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Beebe was part of the special teams unit that blocked for Howard's kickoff return TD

Beebe was part of the special teams unit that blocked for Howard’s kickoff return TD

ESPN’s 30 for 30 episode, the Four Falls of Buffalo, was a tremendous look at one of history’s most memorable teams. When I watched it, I was reminded that a few of those Bills actually won Super Bowls.

  • Wide receiver Don Beebe was a member of all four Super Bowl teams with the Bills, and then made it back to two more Super Bowls with the Green Bay Packers in 1996 and 1997. For Beebe, the 5th time was obviously the charm. I don’t believe he actually was active in the first or last of those Super Bowls, but being on six teams that made it to the Super Bowl is pretty cool.
  • Nose tackle Mike Lodish was a 10th round pick of the Bills in 1990, so he also was a part of all four Super Bowls that the Bills reached. After 1994, Lodish moved on to Denver, and experienced yet another strain of heartbreak with the team in 1996. That year, the Broncos went 13-3, but lost in the team’s first playoff game to the Jaguars. Fortunately for Lodish, he stuck around, and was a member of Denver’s two Super Bowl champions the following years (including with a win over Beebe’s Packers).
  • Punter Rick Tuten was only a member of the 1990 Bills team, but hey, punters are people, too. The last season of Tuten’s career was in 1999, when he was the St. Louis punter for the first half of the season. A leg injury ended his season and career, but Tuten did still receive a Super Bowl ring from his time with those Rams teams.
  • GM Bill Polian helped build those Super Bowl Bills teams, although he was only the team’s general manager for the first three of those appearances. In 2006, he was the Colts general manager, when the Colts finally broke through and brought a Super Bowl to Indianapolis.

For others, there was even more heartbreak. And that starts with the man in charge….

  • In 1972, Marv Levy did a remarkable job as the special teams coach in Washington. That team blocked 15 punts or kicks, including a pretty famous one in Super Bowl VII. Alas, that was the team’s lone highlight, as Washington lost the Super Bowl to the undefeated Dolphins. Levy did win two titles in the CFL as the head coach of the Montreal Alouettes in the ’70s.
  • Defensive tackle John Parrella was a second round pick on the ’93 Bills, so as a rookie, he was a member of the final Bills team that made it to the Super Bowl. He was cut after just one season, though, and joined the San Diego Chargers, who … replaced the Bills as the AFC team to lose in the Super Bowl in 1994. Parrella’s last season with the Chargers came in 2001; after that, he joined the Raiders, who … became the third NFL team to lose the Super Bowl during Parrella’s first season with the team.
  • Quarterback Gale Gilbert was the California quarterback during The Play, when the Bears won with the band on the field. That may have been when Gilbert used up all of his good fortunte. He was the Bills third-string quarterback from 1990 to 1993, and then moved with Parrella to the Chargers in the off-season. That meant he was a member of five straight teams that went to — and lost — in the Super Bowl. His son, Garrett, was a backup when the Texas Longhorns made it to the BCS Championship Game against Alabama, but Gilbert took center stage when Colt McCoy suffered an injury early in the game. That game didn’t go too well for the Gilberts, either.
  • Cornerback Chris Oldham was waived by the Lions at the end of training camp in 1991, and then showed up for a cup of coffee with the Bills. After two games, he moved on to the Cardinals, so he wasn’t really a member of the ’90s Bills other than for trivia purposes. But he later made the Super Bowl with the Steelers in ’95, getting to experience something many other Bills players before him did: what it’s like to lose a Super Bowl to the Cowboys.
  • Defensive back Jerome Henderson began his career with the Patriots, but was cut in 1993 and joined Buffalo in mid-season. He appeared in Super Bowl XXVIII, but was back with the Patriots three years later when New England played in Super Bowl XXXI and lost to Beebe’s Packers.
  • Also on the ’96 Patriots was linebacker Monty Brown, who spent 13 games on the ’93 Bills.
  • More famously, star linebacker Cornelius Bennett made the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993 as a member of the Bills. After a terrific career in Buffalo, Bennett moved to the Falcons in 1996. Two years later, he was a starter on the 14-2 Falcons team that made it to the Super Bowl but lost to Lodish’s Broncos. In fact, Bennett is the only player to start for the losing team in five Super Bowls, and one of just five players to start in five Super Bowls (Charles Haley, John Elway, and Matt Light started in five, while Tom Brady started in six). Of course, some players appeared in more than five NFL championship games.
  • Glenn Parker was a guard on the Bills from 1990 to 1996. From there, he joined the Chiefs, where he experienced more playoff heartbreak, and he went back to the Super Bowl in 2000 as the New York Giants starting left guard.
  • Also a member of the ’00 Giants was kicker Brad Daluiso, who was the Bills kickoff specialist in 1991. Indeed, Daluiso who was the man who began Super Bowl XXVI with a touchback. That was Daluiso’s only season with the Bills, who finished his career with an 0-2 record in the Super Bowl.
  • Four Touchdowns

    Speaking of the Bills…

    I’m a relatively new football fan and watching this, I’m wondering why Peyton Manning and Tom Brady get credited with the no-huddle attack when Jim Kelly and his Bills were running something that kinda looks similar, no? And what about Boomer Esiason and his no-huffle Bills attack?

    What’s the difference between what Manning / Brady do and what those guys did?

    • Funny, I think the K-Gun Bills get more credit than they deserve for the no huddle attack. I’m more inclined to give credit to Sam Wyche, who used the no huddle at Indiana in the early 80s. When he implemented it in Cincy with Boomer Esiason, the offense really took off.

      I’m not really sure about you question, though. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention to big media, but I am not familiar with people lauding Manning/Brady for leading no huddle offenses. My impression is that they are more known for their pre-snap diagnoses and ability to change protections and audible to better plays.

      I think the Patriots as a team got a lot of credit for using the no huddle differently than people were otherwise used to seeing. Instead of using it to tire their opponents, they used it to exploit matchups and force defenses to either cede large chunks of yards or burn a timeout to get the right personnel on the field. This was especially evident when they had both Gronkowski and Hernandez on the field, as they could use Gronk’s ability as a receiver and blocker in concert with Hernandez’s ability to play inline, in the slot, or even as an H-back.

      • Four Touchdowns

        I don’t believe the Bills or Bengals used it for the express purpose of tiring out the defense, but to force defenses into bland schemes and limit communication with the defensive playcaller.

        • I can only go off of what Wyche explicitly stated:

          “Well, then the idea stuck in my head. If I can recover in 20 seconds and it takes you 30 seconds to recover, the next play, you’re going to be a little bit tired. The play after that, you’re going to be a little bit more tired. Pretty soon, you’re not playing your opponent at their best. You’re playing a tired opponent.”

          And this: https://books.google.com/books?id=kJep4m0DozIC&pg=PT130&lpg=PT130&dq=sam+wyche+nehemiah&source=bl&ots=nsdUo-mQxQ&sig=SoRuzqt8Q87BYwYL6NYtacsbMzc&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi24IPS_5_LAhWDpx4KHRCwDogQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=sam%20wyche%20nehemiah&f=false

          • sacramento gold miners

            I wonder if the fatigue aspect of the no huddle was a bigger factor in the 80s and 90s, when there were fewer TV breaks and instant replay reviews.

            • I imagine so. Plus, the athletes today are in such incredible shape (for the most part; there will always be Haynesworths) that the benefit of fatigue is probably mitigated today. Catching the defense with their pants down is the big benefit today.

        • LightsOut85

          I think that would be getting into No-Huddle vs Hurry-Up. Sort of a thumb/finger comparison, where a hurry-up has to be a no-huddle, but a no-huddle doesn’t have to be up-tempo (it could just be running out the clock at the LOS, making checks & forcing the D to keep it’s current personnel on the field).

          • Four Touchdowns

            Great observation!

      • Richie

        Yeah, I don’t think I’ve noticed Manning or Brady getting any credit for inventing the no-huddle.

    • farouk

      Brady and Manning have gotten credit for creating the pass happy league we have now and the feeling you need a great QB to win championships.
      The funny thing won Brady won SB tiles as a rhythm play it safe passer with a strong defense and running game. He and lost while playing pass happy while facing Eli playing balance ball control and defense.
      Manning the same way. He won with two SB with strong defenses and power running game and lost 2 SB as a throw first run later team.

  • sacramento gold miners

    Along this theme, the ’71 Cowboys had three legendary players who came over from other teams. Mike Ditka, Lance Alworth, and Herb Adderley. The latter already had SB hardware from Green Bay.