzelaars.

McKeller’s best seasons came in Buffalo’s first two Super Bowl seasons of 1990 and 1991, when the tight end caught a combined 74 passes for 898 yards and seven touchdowns.

His most memorable performance was his 10-catch day on Dec. 8, 1991 against the Raiders that included a nine-yard touchdown reception in a thrilling 30-27 overtime win over Los Angeles.

Pete Metzelaars (1985-1994)
The 6’7” tight end was like having an extra tackle on the field as he could grind in the run game while possessing the ability to make plays in the passing game, particularly in the red zone.

Metzelaars last three years ironically were his most productive in Buffalo at least on the scoreboard. From 1992-94 Jim Kelly’s “safety valve” pulled in 147 passes for 1,335 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The franchise’s all-time leading receiver at the tight end position, Metzelaars’ most memorable moment came in the famed ‘no punt’ game between the Bills and 49ers in 1992.

With the Bills trailing 24-13, Metzelaars scored touchdowns on consecutive possessions in the third quarter from 54 and 23 yards out to give Buffalo the lead 27-24. Buffalo eventually won the game 34-31.

Jay Riemersma (1997-2002)
Despite playing just six years in a Bills uniform, the former seventh-round pick certainly made an impact on Buffalo’s offensive fortunes in the red zone. With solid hands and a powerful frame Riemersma made plays in the passing game, despite not being fleet afoot.

Second in team history at tight end in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns to Metzelaars, Riemersma was an important component of Buffalo’s offense during the playoff years of 1998 and 1999.

The game which Riemersma is best remembered for is his four-catch 70-yard performance in a 27-18 win over the Green Bay Packers in the 2000 season. Riemersma pulled in a pair of second half red zone touchdown receptions to help secure the victory.

Paul Seymour (1973-1977)
An athletic tight end that had size and power, Seymour was ahead of his time at the position. In the 70’s the run game ruled, and Seymour could have done a lot more in the passing game were it en vogue in the NFL at that time.

Still a fantastic blocker at the line helping to pave the way for Buffalo’s ground game, the former first-round pick contributed in the passing game when called upon.

His most memorable performance came on Oct. 20, 1974 when Seymour pulled in a pair of touchdowns including an impressive 40-yarder in a 30-28 shootout win over New England.

“I’ve known Paul since we were in grade school,” said Bills Hall of Fame guard Joe DeLamielleure. “One of the best athletes probably ever. He played tackle at Michigan, but he ran so fast, he ran like a 4.8 at 265 pounds and at the time that was unheard of. He was a freakish athlete.”

Ernie Warlick (1962-65)
Though he only played with the Bills for four seasons, Warlick was an AFL All-Star all four years as he was a major contributor to the team’s back-to-back AFL titles in the mid-60’s.

Warlick is the franchise’s all-time leader in yards per reception by a tight end with an impressive 17.2 average.

His stand out performance came in the Dec. 2, 1962 game with the eventual AFL champion Dallas Texans. Pulling in nine catches for 117 yards and a touchdown, Warlick’s biggest play was a 17-yard grab on Buffalo’s game clinching drive to set up a one-yard plunge by Cookie Gilchrist in a 23-14 victory.

Warlick is also a member of the Bills 25th Anniversary team.