HALL OF FAME

HALL OF FAME

BBFD-01447_Bills-Legends-Section_Header_edit

TERRELL OWENS, WIDE RECEIVER (2018 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

Named All-Pro five times (2000-02, 2004, 2007).

Named an All-NFC choice four times (2000-02, 2007).

Six-time Pro Bowl selection spanning from 2001 to 2008.

Named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of 2000s.

Terrell Owens is one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game in his 16 seasons with the league. He is credited for being one of the most exciting and electrifying players throughout his long career with the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals. Owens totaled 1,078 catches for 15,934 yards, finishing his career ranking eighth all-time with 1,078 receptions and fifth with 153 total touchdowns. As a receiver with great hands and a knack for making big plays, his yardage total of 15,934 ranked second all-time and his touchdown reception total was the third-most in NFL history at the time of his retirement.  

Owens was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 1996 draft. He set a record for catches in a single game with 20 receptions against the Chicago Bears on December 17, 2000. In 2000, he set a career high with 1,451 yards and 100 catches in 2002. Additionally, Owens led the 49ers in receptions five times and remains second in the 49ers record book with 592 receptions, 8,572 yards and 81 touchdowns.  

His career continued as a free agent with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2004-2005. He also played as a free agent for the Dallas Cowboys from 2006-2008, where he led the league with 13 regular season touchdowns despite a serious tendon injury to his finger in his first season with the team. In 2007, Owens set a record with 15 touchdown receptions and helped lead the team to the NFC East divisional title for the first time since 1988. He played for the Buffalo Bills in 2009, where he became one of the only six players in league history to record 1,000 career catches. Owens caught 55 passes for 829 yards and five touchdowns for the Bills and set a team record for the longest touchdown reception when he caught a 98 yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick while playing against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Owens finished his playing career with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010.

BILL POLIAN, GENERAL MANAGER (2015 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

Responsible for putting together the only NFL team to go to four consecutive Super Bowls.

Brought six future Hall of Famers to Buffalo (Jim Kelly, James Lofton, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Head Coach Marv Levy).

One of the most accomplished front office executives in NFL history, Bill Polian helped build multiple successful franchises during his 24 years as a general manager. In all, his teams made 17 playoff trips, eight conference championship games and five Super Bowl appearances, including winning Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts. 

Widely praised as both a top talent evaluator and influential executive, Polian is the first six time recipient of the NFL Executive of the Year award from The Sporting News and during his time in Buffalo he redesigned the franchise from a last place team in 1985 to the forefront of the league with appearances in Super Bowl XXV, Super Bowl XXVI, Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII. Working alongside Owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. and Head Coach Marv Levy, Polian's eye for talent and negotiating prowess brought a bevy of outstanding players to Buffalo. In fact, of the 47 Bills at the first two Super Bowls, 45 came to Buffalo during Polian's tenure. 

His acquisitions included the 1986 signing of QB Jim Kelly from the USFL and the 1987 trade for LB Cornelius Bennett. Additional draft picks Polian made in Buffalo included DE Bruce Smith, OT Will Wolford, RB Thurman Thomas and WR Andre Reed. He built a team that would reverse the Bills record from 8-40 from 1984-86 to a 58-22 mark from 1988-92. During his time in Buffalo, 13 Bills drafted or obtained by Polian made a total of 49 Pro Bowl appearances. In all, Polian brought in five players who would end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Jim Kelly, James Lofton, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith and Thurman Thomas), as well as Head Coach Marv Levy.

ANDRE REED, WIDE RECEIVER #83 (2014 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

Selected to seven straight Pro Bowls spanning from 1988 to 1994.

Bills franchise leader in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

Named to the Bills 50th Season All-Time Team in 2009.

Andre Reed ended his 16-year career as the most accomplished wide receiver to ever play for the Buffalo Bills. The 6-2, 190-pound Kutztown product led the Bills in receiving from 1986 to 1992 and then again in 1994, 1996 and 1997 on his way to racking up the Bills' career receiving records for receptions (941) and receiving yards (13,095).

After being selected by Buffalo with the team's first choice in the fourth round of the 1985 NFL Draft, Reed emerged as one of the elite wideouts in the league during the 1989 season when he caught 88 passes for 1,312 yards and nine touchdowns.  Reed would go on to provide a dynamic presence on all four of the Bills' AFC Championship teams—leading the team in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns during the four-year run.

A seven-time Pro Bowler, Reed recorded a franchise record 36 100-yard receiving games (regular season) as a Bill. Reed also ranks as the franchise leader in games played with 221 and is tied with Bruce Smith as the franchise's all-time leaders in years of service with 15 seasons.

RALPH C. WILSON, JR., OWNER (2009 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

Founder and original owner of the Buffalo Bills.

Won two American Football League Championships in 1964 and 1965.

Appeared in an unprecedented four consecutive Super Bowls in the 1990s under his leadership.

The impact Ralph Wilson, Jr. had on professional football culminated in 2009 with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

For starters, he was the only original AFL owner to keep his team in its originating city. The role he played in the AFL-NFL merger, his presence on nearly every NFL committee and his passion for the game as one who has always had the league's best interests at heart before his own team has led many to refer to him as the NFL's "voice of reason."

Under his direction as owner, the Bills won two AFL Championships in 1964 and 1965 and were the only AFL team to make the postseason in four consecutive years (1963-66). Later, his Bills would become the only team ever to win four consecutive AFC championships (1990-93) and appear in four straight Super Bowls.

He was honored with numerous awards, including the Pete Rozelle Award from the Touchdown Club in New Orleans, the NFL Alumni's "Order of the Leather Helmet" and the "Timmie" Award from the Touchdown Club of Washington D.C. In 2008, Mr. Wilson received the Maxwell Football Club's Francis J. (Reds) Bagnell Award for Contributions to the Game of Football and the inaugural Lamar Hunt Award for Professional Football at the 101 Awards in Kansas City. At the turn of the century, The Buffalo News named Ralph Wilson, Jr. as the "Top Sports Figure" of the region in the past millennium.

BRUCE SMITH, DEFENSIVE END #78 (2009 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

NFL's all-time sack leader with 200.

Bills' all-time sack leader with 171.

Selected to 11 Pro Bowls.

NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1990 and 1996.

Widely regarded as one of the most dominant     defensive players ever to play in the National Football League, Bruce Smith began his tenure with the Buffalo Bills in 1985. Over the next 19 seasons, Smith would amass more sacks (200) than any other player in NFL history. In Buffalo, Smith anchored the defense for 15 years, which ranks first (along with WR Andre Reed) for the most seasons played in a Bills uniform. In 10 of those years, Buffalo reached the postseason.

Taken with the first overall pick in the 1985 NFL Draft, Smith started 13 games his rookie year and collected 48 tackles and 6.5 sacks. Those numbers jumped to 63 and 15.0, respectively, in 1986.

Perhaps his finest year came in 1990, when he posted 101 tackles, 19.0 sacks and 14 QB pressures while the team won its first of four consecutive AFC Championships. Smith was named to the Pro Bowl 11 times in his career and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1990 and 1996. 

Known for his ability to get to the opposing quarterback, Smith racked up sacks against 74 different quarterbacks and against every team but three: San Diego, Buffalo, and Baltimore. He ranks first in NFL history with 13 seasons of 10 or more sacks and second on the all-time postseason sack list with 14.5. He was named to the NFL's All-Decade team in both the 1980's and 1990's. Smith was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week eight times during his Bills tenure, and Defensive Player of the Month six times. Extremely durable, Smith ranks 16th on the all-time games played list with 279.

THURMAN THOMAS, RUNNING BACK #34 (2007 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

First NFL player to lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage in four consecutive seasons (1989-92).

Third back in history to record 400 receptions and 10,000 rushing yards.

Five-time Pro Bowl selection and 1991 NFL Most Valuable Player.

Thurman Thomas developed into one of the NFL's most versatile and dangerous offensive players in his 13 years in the league. He was also known as one of the team's most emotional leaders for the Buffalo Bills – a team that won more games (103) than any AFC team in the 1990s.

His ability to catch the ball as well as run with it was a key ingredient to the Bills' "No Huddle" offensive attack. The team improved to 13-3 in 1990 as Thomas led the NFL in all-purpose yards. He rushed for 1,297 yards and scored 11 touchdowns while catching 49 passes for 532 yards and two touchdowns. With the versatile back leading the way, the Bills marched through the playoffs to the first of their unprecedented four straight Super Bowl berths.  In 1991, Thomas amassed more than 2,000 all-purpose yards, just the 11th player ever to do so. His league-leading yardage output included 1,407 yards on the ground and an additional 631 yards on a career-high 62 receptions. He scored 12 touchdowns. He reached the 2,000-yard total again the following season which marked a record fourth straight season of leading the NFL in yards from scrimmage.

Named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s, Thomas was selected first- or second-team All-Pro and All-AFC five times, and was voted to the Pro Bowl five straight years. Thomas retired as the NFL's ninth ranked rusher with 12,074 yards and added another 4,458 yards on 472 catches. He scored 65 rushing and 23 receiving touchdowns in his 13-season career.

JOE DELAMIELLEURE, GUARD #68 (2003 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

Selected to six straight Pro Bowls from 1976-1981.

First or second-team All-Pro from 1974-1980, 1983.

Named to the 1970s All-Decade Team.

In the 1970s, Joe DeLamielleure and his Buffalo Bills offensive line mates were dubbed the "Electric Company," because they "turned the Juice loose." The "Juice" of course was Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson. An All-American and three-time All-Big Ten performer at Michigan State, "Joe D" was selected in the first round of the 1973 NFL Draft by the Bills.

Extremely durable and dependable, DeLamielleure played in 185 consecutive games during his 13 playing seasons with the Bills and the Cleveland Browns. A starter from the first game of his rookie season, DeLamielleure started in every game for eight seasons in Buffalo before being traded to Cleveland in 1980. He went on to become the most honored lineman of the Bills' respected front wall.

Eight times during his career he was selected first- or second-team All-Pro; seven times he was named first- or second-team All-AFC, and six times he was named to the Pro Bowl. Since 1970, only two Hall of Fame guards, John Hannah with 10 and Gene Upshaw with seven, were named All-Pro more often.

JAMES LOFTON, WIDE RECEIVER #80 (2003 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

When he retired in 1993, his total of 14,004 yards was No. 1 all-time.

Selected to eight Pro Bowls (1979, 1981-86, 1992), named All-Pro four times and All-NFC three times.

First player to score a touchdown in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

James Lofton's speed and soft hands made him an immediate deep-threat receiver from the moment he entered the pros in 1978.

It was something he would remain throughout his long career with the Green Bay Packers, the Los Angeles Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles. In 16 seasons, Lofton caught 764 passes for 14,004 yards – an average of 18.3 yards per catch. His 14,004 career-reception yardage mark was an NFL best at the time of his retirement, while his 43 games with 100 or more yards receiving ranked third.

In 1987, Lofton was traded to the Raiders, and two years later joined the Bills. In Buffalo, he reemerged as one of the game's premier deep-threats.

In 1991, at the age of 35, the still-speedy receiver became the oldest player in league history to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

Extremely durable, Lofton was the first NFL player to score a touchdown in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Many of his 75 touchdown receptions came on long passes when he simply outran the opposition.

JIM KELLY, QUARTERBACK #12 (2002 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

Selected to four Pro Bowls: 1987, 1990-1992.

Led the Bills to an unprecedented four straight Super Bowls from 1990-1993.

Passed for more than 3,000 yards eight times.

A strong-armed passer with a "linebacker's mentality," Kelly virtually rewrote the Bills' record book for quarterbacks. Only three players in NFL history had reached the 30,000-yard career passing mark faster. Eight times during his NFL career he passed for more than 3,000 yards in a season, and 26 times he passed for more than 300 yards in a game.

With Kelly and teammates Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed, the Bills possessed a highly potent offense during the 1990s. Kelly's quick decisiveness and fast paced "no-huddle" offense terrorized opposing defenses. In 11 seasons in Buffalo, Kelly led the Bills to the playoffs eight times.

In 17 playoff game appearances, including four consecutive Super Bowls, he passed for 3,863 yards and 21 touchdowns. At the time of his retirement, his 84.4 passer rating ranked sixth all-time and was second when compared to Hall of Fame quarterbacks. His 35,467 career passing yards ranked tenth in NFL history; his 2,874 completions ranked eighth; and his 237 touchdowns ranked thirteenth.

MARV LEVY, HEAD COACH (2001 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

Was NFL Coach of the Year in 1988, AFC Coach of the year in 1988, 1993 and 1995.

Led the Bills to the playoffs eight times, including four Super Bowls.

Won six AFC East Division titles.

In 1986, when Marv Levy was chosen to direct the fortunes of the Buffalo Bills, he brought with him more than 30 years of coaching experience. In 1987, his first full season with the Bills, the team returned to respectability with a 7-8 record and were in the playoff hunt throughout most of the season.

The following season the team posted a 12-4 record and won their first of six AFC Eastern Division titles. With his high-powered "no-huddle" offense, Levy went on to set a new standard for NFL coaches as he led his AFC championship team to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances.

From 1988 through 1997, the Bills were first in the AFC in winning percentage and second only to the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL. Levy, the winningest coach in Bills' history, recorded a 112-70 regular season record and was 11-8 in the playoffs during his 11 seasons with the Bills. He was named NFL Coach of the Year in 1988 and AFC Coach of the Year in 1988, 1993 and 1995.

BILLY SHAW, GUARD, #66 (1999 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

Helped lead the Bills to back-to-back AFL titles in 1964 and 1965.

Named All-AFL five times (1962-1966).

First player to spend entire career in the AFL to be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Equally adept at pass blocking and run blocking, Billy Shaw's ability to pull out in front of runners was a perfect fit for the Bills. Shaw's speed, strength, and natural ability made him "the driving force of the offensive unit" according to his former offensive line coach Jerry Smith.

Especially effective on short-yardage scoring plays, Shaw would pull out from his left guard position followed by heavy-duty runners Cookie Gilchrist and Wray Carlton. Bills quarterback Jack Kemp or his super-sub Daryle Lamonica would follow the powerful trio of blockers – often untouched – into the end zone.

A key member of the Bills teams that won AFL titles in 1964 and 1965, Shaw was named a firstteam All-AFL selection five times (1962-66) and also a second team All-AFL choice in 1962, 1968 and 1969. He was selected to play in eight AFL All-Star Games and was named to the All-Time AFL Team. Named to pro football's All-Decade Team of the 1960s, Shaw is the first Hall of Fame member to play his entire career in the AFL.

O. J. SIMPSON, RUNNING BACK, #32 (1985 INDUCTEE)

Career Highlights

Career Highlights

Won four NFL rushing titles (1972, 1973, 1975 and 1976).

Became the first back to ever rush for more than 2,000 yards in 1973 with 2003 yards.

Named NFL Player of the Year in 1972, 1973 and 1975, and also named to both All-Pro and All-AFC squads from 1972-76.

O. J. Simpson, a two-time All-American from the University of Southern California and the 1968 Heisman Trophy winner, was one of history's most heralded rookies when the Buffalo Bills selected him with the first overall pick in the 1969 draft.

His career record for 11 seasons confirms the rave notices were well founded. He rushed for 11,236 yards and scored 456 points on 76 touchdowns in his career.

O.J. may be best remembered for his sensational 1973 season when he became the first back in history to rush for over 2,000 yards. With 219 yards in the next-to-last game against New England and a 200-yard output in the finale with the New York Jets, Simpson totaled 2,003 yards, tops for a 14-game season.

Simpson also led the league in rushing four years: 1972, 1973, 1975 and 1976.

In various selections, he was named NFL Player of the Year in 1972, 1973 and 1975. He was both All-AFC and All-Pro five straight years from 1972-76. He played in six Pro Bowls, winning Player of the Game honors in the 1973 game.

Advertising