Bills WR Elbert "Golden Wheels" Dubenion (Photo Source)
Yesterday, Buffalo Rumblings readers and avid Buffalo Bills fans emphatically - by a 96% to 4% vote split, in fact - voted Jim Kelly as the starting quarterback of this community's "Best of the Bills Team".
In what should be a bit more of a lively debate, we're going to settle the team's starting wide receivers today. There will be three starting receivers on this team, in homage to the Bills' K-Gun offense of the early '90s, which utilized three receivers more often than not.
In order to vote in three wideouts, we're going to vote players OFF this morning. So when you vote in the poll, choose the WR that you think doesn't belong on our Best of the Bills Team. I chose the following five nominees based on play (obviously), longevity with the Bills, and impact. Your candidates - and if you feel I've left someone out, let us know in the comments section:
Elbert Dubenion ('60-'68): Nicknamed "Golden Wheels", Dubenion was a productive, star wide receiver in an era where those were hard to find. Part of Buffalo's two championship teams, Dubenion - a seventh-round draft pick of Cleveland - was a dual rushing/receiving threat who in just nine seasons would accumulate 5,620 yards (326 on the ground) and score 38 touchdowns. Those aren't eye-popping numbers by today's standards, but Dubenion was an electric threat in an era that emphasized the run and defense.
Bob Chandler ('71-'79): Another former seventh-round draft pick, Chandler held several Bills team receiving records before the likes of Reed and Moulds broke them in later years. Chandler's solid career numbers (370 receptions, 5,243 yards, 48 TD) were put up in an era when Buffalo's offense (and team) just weren't very good. Chandler was a bit inconsistent throughout his career and only played three games in his final season as a Bill, but he also put up these numbers despite only starting games in two seasons.
Jerry Butler ('79-'86): If you want to talk about a receiver that played on some bad Bills teams, Jerry Butler is your guy. Playing for two different quarterbacks, however, Butler put up some respectable numbers in his short playing career (he was out of football at age 29) - 278 receptions, 4,301 yards, 29 touchdowns and a Pro Bowl appearance. He also led the league in receiving touchdowns twice (8 in 1981, 10 in 1982). He was a superb athlete and had he played longer and on better teams, he probably would have been much more productive than he was.
Andre Reed ('85-'99): What else can be said about this guy? A fourth-round pick out of tiny Kutztown State, Reed played in Buffalo for fifteen seasons, is by far the team's most productive receiver of all-time, was a seven-time Pro Bowler, and was Jim Kelly's go-to guy during the franchise's most productive offensive years. Reed is a legend - his 951 receptions, 13,198 yards and 87 receiving touchdowns all rank among the best numbers in league history. "Kelly to Reed" will forever be remembered as one of the elite passing duos in league history.
Eric Moulds ('96-'05): Moulds made three Pro Bowls during his ten-year career as a Bill, and though his career got off to a slow start, Moulds ranks only behind Reed in most of Buffalo's receiving categories in team history. He left Buffalo with 675 receptions, 9,096 yards and 48 career touchdowns (as well as a kick return touchdown). Another receiver who played during some of Buffalo's darker years (especially after the turn of the century), Moulds' production speaks for itself. He's one of the best receivers in team history, both from a talent and production standpoint.
So there are your candidates. Again, please vote for a receiver you think should NOT be a starter on our team, and if you've got write-in voting candidates, let us know. Let's hear it, folks!