Bills TE Pete Metzelaars (Photo Source)
Yesterday, Buffalo Rumblings readers and avid Buffalo Bills fans voted three wide receivers - Andre Reed, Eric Moulds and Elbert Dubenion - as starters on this community's "Best of the Bills Team". The three receivers join QB Jim Kelly as the four starters elected thus far.
A fifth starting player will be elected today, and this time, we'll be discussing a position that hasn't had a ton of success in team annals - tight end. Buffalo hasn't had many viable receiving threats at tight end in the team's history; that doesn't mean, however, that there aren't excellent candidates for our All-Star team. Rumblers, here are your three candidates for starting tight end - please vote for the tight end you'd like to make the team:
Ernie Warlick ('62-'65): His receiving stats weren't gaudy (90 career receptions, 1,551 yards, 4 touchdowns), but in just four professional seasons, Warlick made four Pro Bowl appearances. As is the case with tight ends, receiving isn't everything; Warlick was a key blocker for a highly successful rushing tandem in Wray Carlton and Cookie Gilchrist on Buffalo's two championship teams. Warlick is a Buffalo guy - great player who played the anonymous, no-glory roles of a championship football team. He may not be the best Bills tight end ever, but he deserves his candidacy here.
Pete Metzelaars ('85-'94): Easily the most productive receiving tight end in team history, Metzelaars ranks fourth all-time in Buffalo's receiving stat category. A favorite target of Jim Kelly's for the better part of a decade, Metzelaars caught 302 passes and scored 25 touchdowns. No tight end has ever been a bigger part of Buffalo's passing game than has Metzelaars. He is now an assistant coach with the Indianapolis Colts, and finally got a Super Bowl ring for his stellar NFL work in 2006.
Jay Riemersma ('97-'02): It may have surprised you to read that Metzelaars ranked so highly on Buffalo's all-time leading receivers list; it surprised yours truly even more to see that Riemersma ranked highly as well. Coming in at #12 on the list, Riemersma caught 204 passes and scored 20 touchdowns in six seasons as a Bills tight end. A seventh-round draft pick out of Michigan, Riemersma is the last tight end to have donned a Bills uniform that could make plays in the passing game. He was literally a poor man's Metzelaars; had he played in Buffalo longer, he likely would have put up better statistics.
Ladies and gentlemen, your candidates. Let your voting begin. Primaries for running back and offensive linemen continue in the comments section as well.