About a three months ago MattRichWarren presented us with his Buffalo Bills 2000s All-Decade Team series. And for about a month we voted on a series of poles to determine who was worthy of being on that team. But more often than not we also ended up complaining over
the limited sometimes horrible talent that we had to pick from for any given position. So it was about at the TE position that I thought "hey why don't we also vote on the worst players that played for this team over the last decade?" And so here we are.
Now just like MattRichWarren's series I have a few criteria for players to be eligible for this team. They had to have played in at least a full season's worth of games in this decade to be eligible. Starting is not requirement, but you do have to have played significant amounts of snaps in those games. That means that, for example, the Bills 3rd receiver might make the list, but a 4th or 5th stringer wont be considered. That means that we wont end up voting for 7th rounders that ended up playing 2 snaps. These are going to be real players that played real roles on this team over the last ten years. And just because a player ended up on the All-Decade team does not mean that you can't also be on the worst-decade team.
Sorry for the tardiness on this post folks, I just started a new job this week and in between working for a bank and taking care of my son I've barely been home. Anyways, on with the post.
The return game has been a bit of a split this decade. The first 4 years of the decade saw absolutely horrible returners, while the last 6 saw consistent Pro-Bowl talent year in and year out. So it's with that in mind that I bring you the top 5 returners of the first 4 years of this decade and show you how horrible they actually were. These are actually our top 5 returners from 2000 to 2003, I'm not even kidding. They just flat out STUNK!
The winner of the first corner back spot on this team, Watson is making his second appearance on the worst of the decade poll. Watson was the team's top kick and punt returner in 2000 and posted some of the decade's worst numbers for returners with at least 40 kick returns and 30 punt returns. In 2000 he had 44 kick returns for only 894 yards and no TD's (20.3 yard average), and 33 punt returns for an abysmal 163 yards and no TD's (4.9 yard average). Inteligently enough Coach Gregg Williams removed him from return duties in 2001, limiting him to only 5 kick returns for 96 yards in 2001, his last returns in any capacity as a Bill.
Surprised? Don't be. As great of a Pro-Bowl corner back that Clements was, he was equally bad as a returner. Nate was the team's top kick returner in 2001, as well as the team's top punt returner in 2004 and second top punt returner in 2003. All were near the bottom of the decade in terms of productivity as a returner. His total return numbers for the Bills are as followed: 31 kick returns for 642 yards and no TD's (20.7 yard average) and 65 punt returns for 617 yards and 2 TD's (9.5 yard average). Coach Williams replaced Clements as the team's returner in 2001 with...
The Bills 4th round pick in 2000, Black was the team's second top kick returner in 2001, replacing the inaffective Nate Clements. In that season Black had 25 kick returns for 498 yards and not TD's (19.9 yard average) to go along with 1 punt return for 34 yards and no TD. Black was released by the Bills at the end of the 2001 season.
The Seahawks' 5th round draft pick in 1999, Rogers played one season with the Bills and was the Bills top kick and punt returner in 2002. In that season he registered 64 kick returns for 1280 yards and 1 TD (20 yard average)) and 26 punt returns for a lowly 137 yards and no TD's (5.3 yard average).
This undrafted free agent from 2003 was actually the Bills top returner that season. He returned 48 kicks for 1046 yards and no TD's (21.8 yard average). He also returned 25 punts for 111 yards and no TD's (4.4 yard average) while splitting punt return duties with Nate Clements.
So there you have it folks, before we were graced by the presence of Terrance McGee, Roscoe Parrish, Leodis McKelvin and Fred Jackson we had to g threw the painful years of Watson, Clements, Black, Rogers and Brown as our returners. It's up to you to decide which one was the worst. GO VOTE!