Inside The Bills

Smerlas vs. Hull the 1st practice

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2011 – 6:23 pm

Bills Wall of Famer Fred Smerlas passed along a great story about how fellow Wall of Famer Kent Hull quickly earned his respect as a player upon arriving from the USFL. Enjoy.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kent when he first arrived in Fredonia from the USFL.  But my meeting was different than most.  I got to face him lined up in the trenches nose to nose….a place where the true character of a man is revealed,  or the true weakness of a man is exposed.  On that warm July day I was going to  show this new arrival to the Bills the difference between the USFL and the NFL.  My plan was to demoralize, demolish and completely destroy him. I wanted to send  Kent  home to tell all his USFL friends how tough the NFL was.
By the end of the day, as I was walking off the field, bloodied and bruised, I realized that the Buffalo Bills had acquired something special.
Kent Hull went on to become the greatest center the Bills have ever had. Not only did he win my respect and friendship, but also that of the entire team.  Over the years I learned not only to admire him for his physical dominance but also for his character as a man on and off the field. 
But  Kent also had a soft side;
he called my wife Kris  ‘the Pea’ in reference to a costume she wore to our first Halloween party together.
Number 67 will be greatly missed  not only by his family and friends but by the communities in which he lived.  Kris and I would like to extend our condolences and prayers to Kay, Drew and Ellen at this very sad time.
Fred Smerlas

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Bills on prelim HOF list

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2011 – 1:31 pm

There are several former Bills on the 2012 Pro Football HOF preliminary nominee list. Here’s the rundown of names.

Cornelius Bennett
Drew Bledsoe
Larry Centers
Andre Reed
Fred Smerlas
Steve Tasker
Troy Vincent
Coach Chuck Knox

The complete list of nominees for the Class of 2012 consists of 103 candidates. From that list of nominees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees. The list of 25 semifinalists will be announced in mid-November.

The list of 25 semifinalists will be further reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists and announced in early January. 

The final list of nominees that will be considered for election will consist of the 15 modern-era finalists and the two senior nominees, former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Jack Butler and former Detroit Lions guard Dick Stanfel, who were selected this last month by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Selection Committee.

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NFL wants best picks of all time

Posted by Chris Brown on April 2, 2010 – 9:00 am

In celebration of the 75th NFL Draft, which kicks off in primetime for the first time on Thurs. April 22, fans now can help choose the 75 Most Valuable Draft Picks of all time. You can vote for your choices at now through April 18. 

The 10 Most Valuable Draft Picks will be announced during Round 1, when many of the Top 10 will be in attendance at Radio City Music Hall, the home of the 2010 NFL Draft. The order of the Top 10 will be revealed after the conclusion of the Second Round of the Draft on Friday night.  Many of these players will be on hand for the announcement. editors narrowed down the first 74 Drafts to a list of the top 320 players, consisting of 10 players from each team.  Fans begin the process of determining the Most Valuable Draft Pick by choosing between pairs of players randomly generated from the list of 320 greats.  After selecting winners of 30 random matchups, fans will begin to build their own Top 10 list.  Fans may continue to vote in order to make changes to their personal Top 10 list as well as the All-Time Top 10 announced at the Draft. Users then may share their lists and their head-to-head winners on Facebook. delivers comprehensive information on each of the 320 players, including the player’s draft information and career accomplishments to help the voters make educated selections in determining the Most Valuable Pick.

Below is the list of Bills nominees.
Gary Anderson – never played for the Bills, but was a late round draft pick that went on to be one of the league’s all-time scorers.
Ruben Brown – 8 Pro Bowls
Joe DeLamielleure – Hall of Famer
Jim Kelly – Hall of Famer
Reggie McKenzie – Well known member of the Electric Company
Andre Reed – Bills Wall of Famer, 4 time HOF finalist
O.J. Simpson – Hall of Famer
Fred Smerlas – Bills Wall of Famer
Bruce Smith – Hall of Famer
Thurman Thomas – Hall of Famer

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Voting open for 50th All-Time team defense & head coach

Posted by Chris Brown on March 25, 2009 – 5:36 pm

With less than a month before the Buffalo Bills 50th All-Time Team, presented by Tops Friendly Markets, is unveiled based on voting by you the fan, the balloting is now open to vote for defensive candidates as well as the head coach for your 50th All-Time Team. Just go to to submit your ballot online.

Among the toughest positions to choose players will be defensive line where you can only pick three, due to the 3-4 formation the Wall of Fame committee chose to go with. Choosing between guys like Fred Smerlas (5 Pro Bowls) and Ted Washington (3 Pro Bowls)? Not easy. Good luck everybody.

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Several 90’s Bills, Ralph Wilson on prelim HOF list for 2009

Posted by Chris Brown on October 28, 2008 – 8:59 pm

Bills recent Wall of Fame inductee Bruce Smith, Kent Hull, Andre Reed, Darryl Talley, Cornelius Bennett and Steve Tasker make up the list of AFC Champion 90’s Bills that are are on the preliminary list of modern-era nominees for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2009. 

Also on the list is Bills founder and owner Ralph Wilson as a contributor nominee.

Other former Bills players on the list are Fred Smerlas and those who spent parts of their career with the Bills like Larry Centers and Chris Spielman.

Former Bills head coach Chuck Knox is also a preliminary nominee.

Bruce Smith is a shoe-in as a first ballot nominee being the league’s all time leader in sacks and a four-time AFC Champion and a countless number of Pro Bowls and All-Pro teams. Reed made the list of finalists last year. We’ll see if he can make it in this time. Tasker will get consideration too.

Mr. Wilson stands a good chance I believe as more of the committee I understand is coming around to understand the magnitude of his contributions to the game.

From this preliminary list of modern-era nominees, Hall of Fame selectors will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees.  The list of 25 modern-era semifinalists will be announced later next month. The 25 modern-era semifinalists list will be reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists. 

The final list of nominees that will be considered for election will consist of the 15 modern-era finalists and the two previously announced senior nominees, Bob Hayes and Claude Humphrey.  Hayes and Humphrey were selected this past August by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Selection Committee. 

The Class of 2009 will be selected from the list of 17 finalists (15 modern-era and two senior nominees).  The actual voting will be conducted at the Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s annual meeting, which will be held on Saturday, January 31, 2009, in Tampa, Florida the day before Super Bowl XLIII.  The election results will be announced immediately after the meeting at a press conference in the media headquarters.  While there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the ground rules provide that between four and seven new members will be selected. 

The preliminary list includes 110 players, seven coaches and 16 contributors, including former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime team owners Bud Adams, Jerry Jones, Art Modell and Ralph Wilson.

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