Inside The Bills

What Rex inherits in Bills that’s uncommon

Posted by Chris Brown on January 12, 2015 – 10:40 am

Rex Ryan
The Bills now have a total of 18 head coaches in their history, but Rex Ryan will be inheriting a team that has a quality that only one other Buffalo team had upon getting a new head coach.

For just the second time in team history a new head coach will be inheriting a Bills team with a winning record. Rex Ryan will take a Bills team into 2015 that finished 9-7 the season before. The only other time that has happened is when Joe Collier took over as head coach in 1966 following the abrupt departure of Lou Saban after the AFL championship season of 1965 when the Bills finished 10-3-1.

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Saban, Sestak are finalists

Posted by Chris Brown on June 13, 2011 – 3:12 pm

Former Bills head coach Lou Saban and Wall of Famer Tom Sestak have been named finalists by the Professional Football Researchers Association for an interesting honor.

In what the PFRA calls their ‘Hall of Very Good’ (no I’ve never heard of it before – nor the PFRA to be honest) they’ve got Saban and Sestak listed as finalists for their 2011 class.

The list of finalists numbers 20 and includes several recognizable names like QB Ken Anderson, LB Bill Bergey, AFL HB Paul Lowe, 1970’s RB Lydell Mitchell (Balt, SD, L.A.) as well as Saban and Sestak.

The PFRA will announce the Class of 2011 at the end of the year. More information can be found here.

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Rutkowski’s new car Saban story

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2009 – 7:39 pm

In relaying some of his most enjoyable memories of Lou Saban, Bills former receiver and special teamer Ed Rutkowski recalled one particular Thanksgiving spent at Saban’s house that left Rutkowski a bit shaken.

Rutkowski and Booker Edgerson were invited over to their head coach’s house for Thanksgiving. Saban invited them knowing they were single with no family in town.

After dinner Saban took it upon himself to dispense some fatherly advice to the two young players.

“It’s kind of an interesting story because I had just purchased a brand new car,” said Rutkowski. “And after turkey dinner he sat down and started giving us some fatherly advice and after he finished with Booker he turned to me and said, ‘Now Ed I know you’re going to have a long career with the Buffalo Bills, but I know you’re a young player so I hope you don’t do something stupid like going out and buying a new car.’

“And I said, ‘Coach, I would never do anything like that.’ Of course I had parked the car out in front of his house. So when I walked out of his house and said good bye after dinner I walked in the opposite direction of the car and hid for about 15 minutes and walked around the entire block and then got in the car and drove away.”

Saban had to have seen Rutkowski pull up to the house in the new car before he came to the door and decided to bust chops a little with his “advice.”

 The coach must have been rolling on his living room floor laughing after he saw Rutkowski hide and then walk clear around his block before driving away. You can’t tell me Saban wasn’t watching from behind a curtain through his window. Classic stuff.

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Edgerson perhaps closest to Saban

Posted by Chris Brown on March 30, 2009 – 7:28 pm

If there was one Bills player that was closest with the recently passed Lou Saban it was Booker Edgerson. Edgerson knew Saban since he himself was an 18-year old collegian at Western Illinois.

Saban coached him in college before later signing him to the Bills as an undrafted free agent with Buffalo in 1962.

“He was a father figure in a way for me,” said Edgerson. “Because he caught me at a young age.”

And he challenged Edgerson early.

“He told me that I really wasn’t worthy of being on the football team at Western Illinois because I was totally out of shape. But he saw the ability that I had and he told me, ‘You need to get yourself in shape in order for me to play you on this team.’ So I got myself in shape and the rest is history.”

Edgerson and his old teammates from college held a 50th reunion for their undefeated team of 1959, which was coached by Saban last spring and Saban was in attendance.

“We were undefeated in ’59 and we lost just once in ’58,” said Edgerson. “And a lot of those guys I had not seen in 50 years. And a lot of those guys had not seen coach Saban in 50 years. Everybody was very happy to see him. No one knew it would be our last time, but we had a great weekend all being back together.”

Edgerson was spending Monday trying to get a flight down to South Carolina to be in attendance for the funeral services for Saban.

“He was an inspirational person to me,” said Edgerson. “I don’t know where I would’ve been without him. My life is totally blessed because of him.”

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