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All-Time Team safety preview

Safety has been a position of anticipation, intelligence, power and range for the Bills through their 50 professional seasons. And the candidates for Buffalo's 50th Season All-Time Team each represent at least one of those coveted qualities for the position.

With just five nominees, two safeties have been named to the Bills 25th Anniversary team, two made the Pro Bowl and one has his name on the Wall of Fame.

Remember you can register to vote for the 50th Season All-Time Team online at Voting for defensive and head coaching candidates runs until April 19th.

A total of two safeties can be chosen.

Here's a preview of some of the Bills' best middle of the field defenders over the past half century.

Steve Freeman (1975-1986)
The Bills made the most of a preseason acquisition in 1975 when they signed New England fifth-round pick Steve Freeman after he was released by the division rival prior to the regular season.

All Freeman would do was start as Buffalo's strong safety for the better part of the next 12 seasons where he compiled 23 interceptions, good for second all time in Bills history at the safety position.

His best season was when Buffalo won the AFC East title in 1980 as Freeman had a career high seven interceptions including one returned for a touchdown.

"Steve was a tough little guy," said former teammate Jerry Butler. "I'm just glad that he was my teammate. He could read and react so well. He put some tough hits on receivers over the years."

Tony Greene (1971-1979)
Capable of playing cornerback, Greene played most of his nine seasons with Buffalo at free safety where he was an opportunistic takeaway artist.

Greene finished his career second on the Bills all-time list in interceptions with 37. The Maryland product earned 1st team All-Pro honors in 1974 and was selected for the Pro Bowl in 1977. In both seasons Greene posted a career high nine INTs.

The free safety also holds the team record for longest interception return for a touchdown when he took a Tony Adams pass 101 yards for a touchdown in a Bills 50-17 rout over the Chiefs in 1976.

Henry Jones (1991-2000)
Buffalo's former first-round pick stepped into the starting lineup in his second year at strong safety and remained there for the next nine seasons.

Jones led the league in interceptions in 1992 and earned Pro Bowl and 1st team All-Pro honors.

He's best remembered for his two interception game against Indianapolis in 1992 when he returned each of his takeaways for touchdowns (23 and 82 yards) in a Bills 38-0 whitewash of the Colts on Sept. 20, 1992.

Mark Kelso (1986-1993)
One of the better anticipators in Bills history at the free safety position, Kelso is third all-time in team annals in career interceptions with 30.

Kelso had a career high seven interceptions in 1987 to finish second in the league that season. He duplicated that figure in 1992 finishing third in the league in that category.

His most memorable play was arguably his 78-yard interception return for a touchdown on Oct. 30, 1988 in a 28-0 Bills shutout win over the Packers.

George Saimes (1963-1969)
The most decorated safety in Bills history, Saimes was perhaps the surest tackler Buffalo's defensive backfield has ever seen.

Named to five consecutive AFL All-Star teams and three times 1st team All-Pro, Saimes had 23 career interceptions for the Bills, including a career high of six in Buffalo's first AFL Championship season of 1964.

A member of the Bills 25th Anniversary team, Saimes is also a member of the Bills Wall of Fame.

"George Saimes was unbelievable," said former teammate Harry Jacobs. "What speaks to his game better than anything is in one year he had a chance for 102 tackles and he made 100. That will tell you all you need to know about George Saimes."

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